► Sumptuous, slippery shuttle for large families
► Diesel-only initially, cleaner options follow
► Like it? Get lobbying your Hyundai dealer
Remember the i800, Hyundai's van-based MPV that was popular with large families looking for a value-for-money holdall? Well, this other-worldly offering is its replacement – that's right, you're looking open-mouthed at the Hyundai Staria.
And no, these aren't close-to-production concept-car images, either – these are the first official photos of the Staria in showroom spec. What with the Tucson and Ioniq 5 among others, Hyundai's really on a roll right now.
Up front, the Staria's sloping nose is delightfully unadorned, topped by an LED light bar with low-slung headlamps, as per the new Tucson.
Fripperies are few and far between, with higher-spec Starias garnished with tinted brass trim elements and LED headlamps clustered in jewel-like arrangement.
Enveloping the passenger area is a smooth fuselage that manages to be both tall and upright without looking obviously boxy – note the low window-line to aid cabin airiness. Some markets will have space for up to 11 passengers, but the majority of Starias for Europe will be seven-seaters – more on that later.
At the back is a colossal tailgate flanked by a pair of full-height LED lamp units.
Hyundai's yet to share a photo of the Staria's dashboard, but expect a 10.25-in touchscreen for the multimedia functions, plenty of storage cubbies and a scalloped-out section on the passenger side to allow even more space.
Access to the rear compartment is via a pair of sliding doors, with a pair of captain's chairs in the middle, and a three-passenger bench in the rear row.
Spec-up your Staria appropriately and that middle pair of seats can be upgraded to ones that revolve 180º or recline like those in the posh end of an airliner, including with integral legrests. Dreamy.
Roof-mounted air-con vents sit in the rear strips of LED ambient lighting framing the interior with a choice of 64 relaxing colours – one in the eye for the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Volkswagen Caravelle.
Power for this space shuttle comes courtesy not of rocket fuel, but a 175bhp 2.2-litre diesel for European models – other markets also have a 268bhp 3.5-litre petrol.
Given Hyundai's investment and expertise in mild, self-charging and plug-in hybrid powertrains, in addition to its BEV and hydrogen options, it seems curious that the Staria's not available with at least one of those cleaner options from the outset, but an alternative to the diesel is close.
It all sounds an appealing mix for ferrying large families about, so what's the bad news? As it stands, there's no confirmation that the Staria is coming to Britain. Hyundai UK wants it to, and it is being built in right-hand-drive form for other markets that drive on the left, so a 2022 introduction is possible.
Help the process nudge along by visiting your nearest Hyundai dealer waving a deposit-securing wad in your hand.
Keep this page bookmarked for more news on the Hyundai Staria as and when we have it.
Read our review of Hyundai's Santa Fe seven-seater SUV
Our rundown of the best hybrid SUVs on sale
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