When we booked a hire car for our Gold Coast trip we were advised it would be a Kia Carnival or similar. We own a Kia Carnival and find that it works well for us with all our gear. Braeden can also manage to transfer into it well, so we figured even if we did get the “or similar” car, we’d be fine. As it turned out, one small difference made the Hyundai Staria a difficult vehicle for our trip. After our experience we thought we’d share a review on the Hyundai Staria. It may be helpful for anyone looking to buy one, but also so you can see what could potentially be a challenge if you hire one. As a result of our experience, when we were travelling to Cairns we called the hire car company and explained how badly we wanted a Kia Carnival for our trip. We knew that whether we got it would be dependent on availability, but at least we knew we’d done our best to explain why we needed that particular model of car.
Hyundai Staria review
Whether we are doing a day trip, or going on a holiday, we have a lot of gear and we love space. As a family of four adults space is everything. If we have it, everyone has plenty of personal space and we are also not limited with what we can take with us.
The Hyundai Staria delivered when it came to space. On our short trip to the Gold Coast we travelled with Braeden’s manual wheelchair, four suitcases, Hubby’s camera bag and other hand luggage.
I know that’s ridiculous but that’s how we roll! The extra row of seats in the Hyundai Staria is fixed and therefore doesn’t provide as much useable space as the Kia Carnival. In the Kia Carnival the seats fold into the floor to provide a flat rear base giving us more space when needed.
Once we were on the Gold Coast we loved being able to keep Braeden’s wheelchair in one piece. If we hire a four wheel drive we often need to take off the wheels or lower the back rest. While we can do it, dismantling the chair just makes every stop take longer. On arrival at our destination we need to put the chair back together and when we get back to the car to drive off again we need to pull it apart. The Hyundai Starria allowed us to travel with ease in that regard.
Braeden loved the large windows in the Hyundai Staria. I felt like we were in a goldfish bowl and when the sun was beating in I found that the large windows were a disadvantage, but for Braeden, it satisfied his curious nature and people watching desire.
The sliding doors on the Hyundai Staria open nice and wide and make transferring easy.
In the Kia Carnival the middle row of seats offers an arm rest that lifts out of the way for transferring but there isn’t one in the Staria.
Where we came unstuck was with the height of the Hyundai Staria, it’s much higher than the Kia Carnival which made it hard for Braeden, even though he can do a standing transfer. It wasn’t just the height of the step either, the overall height of the vehicle was limiting in some car parks.
Even though Hubby and I are quite tall we still felt like we were climbing into the Hyundai Staria.
Overall we prefer the Kia Carnival over the Hyundai Staria. The Staria definitely offers a huge amount of space but the height of the step up for Braeden made it difficult for our holiday and would be unworkable long term. Hubby’s back was quite sore after all assisting Braeden to transfer into the vehicle over several days. We will definitely be pushing for a Kia Carnival when we hire a car in the future.
If you’re interested in our other reviews you can catch up on the follow –