While our domestic vehicle manufacturers continue to drop lines of vehicles and focus ever more on pickups, internationally, things are different with much more creativity in what’s being done. Since this is a website about the RV lifestyle, I thought we’d take our virtual cruise ship across the pond once again and look at the Korean-market Hyundai Staria Camper 4.
Hyundai has absolutely become a powerhouse vehicle manufacturer far removed from the days when we joked that Hyundai stood for “Honestly You Understand Nothing’s Drivable And Inexpensive.” While there’s no noise about bringing their newer Staria minivan to the U.S. market, that’s kind of a shame because the van itself is nifty, but the camper variant is even more so.
Two versions of the Staria Camper
There are two versions of the vehicle: one that’s more camper than shuttle, and one that’s just the opposite, being able to seat 11 people. The most camper-esque model is the Staria Lounge Camper 4, based on the midsize van. It’s said to accommodate a family of four’s needs, both as a daily transport and weekend getaway machine.
You know. Like the old Volkswagen Van but probably with brakes that actually will stop it and silly things like that. Don’t write, anyone who’s pressed the brake pedal on a 21-window van knows it’s more like sending a request to a radio station. You might get to your stop, but don’t expect to any time soon.
Same’s true of the “go” factor in those.
The Staria might look like some future generation electric vehicle, but it’s rather traditional. It’s powered by a 175-hp 2.2-liter turbodiesel or 268-hp 3.5-liter Smartstream G6DIII gas engine. Further proof that this isn’t for us Americans is the six-speed manual transmission in the diesel version. Although the V6 gasser does have an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can also get the diesel with the automatic.
Pop-top variants of the Staria MPV
Both of these Camper vans are pop-top variants of the Staria MPV that Hyundai introduced a year ago with much fanfare—more than typically surrounds the launch of a minivan.
The Camper 4 sleeps two campers on an upper bed and another two on the folding rear seat. That is a bench for sitting and folds down to a bed for snoring. For seating there are also two seats up in the cockpit because, well, the driver and passenger have to sit somewhere. These seats also swivel around so you can form a lounge of sorts.
Oddly enough, there is a third-row bench seat which is part of the origami magic that makes into the bed at night. But this third-row seat doesn’t have seat belts. If this ever did make it to the U.S., the NHTSA would be all over making them change that.
For camping, there’s a kitchen on the road side, I think, along with a small electric fridge. A table folds out the back for outdoor dining or food prep.
I say “I think” because don’t Koreans follow their Japanese neighbors in driving on the wrong side of the road? So that would make our camp side their road side. Silliness.
To keep the sink going, there’s about 19 gallons of water storage aboard (70 liters) and 10 gallons (40 liters) of gray water holding capacity.
Controlling all the functions of the van is a 12.1-inch touch-screen display above the kitchen area—which is the perfect place for kids to mess with it. From here you can open the pop-top roof or the awning, among other things.
The Staria Camper version with more van than camper
For those who require more van than camper, you can get a model that still has the pop-top roof but with a bigger focus on seating, offering 11 hind ends a place to sit. All those seats can fold flat for sleeping along with a bed in the pop-top so four can sleep. All the rest of your family gets to go out and pitch a tent, or just pitch a fit. Their choice.
Since this model is more van than camper, there is no provision for meal prep or any other camper-related stuff.
Staria Camper prices
Hyundai announced the new Staria Lounge Camper lineup last week, setting the base price for the Camper 11 at KRW49.47 million (approx. US$39,600) and the Camper 4 at KRW68.58 million (US$54,875).
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Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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