2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander (car review)

If you’ve got a large family or need to move a few people around with a bit more room than a three row SUV can offer, Hyundai’s 2024 Staria Highlander could be just what you need. It’s big, roomy and looks different to everything else on the road.

When we say large, we mean large too, and at nearly 2.0-metres tall, it dwarfs most vehicles around it. The downside is that you’ll find yourself second guessing car park ceiling heights until you get used to it.

Thanks to its unique look, the Staria would fit right into iconic science fiction environments like Blade Runner or Total Recall. Add some sidepods and you’ll have a shuttlecraft like something out of Star Trek.

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The result is a van that has vast panels and equally large glass areas, with a modern from that offers a tiny nod to the rounded Toyota Tarago look, and shows off Hyundai’s first execution of the horizon LED bar.

The windows are tinted to provide some contrast to the lighter colour shades, like our example in Shimmering Silver, but otherwise add to the ‘blacked out’ look on the darker tones. The wheels try to look modern but mostly resemble hubcaps.

2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander
2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander

They’re modestly sized too, at 18-inches, meaning they get lost in the sheer size of the vehicle. LED ‘matrix’ taillights outline the rear tailgate and are a bit similar in style to the IONIQ 5’s pixel style rear lights.

Be sure to leave plenty of room behind you if you want to open the tailgate though, as it’s also a whopper, adding approximately 1.2m when opened. Thankfully it opens and closes automatically, but we’re not sure about safety sensors and walls.

Staria pricing in the Highlander trim level starts at $69,500 for the petrol V6 and $73,200 for the 2.2-litre diesel, both drive away. It can be had in Abyss Black, Creamy White, Gaia Brown, Graphite Grey, Moonlight Blue, Olivine Grey, or Shimmering Silver.

To borrow from another sci-fi franchise regarding the interior, “it’s bigger on the inside”. It’s here where the massive proportions of the Staria can be appreciated. Leather seats (heated and ventilated up front) on the Highlander model bring a sense of the upmarket.

That ventilation will come in handy on hot days because that massive glasshouse warms it up like an oven. Black leather is standard, but there are two-tone options available. The dash rivals an aircraft carrier, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re driving a bus.

2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander
2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander

With that said though, thanks to the high seating position, it’s a commanding view, and the overall driving experience is decent for something that’s 5.2m long. You are very aware of the Staria’s size, height and 2255kg weight though.

Tech comes in the form of two 10.25-inch displays for gauges and multimedia. The interfaces are easy to use and include native maps, however Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can only be accessed by plugging your phone in to a USB-A ports at the front.

There is also a wireless charging bay in the centre console for large phones. That said, the sheer size of the Staria places the multimedia display in another time zone from the driver, where even long arms need to stretch across to adjust the A/C fan speed.

This is further hampered by Hyundai not employing physical buttons for anything on the centre cluster. Your eyes will likely come off the road to figure out what you’re looking for. It’s all dressed in piano black too, so you know how that’s going to look after a day or two.

There are 16 cupholders scattered throughout, and the front doors feature recesses and pockets everywhere, while there are more cubbies and storage areas throughout the centre console as well.

Inside the 2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander

To keep an eye on the rear occupants, there’s a camera that shows the rear seats on the infotainment display, which can be handy. We programmed this to the shortcut button for quick access and our 6-year-old daughter loved it.

There are six USB-A ports in total, two per row, while audio is fed through the car via an adequate 6-speaker sound system. The Highlander features dual sunroofs, with the forward one having a manual blind and the ability to open.

The rear features an automatic blind. Second and third row seating are adjustable for better access and overall comfort of their occupants. Only the second row features ISOFIX points on the outer seats and three anchor points for child seats.

The third row can fold down to increase boot space, which starts at 831-litres and with the seats stowed, is up to 1031-litres. The Staria Highlander comes with option of a 3.5-litre V6 petrol that sends 200kW and 331Nm to the front wheels.

Alternatively, you can opt for the 2.2-litre diesel, offering 130kW and 430nm, with power to all four wheels (as tested here). For a car of this size, there is decent get up and go, even surprising us by spinning the wheels ever so slightly in the wet.

front seats
Inside the 2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander

Hyundai claim 8.2-litres/100km in terms of fuel economy but the best we could was up around 9.7-litres. Four drive modes are available, including Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart. The digital gauges update based on which mode is selected.

As you might have guessed, that means Sport comes with more red, with Eco going for more green. While they’re not entirely useless, there are paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel, providing the only way to hold gears on steep descents.

Hyundai’s usual safety systems like blind-spot monitoring, forward collision avoidance assist with junction turning, high beam assist, lane follow and lane keep assist, rear cross traffic collision avoidance are all included.

Speed sign recognition is offered to, but unlike other Hyundai models, the Staria keeps its version of the system on the quieter side, with a simple icon appearing on the dash and no audible warnings that you are exceeding the speed limit.

Blind spot monitoring cameras are also included in the mirrors, which display in the instrument cluster when the indicators are activated. Hyundai provide a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander

The Staria Highlander offers space and comfort levels that very few of its competitors can match. Owners may need to rethink visiting multi-storey carparks, and even their own home garage, but will appreciate that few other vehicles deliver its versatility.

To find out more, you can visit the Hyundai Australia website, or talk to your local dealership.

Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia for review purposes.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - massively spacious people mover; modern design; feature packed in Highlander trim.
Cons - possibly too big; divisive styling; lack of child seat capability in third row.
Daniel Collins
Daniel Collins
Daniel has had a keen interest in cars since getting his first Matchbox toy as a young kid. If he's not car spotting while out on the roads, he'll be plane spotting watching the sky, or diving into one of his many favourite sci-fi universes.



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<strong>Pros -</strong> massively spacious people mover; modern design; feature packed in Highlander trim.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> possibly too big; divisive styling; lack of child seat capability in third row.2024 Hyundai Staria Highlander (car review)