A New MPV Royalty

Hyundai has made a name in the country for two models: the Starex minivan and the economical yet agile Accent sedan/hatchback. But since the company’s relaunch and turnover as a subsidiary over a year ago, Hyundai Motor Philippines (HMPH) have revamped its lineup, replacing the Starex with the futuristic Staria and dropping the Accent in the process.

HMPH’s direction was unclear before – it has the crossover/SUV staples, plus two MPV offerings, including the brand-new Stargazer, and a pair of EVs.

But now it’s clear. It has recently introduced another MPV to slot in between the Stargazer and Staria, the Custin, plus a fresh, beefed-up version of the former, the Stargazer X. It has also introduced a new Staria variant that has more seating capacity. HMPH is obviously reinforcing its MPV lineup, seemingly vying to be the new MPV royalty in the Philippines.

If you’re looking for a family vehicle, you might as well consider looking at HMPH’s brand-new MPV lineup.

Hyundai Custin

Hyundai has unveiled the 2024 Custin, marking its foray into the local minivan market with two distinct variants: the high-end Premium and the entry-level GLS. Positioned as a middle ground between the smaller Stargazer MPV and the larger Staria, the Custin offers a unique blend of features catering to diverse needs.

Diverging from the futuristic aesthetics of its cousins, the 2024 Custin boasts a front design reminiscent of the current-gen Tucson, with a more conventional front fascia housing sharp LED headlamps integrated into its grille. The elongated minivan profile is accentuated by squared wheel fenders, subtle character lines, and a choice between 17 or 18-inch two-tone wheels. Sliding power doors on both sides, power-adjustable mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, and chrome-garnished door handles enhance its practicality and style. The rear showcases smooth edges, complemented by a striking LED taillight spanning the width of the vehicle, alongside a convenient power-operated tailgate.

With ample space for up to seven passengers, the interior exudes luxury and functionality. Leather-clad seats, automatic climate control with rear vents, and a driver-oriented cockpit with power-adjustable seats in the Premium variant offer a premium experience. The second row features captain seats with ventilation and heating in the top-tier trim, while the third-row bench seats are standard, with additional amenities like rear curtains and foldable tables exclusive to the Premium model.

Entertainment is delivered through a 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system oriented towards the driver, supporting wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. A 4-piece or 6-piece speaker system ensures quality audio, while a 4.2-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster caters to essential driver information. Safety features are comprehensive, including a 360-degree view camera, parking sensors, ISOFIX anchors, anti-lock braking, stability control, and six airbags. The Premium variant boasts an advanced driver-assist suite, offering various collision avoidance systems and lane assistance.

The Custin is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine generating 168 horsepower and 253 Nm of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The front-wheel-driven minivan employs MacPherson strut-type front suspension and torsion beam-type rear suspension, with disc brakes for all four wheels. At its launch, the Premium trim is priced at Php 2,080,000, while the GLS retails for Php 1,770,000, available in Military Gray Metallic, Polar White, and Aurora Blue Pearl.

Hyundai’s 2024 Custin presents a well-rounded offering in the minivan segment, blending style, comfort, technology, safety, and performance to meet the needs of diverse consumers seeking a reliable people-mover.

Hyundai Stargazer X

Hyundai takes aim at the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross with its own beefed-up MPV, the Stargazer X, initially shown at the 2023 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS).

In terms of exterior design, the Stargazer X maintains the same dimensions as the standard model but gains an additional five millimeters of ground clearance, now totaling 200 mm. The vehicle sports larger 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with a distinctive star-like design, coupled with body cladding and side skirts for a more pronounced and bold appearance. The exterior is further accentuated by LED headlights, daytime running lights, electric-folding side mirrors, fog lamps, and a shark fin antenna, among other features. While the lighting elements remain unchanged, the new Stargazer X with a two-tone paint scheme showcases a different mesh pattern on the grille, complemented by a revised front bumper, projecting a more robust aesthetic. At the rear, noticeable updates include a new bumper with silver accents and a tailgate-mounted spoiler.

Inside the Stargazer X, the interior maintains its seven-passenger capacity. The dashboard features gloss black screen surrounds, offering a more premium feel compared to the standard Stargazer variants. Accompanying this upscale touch are amenities such as a push-to-start button, synthetic leather seats, split-folding rear seats, a back seat table, and an illuminated center console. The cabin hosts an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, accompanied by several tech features including USB ports, a wireless charger, and a 12-volt power outlet.

Safety-wise, the Stargazer X incorporates advanced driver assistance systems like forward collision-avoidance assist, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, as well as standard safety features such as airbags, ABS with EBD, and hill-start assist.

Under the hood, the Stargazer X retains the same 1.5-liter gasoline engine generating 113 horsepower and 144 Nm of torque, paired with an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The pricing for the 2024 Hyundai Stargazer X is set at Php 1,348,000, offering three exterior color options.

During its launch, HMPH introduced a unique six-seater variant in its class, priced at Php 1,298,000, alongside the standard seven-seater model, aiming to diversify its market offerings.

The Stargazer X represents Hyundai’s efforts to enhance its MPV segment, infusing style, technology, and safety features, ultimately aiming to carve a significant place in the competitive MPV market.

Hyundai Staria Premium+ 9-Seater

HMPH has also unveiled a nine-seater version of the Staria van, augmenting its repertoire in the automotive market. The introduction of the Staria, with its expanded seating capacity, stems from the Premium+ AWD model, setting its initial price at Php 2,830,000 upon its recent release.

Retaining the aesthetic essence and most features of the Premium+ variant, the nine-seater iteration upholds the sleek design with power sliding doors and a power tailgate, LED headlamps, and pixel LED taillights. The vehicle rides on distinctive 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, accentuated by copper elements on its mirrors and grille, although it forgoes the sunroof available in the seven-seater configuration.

Inside, the Staria Premium+ nine-seater distinguishes itself by incorporating an extra row of captain seats. These seats, while lacking the ventilation function, offer swivel capability, fostering a congenial space for interaction among passengers in the third and fourth rows, ideal for familial or business journeys.

Within the cabin, the vehicle boasts a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity, coupled with a premium 12-piece Bose speaker setup.

Safety features are robust, encompassing adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and a suite of standard safety components, ensuring a secure travel experience.

The Staria Premium+ nine-seater is powered by a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine, generating 175 horsepower and 430 Nm of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the vehicle embraces a front-engine, all-wheel-drive layout, ensuring optimal performance.

Remarkably, the price of the 2024 Staria Premium+ nine-seater stands at Php 2.83 million, presenting a Php 200,000 reduction compared to its seven-seater counterpart. This model diversification complements Hyundai Philippines’ lineup, which also includes the Stargazer X and the 2024 Custin minivan, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to catering to diverse preferences in the local market.

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