Hyundai's Quirky Minivan Just Got More Interesting

Luxury / Comments

Why are we missing out on these cool vans?

If you're in the market for a practical full-size SUV, you could do far worse than the Hyundai Palisade. It's a great choice for those with large families and, after the recently revealed update, it's an even better product than before. But what if you don't want an SUV? Well, in other markets, the Korean brand is only too happy to sell you the Staria, a futuristic-looking MPV with plenty of luxury and space. Sadly, there are no plans to introduce it locally.

Hyundai has now introduced two new variants of the quirky minivan; a luxurious Lounge Limousine and the more adventurous Lounge Camper. Let's take a look at the latter first. Recently launched in South Korea, the Lounge Camper looks like the perfect road trip companion. A power-operated, roof-mounted pop-out tent makes good use of the space, although an air mattress can also be placed within the cabin for more sleeping space. A welcome addition is the netting which will keep unwanted bugs at bay.

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Elsewhere, a 1.27 cubic foot refrigerator provides enough space for snacks and food and is complemented by a handy kitchen sink, shelving, and a retractable table. The Staria Lounge Camper is aiming to make camping as civilized as possible; handy power sockets allow occupants to charge their devices while a handy shower feature means you won't have to share public facilities with other campers. Compared to the traditional American RV, it's rather compact, making this ideal for three people.

Two models are being offered in the Staria's home market, with the cheaper Camper 11 priced at around $39,800. Those looking for a plusher experience will prefer the Camper 4, with a loftier price tag of approximately $55,000. Several options are available, but we reckon all-wheel-drive is a worthwhile addition. If camping is not your thing and you're more inclined to arrive at A-List parties in a luxury minivan, the Staria Lounge Limousine might be up your alley.

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Hyundai is particularly proud of the cabin, boasting that the plush Staria derivative has the biggest screen in its class. Measuring 25 inches, we don't doubt it. The exterior styling plays second fiddle to interior space; the sleek roofline has made way for a taller ceiling which increases headroom by a useful eight inches. Those lounging in the rear quarters can enjoy Hyundai's Starry Sky and, while it's not as elegant as the Starlight Headliner found in Rolls-Royces, it's still rather special.

In-cabin tech is massively impressive. Naturally, there are several USB and HDMI ports, but the Staria Lounge Limousine goes one further with something Hyundai calls "HD DMB." Digital multimedia broadcasting allows occupants to send TV and radio signals to mobile devices, meaning young kids will be occupied on longer journeys. Adding to the luxury experience are enhanced suspension and tweaked steering. Lastly, the posh Staria gains unique duo-tone 18-inch wheels. What's the price of all this luxury? In dollar terms, it's a relative discount, available from $46,600.

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