Minivans are pretty much dead in the US, but Hyundai’s new Staria looks so slick that it makes me believe there could be a revival some day soon.
Revealed in teaser images on Thursday, the Staria is easily the coolest-looking minivan since the spaceship-styled ones that prevailed in the 1980s. In fact, Hyundai describes the Staria’s exterior as “strikingly futuristic and mysterious ... resembling a spaceship” in the press release, so maybe this is just my personal preference for this style showing. But whether or not you like it, the Staria is certainly one of the most mold-breaking vans that we’ve seen in a long time — especially considering that modern minivans have basically mutated into really large SUVs.
Hyundai hasn’t provided dimensions, but the Staria is nothing like that. Its stubby nose and exterior proportions seem to more closely resemble the Nissan vans that make up part of New York City’s yellow taxi fleet or a small delivery van.
But Hyundai has taken that basic shape and given it a retro-futuristic spin that clearly tracks with the new design language it’s been developing for cars like the forthcoming Ioniq 5 EV. The interior also looks pleasantly roomy, with big windows and a panoramic windshield that stretches up above the driver’s head.
Hyundai hasn’t said whether the Staria will be electric, or where it will be sold. (More details are expected “in the coming weeks.”) I wouldn’t exactly bet money on the former being true, and given the sad state of minivan sales in the US, it’s not hard to imagine Hyundai being cautious about bringing the Staria here regardless of its powertrain.
But one thing’s for sure: Hyundai Motor Group’s designers are pushing the look of the company’s new vehicles in really daring ways, and the Staria is the latest example. Now if the company could only get a handle on quality assurance...