Is the 2022 Hyundai Staria a realistic alternative to the much-loved 2021 Toyota Alphard?
There's no denying it, one of the most favoured cars in Malaysia is the good ol' Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV).
From budget to premium, Malaysians can't get enough of MPVs, and they have every right to be in love with them - as they are the most practical cars you can buy on the market.
They have plenty of seats, can haul friends around comfortably, and are favoured by families because of the extra space inside. MPVs also tend to have a more practical approach to interiors than regular cars, which is one of the reasons why parents love them.
From a luxury standpoint, the pinnacle of a luxury MPV is of course the Toyota Alphard, and it pretty much rolls around unchallenged. But what if you are bored with the Alphard? and you prefer to have something that doesn't make you just another sheep in the flock?
Well, a certain Korean manufacturer has just built a luxury MPV aiming at the crosshairs of the Toyota Alphard. This manufacturer is Hyundai, and this luxury MPV is the Staria - an MPV that wouldn't look out of place in a futuristic movie set.
To understand whether the Hyundai Staria is actually a viable alternative to the Toyota Alphard, we draw your attention to the table of comparison below:
Dimensions in mm
8" Touch Screen Infotainment system
Smart Entry (Key)
Start System (Key)
Apple Carplay & Android Auto connectivity
A/C front seats
2nd row Captain Seats (with one touch Power Recline and Ottoman+ A/C)
9" Touch Screen Infotainment system
Rear occupant entertainment screen
Smart Entry (Key)
A/C Front seats
2nd row Captain Seats (with Power Recline and Ottoman)
ABS, ESC, VSM, EBD, TCS
Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC)
Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA)
Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM)
Rear Cross Traffic Collision Assist (RCCA)
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go (SCC w S/G)
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
Safe Exit Assist (SEA)
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)
High Beam Assist (HBA)
Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA)
Pre-collision System (PCS)
Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
With Steering Assist & Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
Automatic High Beam (AHB)
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
With Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
Vehicle Stability Control System (VSC)
with Traction Control (TRC)
Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
It might not seem like it at first but feature wise, it does appear that the Hyundai Staria is in fact an alternative to the Toyota Alphard.
The Staria has pretty much everything the Alphard has plus or minus a couple of things. The Staria is down on airbags, rear entertainment as well as A/C zones. But apart from that, it pretty much matches up to the Toyota Alphard's features pound-for-pound, even trumping it in a couple of departments such as seat ventilation, and driving safety features.
The Staria is also bigger than the Alphard and you can really feel it if you step out of the Alphard and walk straight into the Staria. If you don't have them side by side, you wouldn't really notice the space difference.
The Staria also has a good powerplant albeit a diesel one which doesnt really shout out luxury but still, the diesel powerplant in the Staria is refined and quiet and you will barely hear it when you are inside. From the performance figures, it does seem like the Staria has more useable torque than the Alphard, as it kicks in from a lowly 1,500 rpm which is great for city driving. Yes, the Staria is down on horsepower, but if you aim to drive at high speeds, then perhaps a sportscar would be better suited, as MPVs are afterall tall family vehicles.
Looks wise, the Staria is definitely an unconventional looking MPV, and this maybe an advantage or disadvantage depending on who you ask. Some say that it looks amazing, while others say the futuristic look is just a bit too much. Nonetheless, we think both the Alphard and Staria look good in their own right.
We guess the biggest challenge for the Staria is people's perception towards Hyundai. Whether you are willing to pay around RM360k for a Hyundai is totally down to you, but feature wise, there's nothing the Staria cannot do compared to the Alphard. We also think that the Korean MPV is as luxurious as the Alphard and definitely a good alternative to the much loved Toyota MPV.
The biggest question however remains to be, how much are you willing to pay to be different?
Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler