Combining a bold new look, state-of-the-art technology, and powerful performance, Hyundai’s 2022 Staria Load is quite the head turner. It’s also proving to give traditional Kiwi van choices a run for their money. But don’t just take our word for it, we checked in with a few recent buyers and users of the 2022 Staria Load to get their opinion.  

Safety matters 

One of the top considerations for any buyer of any vehicle has to be safety. After all, looks and performance don’t mean much if the vehicle you’re driving can’t keep you safe. “The Staria Load stood out from the rest in terms of safety rating,” says BGIS Contract Manager, Matt Greene, whose staff undertake cleaning and maintenance of railway stations around Wellington. 

“Some other vans we looked at had a zero-star rating which makes you wonder how they can even be legal.” In contrast, Hyundai’s Staria Load is New Zealand’s safest commercial van with a maximum 5-star ANCAP rating.  

Matt says that technology like Forward Collision Avoidance assist (FCA) which automatically brakes when it detects sudden braking by the vehicle ahead or detects pedestrians or cyclists, makes a real difference. “Initially we thought the technology might be a bit gimmicky, something that you wouldn’t really need. But it’s actually really good. And the technology hasn’t failed or made a mistake at all – you expect that maybe it will misinterpret something but that hasn’t happened,” he says. “Other technology like Lane Keeping Assist which assists with steering to help keep you in your lane, not only adds to the safety aspect, but makes the van very easy to drive,” he says. “You really miss it when you get into a vehicle that doesn’t have it.” 

Working smarter 

The Staria Load’s cutting-edge technology doesn’t end there. A handy convenience for Matt’s staff while they’re driving is the touchscreen multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless charging. “They can get in the van and not even have to take their phone out their pockets,” he says. “It automatically connects, and they can instantly access Google Maps, receive messages, connect to music, and use handsfree calling. I’ll be sitting in the office and if I need to call them, they can easily answer the phone safely while driving. That level of communication is vital within our business.”   

Allan Hood is another big fan of the new Staria Load’s impressive technology. As Parts Sales Representative for Brendan Foot Supersite, Allan drives a Staria Load daily between the hundreds of workshops he looks after in the greater Wellington region. “The smart technology is something else,” he says. “Things like Smart Cruise Control means you can set the van 100 km on the motorway, and if the vehicle in front slows to 90 km, the Staria automatically reacts and drops speed. Once the car in front moves lanes or speeds up the Staria’s speed returns to 100 km. It’s one less distraction and makes driving on the motorways and highways a whole lot easier and safer. For me, it’s all about working smarter not harder, and the Staria makes it easier to do that.” 

Car-like comfort 

For John Judd and his wife, purchasing the Staria was about a lifestyle change. “We want to start tripping around New Zealand a bit,” he says. “So we wanted a van that would have the room to fit our gear in the back – including the electric bike and the dog! But we also wanted to drive in comfort. 

“We decided to take the Staria for a test drive from Brendan Foot’s Commercial Vehicle Centre in Porirua,” he says. “The first thing we both noticed is that you would honestly think you’re driving a car. It’s that comfortable. And it’s certainly no slug on the road. It’s got some serious power. We hadn’t even got onto the motorway from Porirua when we made the decision to buy it,” he says. 

John explains that he initially tried out a 2022 model of another popular van but wasn’t impressed. “Even though it was a new model, it felt like driving a 1970s van – nothing had changed. Whereas when I hopped in the Staria, well it was like night and day. A whole different experience. And I just can’t stress enough how comfy and car-like it is to drive.” 

A powerful performer 

Allan agrees and says the Staria Load ticks all his boxes for both comfort and performance. “I’ve been driving the Hyundai Load series since I started with Brendan Foot Supersite in 2008,” he says. “So as new models come out, I get to put my bum in the seat and put them through their paces. And I tell you what, they’ve never failed to impress me!” 

Built on a new platform with a new engine and drivetrain, the Staria Load uses a front-wheel-drive system to create more space. “You would never know you’re driving a front-wheel drive,” says Allan. “In some vans I’ve driven over the years, it’s very obvious you’re in a front-wheel drive because the steering wheel pulls. But with the new Staria Load, you don’t get that at all.” 

Another big tick on the performance checklist for Allan is the selectable drive modes. “You’ve got the choice of Normal mode for regular use, Eco for when you’re cruising on the motorway, or Sport for enhanced performance. So with hills, like in Wainuiomata, I would put it in Sport mode which makes it more responsive and better able to handle the climb.”  

Big in the rear 

Comfy to drive, safe and smart, and a great performer. But what about room in the rear? That was one of the key considerations for PAE Group Commercial Services Manager, Greg Huddleston. As facilities management company, PAE purchased several Staria Loads as vehicles for the company’s tradies.  

With around 5000 litres of cargo space and a payload of 1070 kg, the Staria Load can comfortably fit in full sized sheets of GIB board, which Greg says is a real benefit. “With most other vans they’d need to be strapped to the roof, which is far from ideal.”  

The Staria is also designed for easy loading and unloading. The side doors open to around 870 mm wide and there’s the option of a lift-up tailgate or barn doors at the rear.   

Hey, good looking! 

One of the first things potential buyers notice about the new Staria is its streamlined new look. “At first we thought ‘oh that’s a bit different!’” says John. “But the ‘space-age’ look has really grown on us. We love it.”  

Allan agrees and says panoramic windows make a big difference. “You’ve got very good visibility which is great.” 

John says that while he was at Brendan Foot Supersite, a plumber was also there looking for a new van. “He was a bit unsure about the look of it though,” says John. “Funnily enough, he took it for a test drive, came back, and bought it on the spot!”  

Keen to try out the new Hyundai Staria Load for yourself? Contact the friendly team at Brendan Foot Supersite today to arrange a viewing or test drive. Our Porirua Commercial Vehicle Centre is open Monday to Saturday and Lower Hutt is open every day.