What is it: 

This is the top-end version of Hyundai’s latest delivery van. Who says delivery drivers don’t deserve a bit of luxury?

Plus, in many ways it’s more practical than a ute for work purposes.


The Hyundai website shows a drive-away price starting from $56,000 in NSW (other states vary depending on stamp duty and registration fees). Metallic paint (such as this ‘Moonlight Blue’ example) adds $695.

The Hyundai Staria Load Premium drive-away price is about $6500 dearer than the standard model Hyundai Staria Load.


Under the bonnet is a 2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder (130kW/430Nm) paired to a torque converter eight-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.

This is the same power and configuration as the standard Hyundai Staria Load.

0 to 100km/h (as tested):

The VBox recorded repeatable 0 to 100kmh acceleration times of 10.2 seconds, which is brisker than most diesel double-cab utes (10.8 to 10.9 seconds).

Emergency braking from 100km/h (as tested): 

The VBox recorded an emergency braking distance of 42.6 metres (versus 42 to 44 metres for most diesel double-cab utes).

The Hyundai Staria Load Premium comes with better Kumho tyres (and alloy wheels rather than steel wheels), versus the standard model’s Nexen tyres which are particularly slippery in the wet.

Good points:

There is a long list of extra equipment on the Hyundai Staria Load Premium.

The most important upgrade in our opinion is the fitment of bi-LED headlights (the standard model’s halogen lamps are weak and not suited to dark country roads).

This change also adds an LED light bar across the front apron and bright LED tail-lights (all of which are sourced from the Hyundai Staria luxury people mover).

Other key changes: Widescreen digital instrument cluster (with blind zone cameras), widescreen infotainment display, leather steering wheel, power operated tailgate (but not side doors), heated side mirrors (to rid condensation on winter mornings).

These features join the standard model’s impressive list of inclusions such as sensor key with push-button start, one-touch “express” power windows (up and down) on both front doors, extendable sun visors with lit vanity mirrors, overhead storage console, wireless phone charging (and USB ports), wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And a 360-degree camera. The list goes on.

Standard safety includes speed sign recognition, radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and blind zone warning (both super helpful in a van), tyre pressure monitors (valve type), and seven airbags including a centre airbag between the front seats to protect head clash between the occupants in a severe side impact.

It can tow 2500kg (more than a Toyota Hiace) and has an impressive maximum payload of 1072kg. Tow ball down-weight is only 100kg however.

Roomy and practical cabin (including a large empty storage space between the front seats, four-level storage pockets in the doors and two covered storage pockets in the dash). Massive cargo hold, twin sliding-door access is standard.

Tall driving position, comfortable suspension (for a van, it’s still firmer than a car or SUV), tighter turning circle than a double cab ute.

Good fuel economy (we averaged 7.4 to 8.1L/100km, about 10 to 15 per cent more efficient than a double cab ute).

Bad points:

The aerodynamic styling is an acquired taste. Otherwise there is nothing not to like about this vehicle if you’re a van driver or are keen to make the move. 

The product planners nailed the spec of the Hyundai Staria Load and Hyundai Staria Load Premium. Here’s hoping they don’t take any of it away.

What the haters say:

Why does it look like that?

What the haters don’t understand:

Vans have a much longer model cycle than do passenger cars, so it’s designed to look current well into the future.

Plus it’s more aerodynamic design delivers better efficiency at freeway speeds. 

And the low window line makes it safer and easier to see out of when threading through traffic.

We might also see an electric version of this vehicle emerging at some point (hence the futuristic styling).

Should you buy one?

If you’re a van buyer, you’ve probably already figured out the Hyundai Staria Load Premium has more equipment and is better priced than the equivalent Toyota Hiace.

If you’re a ute driver, take one of these for a test drive. Way more comfortable, much larger cargo hold, and you don’t need to worry about the security risks of a ute’s hard lid or canopy.

Also consider:

Hyundai Staria Load (standard grade) and Toyota Hiace SWB.