Hyundai now has an answer to the space-focused 6-seat MPVs such as the Mistubishi Xpander, and Toyota Avanza. Meet the Stargazer, which has just been launched in Indonesia.
It’s pretty fitting that this new Hyundai has made its debut there, too, as our ASEAN neighbours are notoriously fond of this type of vehicle. Just consider the many choices of passenger cars with more than 5 seats they have.
There’s certainly no shortage of worthy competitors as Indonesian buyers are presented with models such as the Daihatsu Xenia and newest-generation Honda BR-V (why la not here yet?), just to name a few.
First of all, the Stargazer is wading into battle with a big advantage in pure kerb appeal. Yes, it’s a practical, people-moving MPV but next to its closest rivals, it does look pretty modern - even futuristic.
Developed, produced, and sold by PT Hyundai Motors Indonesia, a subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Company, specifically for that market, it takes clear design inspiration from the larger and more luxurious Staria with a very rounded, almost pebble-like shape.
Still, it does bring up the question about its possible entry into other markets, and given its proximity, Malaysia seems like an obvious next target for the Stargazer to gaze upon.
Woojune Cha, President Director PT Hyundai Motors Indonesia, said, “STARGAZER is designed with the feel of a spacious cabin and maximum space utilisation while prioritising comfort. This product is specially designed as a new benchmark in its class,”
“The latest product to be marketed in the country will be Hyundai's response to fulfill the needs and modern lifestyles of Indonesian consumers. Comes with innovative technology and safety features, STARGAZER can be a comfortable, practical family choice vehicle for daily mobility needs on long trips,” he said.
Up front, there’s the full-width light strip with the main illuminators at the outer edges of the nose, tiered as they usually are on the brand’s newer cars. At the rear, the tail lamps are joined by another full-width LED strip to give it a pretty distinctive look when driving at night, whether it's approaching from either end. It also makes an H from behind, you know, for Hyundai.
In terms of price, things kick off with the Active variant with manual transmission for IDR 243,300,000 (approximately RM72,400) and can go up to the range-topping Stargazer Prime for IDR 307,100,000 (approx. RM91,400).
It’s pretty spacious inside, as you might expect with a wheelbase measuring 2,780mm and a height of 1,695mm. The cabin itself fits up to 7 occupants though a 6-seat variant can be opted for with larger Captain Seats in the second row that can be adjusted forward, backward, upright or reclined.
Buried beneath that very compact bonnet is a small naturally aspirated engine, as is typical for this type of vehicle: a 1.5-litre Smartstream G four-cylinder that churns out 115PS and 144Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual offered on 2 of the 4 variants alongside an automatic that Hyundai calls the IVT (intelligent variable transmission).
Of course, the top-spec Stargazer Prime is the most comprehensively equipped. There are leather seats, ambient interior lighting, and even Hyundai’s suite of active safety features: SmartSense.
Not only is the total count of airbags lifted from 4 to 6, but occupants in the range-topper also have the added peace of mind afforded by the inclusion of Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with Collision Avoidance, and Forward Collision Warning/Avoidance Assist (AEB).
So, when will the Stargazer make its way to Malaysia?
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.