Hyundai Stargazer X: Pros & Cons

The SUV-looking MPV class has a new challenger, and it’s in the form of the Hyundai Stargazer X, the top-spec member of the Stargazer range. Like the rest of the South Korean automaker’s range in the Philippines, it looks futuristic and offers a lot to consumers.

We recently drove the Stargazer X to Pampanga for a short but meaningful trip, giving us time to get insights about the new MPV. It has several qualities that make it a compelling choice for a family, but like any other vehicle, there are things it can improve on.


Expansive space & lots of storage

Whether you’re with your friends or your family, the more you could fit in a vehicle, the merrier. That said, space is tantamount, and the Hyundai Stargazer X has it – lots of it, actually.

Boasting an abundance of space, this vehicle caters to every occupant’s comfort, whether you’re the driver, a lucky middle-row passenger, or one of the younglings in the third row.

The headroom is notably generous, accommodating even those standing at 6 feet tall comfortably in the second row. Practicality is a key feature, with numerous storage points and ample cup/bottle holders in each row, making it an ideal companion for lengthy road trips.

Even with the third row in use, the Stargazer X doesn’t compromise on storage space, providing enough room for overnight bags. Notably, the third row isn’t just for the kids; it stands out as one of the most spacious among small MPVs in the market.

Quite comfortable during long drives

With expansive creature space and excellent air-conditoning, the Stargazer X is a comfortable cruiser. Its suspension setup also works in this regard, with both front and rear axles suppressing road imperfections with much delight.

The result is a quite peaceful sleep during long drives – something I personally experienced during our tests.

Adequate power

The 1.5-liter gasoline engine of the Stargazer X may not be the most potent in its category, but it delivers ample power, even when the vehicle is fully loaded.

Throughout our extensive test drive, the 113 horsepower and 144 Newton-meters of torque were readily available. Passing other vehicles was effortless, and the highway cruise at 100 km/h was both predictable and stable—qualities that drivers will value during extended periods at the wheel.

Wireless Apple CarPlay

IRoad trips often involve in-vehicle entertainment as an essential component. After all, what other way is there to keep yourself entertained while covering miles on the way to your destination?

The Stargazer X enhances this experience with wireless Apple CarPlay, adding a significant level of convenience, especially when combined with wireless charging. No need for bothersome cables – simply hand over the smartphone to anyone interested in playing their preferred playlist.

It’s worth mentioning that while the Stargazer X may not feature a premium audio system, the standard 6-speaker setup offers an extensive range of frequencies. This includes the lower ones typically not covered by more expensive car audio systems.


Polarizing design

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is an old adage that still holds true today. That’s the reason why the Nissan Juke appeals to some but not to many – criticizing design is quite a subjective discussion.

In the case of the Hyundai Stargazer X, the futuristic approach isn’t a generic definition of a beautiful vehicle. The LED lights are exceptionally functional but they make the car look too busy at night, while the overall shape isn’t the conventional SUV macho look that’s popular among Filipino buyers.

Personally, I like the look, but I also know some people who aren’t too pleased.

IVT refinement

While the Stargazer X’s engine provides adequate power for the MPV’s purpose, the transmission does need a little bit of refinement, especially when changing speeds. There’s a slight delay when accelerating hard, while engine braking isn’t noticeable. It becomes predictable over time, but at initial seating, it will need some getting used too.

Engine noise

While we enthusiasts admittedly love engine roars, the Stargazer X’s gasoline engine does roar more loudly than other vehicles in this class, which isn’t expected given they should be leaning toward comfort rather than performance and aural pleasure.

We’re not exactly sure why this is the case, but we believe a little more noise insulation from the engine bay should correct this.

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