The Hyundai Staria made a strong first impression with its futuristic yet familiar design. I mean, really, this is just a Pontiac Trans Sport (or Lumina, or Silhouette) for the modern day. But as much as I love the exterior, it’s the interior that I can’t look away from, because of the Staria’s dashboard cupholder. I can’t decide if it’s the best cupholder I’ve ever seen — or the worst.
The two center cupholders we usually see are not in there, since the Staria doesn’t have a common center console. All the features we’d usually see there are up on the dash. The shifter — or buttons in this case — live on the dashboard, along with the hazard light button and USB ports. I don’t see the passenger cupholder. It might be in the box between the front seats, which works because the front passenger can rummage in there while the driver can’t.
Still, I don’t know if this cupholder is genuinely helpful, or if my drink being close to the steering wheel is good. I imagine it’ll be easier to pick the drink up and set it down at a light, or calm stretch of road. I might love reaching just over the wheel when taking a sip of coffee or cold fizzy water on a road trip.
Then again, this could be a disaster waiting to happen. This cupholder could be disastrous while driving the Staria like a hooligan, but also during emergencies where braking would pitch the Staria forward. Sharp turns might also send the drink flying out of the cupholder, but it looks sort of deep and secure. How hard would you have to be driving the Staria, a minivan, to dislodge whatever cup was on the dash?
Unlike the cupholder, the rest of the layout makes sense. It reminds me of the interior from the 2022 Hyundai Tucson. The same grid layout is used for the infotainment, and the steering wheel and cluster setup looks similar. I like the infotainment’s off-center shift, even if it’s in the direction of the passenger instead of the driver.
I like how the interior puts most of the important features within reach. Hyundai’s good use of space is obvious in other places, too, like the window controls on the flat portion at the top of the door panel.
Until I get a chance to try it myself, and maybe spill some coffee in the process, I’ll consider this an experiment in efficient use of space. I don’t see that area of the dashboard used often enough, so this cupholder could work! Who knows? This could even be the twilight of the center console cupholders.