Hyundai Staria or the evergreen Toyota Vellfire to buy tomorrow

Hyundai Staria or the evergreen Toyota Vellfire to buy tomorrow

The Toyota luxury MPV has the lion share of the luxury MPV segment, but Hyundai wants a slice.

From the very year a private reconditioned car importer introduced the Vellfire and also its sibling, the ‘Alphard’ to Malaysia, the demand has never shrunk or even been dented (only during the pandemic lockdown) as Malaysians from all walks of life wanted a unit in their garage. 

This was the luxury MPV to have and own and even families with just one child wanted one. It was a status symbol vehicle and till today it carries the same prestige value. Now in its third generation and with more chrome on its nose than ever before, the Toyota Vellfire is the best selling reconditioned vehicle for any dealer, but margins are very slim.

Toyota Vellfire

UMW Toyota themselves saw the popularity and in August 2016 launched brand new units of the Vellfire and Alphard with full warranty and after sales. Yes, the selling price was high at RM 338k for the Alphard 2.4G and RM 345k for the Vellfire.

Then in February 2020, UMW Toyota introduced the latest variant of the Alphard at RM 465k and the Vellfire at RM 383k. Today, it sells well despite its high asking price as buyers get a full warranty and after sales which means a headache free motoring experience. 

Toyota Vellfire

Meanwhile, there has not been a real product rival to the Vellfire until very recently. Yes, Nissan tried with the Nissan ElGrand at RM 384k some years ago and Mercedes-Benz had the Vito Tourer at RM 342k which was launched last year. 

It was a surprise when Hyundai Motor decided to enter this segment with their futuristic looking luxury MPV, the STARIA. Yes, the STARIA arrived in October 2021 with an asking price of RM 358,888 to compete with the Toyota Vellfire. 

Hyundai STARIA

The STARIA arrived in just one variant, which is a 7 seat luxury version and it is fully imported with a premium interior fit and finish. Unlike the petrol powered Vellfire, the STARIA uses a 2.2L CRDi turbocharged diesel engine that delivers 177 PS and an impressive 431 Nm of torque. It works with an 8-speed automatic gearbox via a front wheel drive layout.

Hyundai STARIA

Now, in Malaysia, no matter how luxurious a rival can be against the Toyota Vellfire, it is hard to move buyers away from the household known luxury family MPV. This is why the STARIA is still not seen on our roads despite a lot of positive feedback from people who have test driven it and even sat in its luxurious and very large rear area. Yes, the STARIA is larger than the Vellfire as it measures 5,253 mm long, 1,997 mm wide and has a 3,273 mm wheelbase.

Hyundai STARIA

Badge branding and image plays an important part in this segment and only Malaysians who want something totally unique and different will invest in the STARIA and the rest will continue to buy a Vellfire without blinking an eye.

Also read: IONIQ 5 receives first round of updates in Europe

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