Hyundai Stargazer X: Adventure and comfort in one

It’s no surprise that MPVs and SUVs are very popular in the Philippines. The typical profile of people you’ll see driving these on the road are those with a big family or with an adventurous nature. If you’re drawn to comfort and spaciousness, but you’re also big on aesthetics, then the likes of the Hyundai Stargazer X, the brand’s SUV-inspired 7-seater MPV, is an excellent choice for you.

You get the best of both worlds as the Stargazer X marries the practicality of an MPV with the sporty styling of an SUV. The execution was done superbly; after taking it out for an overnight trip to Pampanga, I can attest to this.

Our day started at The Mess Hall in Makati where we had our breakfast and safety briefing. Later on, we headed out where all units were neatly lined up. Seeing them as a pack made me appreciate the striking front end even more. The visual appeal is accentuated by the black 3D grille with chrome accents.

Striking a balance, the sides don a clean and minimalist look, while the rear features Hyundai’s signature H-shape tail lamp. Such a bold and futuristic design language can take a while to grow on me; but for this one, it didn’t take any time at all.

The SUV-inspired styling is pronounced through its higher ground clearance, new front and rear bumpers, roof rails, and 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels. Everything combined boosts the Stargazer X’s rugged look.

Our assigned car came in the sleek Magnetic Silver Metallic. The other groups drove the vibrant Dragon Red Pearl and clean-looking Creamy White Pearl. For the first part of the trip, I got to relish being a passenger princess en route to Pampanga Pottery. Since it’s a two-hour drive, I’m grateful that the interior has plenty of good qualities to mirror that of the exterior.

Surprisingly, with five adults onboard, we didn’t have to occupy the third row just to sit comfortably throughout the trip. We even had enough space and leg room to sleep soundly. Instead, the third row and cargo area housed our bags and snacks.

For the interior, it has a minimalist aesthetic with a few unique touches. You’ll see this in the leatherette seats with sporty red stitching. Glossy black accents are also found on the dashboard, particularly on the infotainment system and AC controls.

For a girl scout like me, I get to take advantage of the generous compartments. Hence, I felt fortunate enough to land the rightmost seat in the second row as it’s the only one with a back seat table.

Tech-savvy fellows will also have their fair share of a fun ride. The Stargazer X is built with a highly intuitive 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, and wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay. This is perfect if you love jamming to music on road trips. Next to this is a 4.2-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster. A wireless smartphone charger is also at your disposal, which can decently power up your device especially when you’re stuck in traffic.

Upon arrival, we had a clay pot painting session. Although arts and crafts isn’t really my forte, I had enough motivation to summon my creative persona. Towards the end, I gave myself a pat on the shoulder for being able to surpass my expectations. Frankly, outcomes in the past weren’t entirely in my favor.

After our workshop, we headed to our last destination: The Mansion. This time, I was the designated driver. It was my first time taking the Stargazer X out for a spin; however, it felt similar to meeting someone for the first time and clicking instantly.

Under the hood, we have a capable 1.5-liter Smartstream gasoline engine that puts out 115ps and 144Nm; this is mated with an Intelligent Variable Transmission. While driving on the expressway, the Stargazer X proved to be an enjoyable companion. It delivers enough power when you have to, but for the most part, accelerating and braking were pleasantly smooth and responsive. Lastly, steering is light enough to make maneuvering in tight roads effortless.

To make your road adventures safer and more convenient, the Stargazer X is packed with a suite of advanced driving assistance systems — the Hyundai SmartSense. This includes Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA), among many others.

We reached the hotel before dinner time so we checked in and settled down first. Afterwards, we gathered at the fire pit area where a wonderful camping setup featuring the Stargazer X was waiting for us. Elevating everyone’s experience further would be the combination of the outdoor movie theater and delicious Korean dishes.

On our way back to Manila the next day, I was back to enjoying the spacious and comfortable back seat. My takeaway? Whether you’re the designated driver or the passenger princess, the Stargazer X is a worthy companion to take on all your road trips.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to MPVs in the market. But make no mistake, the Stargazer X, which is priced at PHP1.348M, is one true standout from the bunch. It deserves credit for that no-fail headturning effect. 

Most Popular


More Articles Like This