Multicab left us wondering why so many people buy bakkies


Hyundai’s Staria bus has caused a sensation since it arrived in South Africa barely a year ago. You cannot go very far these days without coming across a few. Never mind, they’re already pretty well endemic to the Kruger Park, the Cape Winelands, and other touristy haunts around SA.

Now the futuristic bus has spawned both a panel van and this middling Multicab – a 5-seater van with a separate cargo area that adds significant level of versatility. As either fine leisure vehicle, or a business solution.

Not only does its large Loadbay double a faultless space for a neat mobile workshop. But the Multicab is also ideal as anything from the ideal cycling, karting, or any other sports or hobby hauler. Never mind, the perfect camping van.

Hyundai Staria
Hyundai Staria Multicab

Multicab brings Double Cab Bakkie versatility

5.2m long, 2m wide and 2m tall, Multicab rides on a 3.3 m wheelbase. Good for a 1,074 kg payload in its 2,890 litre bay, it matches double cab bakkies with 2.5 ton braked towing too. Having lived and raced karts with a previous generation a decade ago, we are impressed how Hyundai has maximised the new one’s load bay length. Without hurting rear legroom.

Multicab blends its bus siblings’ sleek and futuristic, ‘inside-out’ design, luxury features and  superior ride quality, with five-seater practicality and a large, secure, and very useful separate cargo bay.

The Hyundai Staria is allegedly inspired by the curve of light as seen from space, around earth’s horizon at sunset. Our Shimmering Silver Multicab looked just fine at our sunset shoot. Notice its bold wide, body colour trim, and unique grille. Low set headlamps, a low beltline, and panoramic side windows help define that sunset shape.

Hyundai Staria
Hyundai Staria Multicab

Starship inspired cabin, Multicab versatility

Step aboard to find a black-trimmed ‘cruise ship’ cabin. It’s inspired by Korean ‘hanok’ architecture with excellent outward visibility and a feeling of openness and space. To make the vista outside literally seem as if it’s an extension of the car’s interior.

Multicab’s bold and upright dash features a multifunction steering wheel addressed, Auto, CarPlay and Bluetooth rich 8-inch touch screen infotainment system. It also has USB and wireless cell phone charging and even front roof storage binnacles.

Add automatic climate and cruise control, and a reverse camera. Backed by front and rear parking sensors, and foldaway wing mirrors. Safety is courtesy of six airbags and all round, three-point seat belt and headrests bolstered smart blind spot and rear cross traffic assistants and more.

Hyundai Staria Multicab

A perky 130 kW 430 Nm turbodiesel

Staria Multicab is powered by Hyundai’s improved and perky 130 kW 430 Nm R2.2-litre VGT turbodiesel. A new air-cooled turbocharger has improved compressor and turbine wheel performance for better low speed torque performance and low noise, vibration, and harshness. It drives the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Coil sprung MacPherson strut front and leaf spring rigid axle rear suspension brings surprisingly good ride and road holding for Staria’s size. Its 14% stiffer and 70% stronger shell also ensures best heavy load ability and tow ball loads. Its aerodynamic shape also contributes to an improved 0,31 cD drag coefficient and better fuel economy.

On the road, the Hyundai Staria Multicab drives great, with smooth diesel power delivery. It feels larger and more spacious inside than its imposing outside look suggests. There’s tons of space inside. It’s a very functional cabin, and all the tech you need is there.

Hyundai Staria Multicab

Spacious, high tech Multicab drives great

In fact, we had to scratch to find complaints. Those enormous side windows give occupants little place to hide from the hot and bright morning or afternoon sunshine. And the oddly angled grab handles make it tricky to pull those relatively heavy sliding doors closed.

All in all, the Hyundai Staria Multicab left us wondering why so many people buy bakkies, when the majority of bakkie will owners never use their vehicles off road. The Hyundai Staria Multicab offers more cabin room, more loading volume, and a safer and far more secure concealed loading area. All within a similar footprint. Go figure! – Michele & Giordano Lupini

Images: Michele Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Hyundai Staria Multicab
Engine: 130 kW 430 Nm 2.2-litre turbodiesel
Drive: 8-speed automatic FWD
0-60 km/h:        2.96 sec
0-100 km/h:       11.82 sec
0-120 km/h:       17.57 sec
0-160 km/h:       32.29 sec
400m:             17.6 sec @ 123 km/h
80-120 km/h:      9.65 sec
120-160 km/h:     15.45 sec
VMax:             185 km/h
Fuel:             8.7 l/100 km
CO2:              189 g/km
Tank/range: 75 litres/850 km
Warranty/Service: 7y 200K/6 year 90K km
LIST PRICE:       R765K
RATED:            8
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