First look: 4 ways the Hyundai Stargazer could win the space race

First look: 4 ways the Hyundai Stargazer could win the space race

Among the collection of compact MPVs in the market, buyers will now get to discover another constellation known as the Hyundai Stargazer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How much is the Hyundai Stargazer?

    The Stargazer is offered at an introductory price of P998,000 for its base trim. Today, customers can place a reservation for the MPV at https://www.hyundai.com/ph/en/find-a-car/stargazer/highlights.
  • What are the notable features of the Hyundai Stargazer?

    The Stargazer sports futuristic-theme styling, Hyundai Smart Sense safety features, and spacious seven-seater interior with various cargo spaces.
  • It’s Hyundai’s entry to a segment that’s been seeing strong sales locally, as consumers prefer stylish and spacious seven-seater vehicles that will take their families on various voyages.

    And since the Korean carmaker wants to shine prominently above the Philippine skies as it once did, there’s no better way to do so with a potential volume seller.

    To make it twinkle brighter against other MPV constellations, especially those of Japanese names, the Hyundai Stargazer is made up of stellar attributes — all of which we’ve seen during a quick peek on a telescope, or to put it literally, during a quick introduction of the family shuttle.

    Here are the qualities of the Stargazer that could make it a winner when Hyundai Motor Philippines Inc. (HMPH) makes the vehicle available in its dealerships on November 8. HMPH is also taking reservations for the model — go have a look at the carmaker’s website.

    Space-age styling

    The MPV’s name is perfectly in keeping with its sleek styling highlighted by a swoopy body shape. Below the hood, which slopes seamlessly with the raked windscreen then to the curved roofline, sits a horizontal LED light bar that runs across the car’s width. Further below this are a pair of angular LED headlights that are connected to the rectangular grille, to create a front end similar to Hyundai’s full-size van, the Staria.

    Hyundai StargazerThe Hyundai Stargazer’s side profile can be described as minimalist, the distinctive features only limited to a couple of sharp flanks and wheel arch bulges. It’s at the rear where the Stargazer designers wielded their pens wildly: triangular horizontal LED tail lamps are connected by a strip of LED shaped like the letter H, as it flows across the tailgate, then upwards and downwards along the rear lights.

    Hyundai StargazerOverall, the Hyundai Stargazer’s exterior is a breath of fresh air that certainly looks worlds apart from the competition. As HMPH is pitching the Stargazer as the luxurious and advanced contender in its class, then from the styling alone, the MPV already hits this mark perfectly.

    Smart and spacious interior

    The Hyundai Stargazer will not only see seven passengers, but the things they might bring along the journey, too, so it’s smart of the carmaker to maximize all the space available inside. It’s a well-thought out interior, as there's a pocket-sized glove box in front of the shotgun seat, a storage shelf across the dashboard, and not one but two pockets behind the driver’s seat.

    Hyundai Stargazer

    What also used to be the reserve of upscale minivans is the little table that folds from the backrest of the passenger seat, and it now makes its way to mainstream MPVs like the Stargazer. The vehicle’s table looks fit to accommodate food and drinks, and as it’s made in a plastic material, it looks easy enough to clean should it see crumbs or spills.

    Hyundai Stargazer

    Meanwhile, the cabin space on all three rows is acceptably spacious. The amount of head-, shoulder-, and legroom are par for the course in the MPV sector, admittedly, but occupants will surely be happy with the room the vehicle offers. With the 50:50 split seats at the rearmost row folded, the already decent 200-liter trunk capacity expands even further.

    Serene drive

    Unlike the competition who suggest their MPVs are rugged with SUV-inspired driving feel, HMPH seems poised to market the Hyundai Stargazer as car-like and therefore more laid-back to drive. The carmaker’s positioning for the vehicle is evident from behind the wheel, with the Stargazer’s driving position that sits slightly more upright than a sedan’s, but lower than other MPVs with SUV aspirations.

    The Stargazer’s ride and handling make for a docile driver, too. Throwing the MPV around the suburbs that served as the test drive venue (South Forbes Miami in Silang, Cavite), the Stargazer exhibited a smooth ride and reasonable body lean, while the steering felt responsive enough. It’s a tad too light as far as we can remember, though, but this will surely pay dividends during parking and avoiding obstacles in the city.

    Hyundai Stargazer

    As for performance, the Stargazer’s four-cylinder, 1.5-liter engine sent its 113hp to the front wheels progressively and promptly. With the modest amount of power and 144Nm of torque, getting up to speed requires a bit of prodding from the go pedal, sure, but the engine doesn’t wail too much in protest as you do so.

    Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), or the carmaker’s version of the CVT, contributes to the smooth drive. For a more immediate shifting feel, the IVT mimics the shift pattern of a manual transmission.

    Safety features galore

    For a vehicle that will transport your loved ones, the Hyundai Stargazer rightly puts safety first.

    Thanks to its Hyundai Smart Sense, the MPV in top-spec trim is equipped with an array of advanced safety features such as blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, forward collision warning, or tire pressure monitoring, among others. Other variants get stability control, hill start assist, reversing camera, and child seat anchors.

    Hyundai Stargazer

    Price, verdict

    The Hyundai Stargazer shines with the style, safety, and a serene driving experience — all for an introductory price of P998,000 for its base trim. We reckon that upper trim levels could retail from P1 to P1.2 million.

    This MPV possesses the makings of an excellent family vehicle, and if the stars align, this will bring Hyundai fortunes in its future.

    Photos from Kent Flores 

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