- this is the hyundai staria minivan. it's going into production, but not for the u.s.
- it comes in configurations seating two, seven, nine, or 11, and on the nine-seater, the second-row seats can swivel to face the rear.
- the staria will be fully revealed later this year, and we wish it was coming here.
hyundai is clearly taking bold strides toward wacky, futuristic looks with its designs. look at its new electric vehicle, the ioniq 5, for example, or the edgy new elantra sedan and tucson crossover. the latest statement from the korean automaker is the new staria minivan, which, unfortunately, in all its cuteness and roominess, won't be coming to the states. and yes, it's actually going into production.
if you're thinking that this new minivan has major spaceship vibes, your mind's in the right place. hyundai says it wanted it to look like one. the van's side profile is meant to mimic the halo that's seen on the earth from space during sunrise. the front end is the best part: that lightbar stretches the full width of the van, and the wide-open grille houses two modern-looking headlights with eight cubes on either side. the rear is less wild (though we're not saying it's not) with tall, thin taillights that stretch up near the bottom of the van toward the roof.
there's a few seating configurations, and one even seats up to eleven passengers. two-seaters will get the most cargo room, likely used as cargo vans, while seven-seater models get a "relaxation mode" that automatically reclines the second row seats to a setting that matches the occupant's weight. on starias that seat nine, the second row seats swivel to face folks in the third row.
a digital gauge cluster (there's storage space under there) shoots up out of the dashboard, and a 10.3-inch touchscreen sticks off the dash. hyundai says the ambient lightining inside the van has up to 64 colors. a row of buttons, similar to those on the honda odyssey, is used to shift the van into park, drive, or reverse.
full details on the new hyundai staria minivan, including its powertrains, will be announced later this year, though hyundai confirmed to car and driver that it won't be coming here. we do get the new kia carnival, and we're not complaining because that's a sweet minivan.