KOREAN carmaker Hyundai has finally reached being at the top as it continues to offer a wide range of automobiles that are well suited for every need.
The Hyundai Grand Starex is one of them.
But to add more sizzle to this variant, the boys from Asan, South Korea, further pushed the envelope on how a people mover should feel and look like. Thus coming up with an even fuller-sized version, the Grand Starex Limousine.
Noticeable changes of the new version are its larger dimensions and a much stronger 2.5-liter in-line-four CRDi with a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) that produces a healthy 170 horsepower.
Exterior features that exude the vehicle’s classy and luxurious nature include new side garnish and body moldings; a massive, chromed radiator grille; side step boards for easy ingress and egress; a front chin spoiler and a distinctive bubble roof that’s engraved with a golden line and stamped with the word “Limousine.”
Step inside the cabin and one will see why Hyundai christened this Starex version the “Limousine.” The soft and comfortable seats are covered in rolls of premium leather and the panoramic window provides a generous view of the outside, while Venetian blinds block off the sun’s damaging rays from your just diamond peeled skin. In addition, the Limousine also provides luxury to the chauffeur as the steering wheel and the shift lever are also both wrapped in premium leather.
And who says that you’ll be bored during your ride? The Grand Starex Limousine is equipped with a built-in 21-inch LCD monitor in the rear cabin and a 6.5-inch thin-film transistor touchscreen display up front, allowing you to navigate the menu as you play the movie of your choice. Complementing the audio and video setup is a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio system which is compatible with any plug-in DVD, CD, or MP3.
I found that piloting such a behemoth can be fun. Steering duties were moderately light with the help of hydraulic power steering and I never felt any hard creaks from the suspensions when I drove over rough roads.
Although this van dwarfs most vehicles on the road, it felt like I was just riding a midsized SUV. The Grand Starex Limo also has solid stopping power courtesy of the van’s 17-inch alloy rims with 215/65 tires combined with the four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, and its electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) feature.
Overall, the Grand Starex Limousine will definitely appeal to those who are looking for sophistication with a touch of versatility. With a refined dynamic profile, plus a luxurious interior packed with dazzling features, the P2,698,000 price tag is a bargain for those who yearn to travel in style.
Vehicle: 2011 Grand Starex Limousine
Type: Premium Executive Van
Engine: 2.5-liter inline-four cylinder with VGT, diesel-fed
Maximum power: 170 PS at 3,800 rpm
Maximum torque: 40 kg-m at 2,500 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed A/T
Length: 5,125 mm
Width: 1,920 mm
Height: 2,210 mm
Wheelbase: 3,200 mm
Wheel size and type: 17-inch alloy
Tire size: 215/65 R17
Price as tested P2.698 million