Vans or minibuses are commercial vehicles and that’s exactly what they usually look like. But there is one absolute exception – and what an exception. The Hyundai Staria is not only practical, but a real eye-catcher. No bus is currently cooler – none offers more luxury.

The appearance of the Hyundai Staria is once a big one. Those sunken LED eyes, that extravagant grille, and then those vertical pixel lights at the rear. No question – the Hyundai Staria is first of all an eye-catcher and only secondarily a practical passenger transporter. Unusually positioned not as a commercial vehicle for families or even tradesmen, but as a luxurious van in which one almost longs to cover kilometers or doze off in traffic jams. Where other manufacturers entice you with large sliding doors, shelves and practical benches, the Staria offers obligatory electric entrances on both sides, an automatic tailgate and air-conditioned comfort seats in the second row – which can also be adjusted electrically and brought almost into a lounging position if desired .

The 5.25 meter long Hyundai Staria differs in many respects from its European competitors, especially with its elegant signature equipment, and does not even quietly catch up with the Asian luxury models such as a Toyota Alphard or a Nissan Elegrand, but boldly stands out with its unique design out of here. On the other hand, it looks more down-to-earth with the drives, because Hyundai does not offer its customers any alternative here in Europe. The Staria is obligatory equipped with a 2.2 liter common rail diesel, which has an output of 130 kW / 177 hp and is optionally combined with front or all-wheel drive. It is better to go straight for the Hyundai Staria 2.2 CRDI 4WD Signature, which costs at least 58,150 euros and which can only be supplemented by a panorama roof costing 1,200 euros or different color schemes.

The four-cylinder self-igniter is not quiet, especially under load, but as a four-cylinder it is powerful when accelerating, but acoustically more present than one is familiar with from Asian luxury vans, which are mostly powered by 3.5-liter V6 petrol engines. However, the 2.2-liter diesel with its eight-speed automatic transmission ensures a reasonable standard consumption of 8.9 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. The Staria’s steering is very easy on the impressive 18-inch wheels, which fits in with the comfortable overall set-up of the Korean bus. There is independent suspension at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear. Unusual: even with all-wheel drive, the driving forces on the front axle can be felt in the steering wheel. And 177 hp is not a lot of engine power for a 2.5-ton luxury bus – especially not loaded. Even the maximum torque of 430 Nm, available between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm, cannot outplay this. The top speed of 185 km/h is appropriate for such a people carrier.

The travel comfort in the Hyundai Staria is impressive. Not only do the driver and front passenger sit particularly comfortably on air-conditioned leather armchairs, but especially on the two electric individual seats in the rear, long distances can be covered as if in flight. On the two armchairs, passengers can electrically adjust the seat cushions, the backrests and the legrests. The relax seats allow you to lie down in a relaxed position at the push of a button. If four occupants are not enough for transporting people, there are three more seats on a bench in the third row. There are several USB ports for connecting smartphones or tablets in each row of seats, while a three-zone air conditioning system in the rear also ensures a feel-good atmosphere on the next holiday trip.

For families traveling with children, there is a wide-angle camera on the central 10.25-inch multifunction screen with the so-called “Passenger View”, which allows the driver and front passenger to keep an eye on the rear passengers. The occupants can communicate via a hands-free system via the infotainment system, while the Bose sound system with its dozen loudspeakers ensures an atmospheric sound experience. Even as a seven-seater, the family van still offers cargo space between 117 and 431 liters. A real hit with this Hyundai Staria – a version with an electrified drive is still missing.