The South Korean’s Grand Starex – sold under this name at home – is also known by other aliases, such as the iLoad, iMax, i800, and H1 – making its case for the old niche of commercial vans that are capable of carrying people.
While having just about the same length of a Kia Sedona, the Starex minivan can load up inside up to 12 passengers across its no less than four rows of benches. With this being a very specialized niche, it should come as no surprise the current, second-generation model was first presented more than a decade ago… and is only now undergoing a thorough model year revamp in a bid to become more modern. The changes reflect on the new front and rear designs, complete with new headlights and taillights. There’s also a reworked grille, while the interior has been thoroughly revised and brought up to date.
The changes in the cavernous cabin include the introduction of a new 8-inch infotainment system, the arrival of a different steering wheel and the outing of fresh trims. With the commercial vehicle DNA in full view, it’s no wonder the Hyundai Grand Starex has a diesel engine under the hood – a 2.5-liter turbo good for either 138 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed manual transmission or 172 hp and 332 lb-ft with a five-speed automatic that also treats the engine to a variable geometry for the turbo. At home in South Korea it can even be had with AWD – and the versions for Europe, the UK, and Australia are also expected to debut in the near future.