Just about recently Hyundai Nishat released two new vehicles for the Pakistani Market. One was the absurdly priced Santa Fe while the other being a large family MPV known as the Starex or iMax in few markets. Since all time best KIA Carnival is already up for sale for quite some time now. Today we will compare Hyundai's offering and find out how well Starex does and what are its standout features. Let us kick things out with the design.
At first impression, the Hyundai Starex is quite a huge car. The exterior is quite boxy, and there isn't very sporty thing about this vehicle. Though the car has front chrome grill, alloy rims and projector headlamps at the front however aside from that I didn't find something rather very compelling on the exterior of this car, and hence its undoubtedly a van and certainly feels like one all around.
Check the specifications and features of Grand Starex here
Check the specifications and features of Grand Carnival here
On the other hand, KIA Carnival is undoubtedly the better-looking of the two. Design wise it feels more like a stretched Station wagon than a family van which gives this vehicle a much more sporty look overall. But don't mistake it to be an actual sporty vehicle and I'll tell you its not at all. It just feels better to look at. Carnival also features LED headlights and taillights as standard even in the base model.
Interior and Practicality:
When you come to the interior once again, Starex feels just like a big family and has a decent looking interior and leather seats as standard, but once again I feel its the KIA Carnival which features a much better looking and modern interior. Part of which is due to the fact that these modern KIA cars have been designed under the same guy who designed the interiors for Audi cars so undoubtedly KIA interior feels a lot more pleasing to the eye. One thing I noticed about the Starex is that it has no centre console and just a large empty space which looks quite annoying. So you don't have much storage to place your things like mobile phones, unlike the Carnival which has a cool looking and practical centre console.
See the walkaround of Hyundai Starex:
Now on the topic of practicality Carnival has a lot of storage compartments all around which also includes 10 cup holders in total, which is more than enough for 8 passengers which this car can seat. Though Starex can also sear 8 people at once, but it loses in term of storage and number of cup holders. I would do like to mention that in global variants, front and rear passengers can move around the vehicle due to the lack of centre console in the Hyundai Starex, so kids enjoy this privilege however in local variant we have an additional middle seat at the front. Meaning that just like Toyota Hiace you can seat three adults in front of Starex. One noticeable thing is that Carnival features an automatic opening and closing door whereas the Starex has manual one so kids might have a little bit of problem getting in and out of the Starex. Another noteworthy thing to mention is that both cars have a cool box which is very helpful in warm summer days to keep your drinks cool.
Read Also: Kia Grand Carnival Detailed Review – Test Drive, Specs & Photos
Another area where both these vehicles shine is the rear 3rd row of seats. Trust me the 3rd row doesn't get better than this. Even in most large SUV's the 3rd row is just a formality and nothing is much practical about them. A decent sized adult can never fit in it properly and even if it does the legroom is pretty much not existent. But luckily this is not the case here. You will be glad to know that two 6 foot adults can easily be seated in the rear seats of the Starex and Carnival. That too with great comfort and legroom for everyone. There is also a place to store your drinks and very effective air vents for extra cooling, so you don't miss out on anything and can enjoy equally as the front and middle seat passengers.
See the detailed review of KIA Grand Carnival:
And lastly, when you need to load extra luggage into these vehicles, you can simply fold the rear seats flat. Which they do, by the way, giving you a completely flat bed, so loading in and out bigger items is simply a breeze. Even with all seats up, there are acres of space, and you can easily load three large suitcases in both.
Engine, Transmission & Performance:
The most apparent difference between both these vehicles is power and engine displacement. And as you might have already guessed the Carnival once again take the upper spot. Not only the KIA Carnival has a 3.3L MPi engine as compared to the tiny 2.4L MPi in Starex but its also more powerful. The KIA makes a total of 270HP which is quite a healthy number to move such a huge car and propels this vehicle from 0-100 in just 8s whereas the 170HP power output of the Starex isn't just enough and 0-100km/h happens around 14 seconds. So in simple words Starex owners will have a harder time overtaking traffic when fully seated as compared to Carnival which is faster than any 1800cc sedan in Pakistan. Then there is the topic of transmission which once again is a little disappointing thing to me. While the Carnival has a slick 6-speed automatic transmission, the Starex just comes with a slightly less appealing 5-speed automatic transmission. And needless to say that KIA can certainly do better in fuel economy and performance thanks to a better, faster transmission.
With large engines and bodies, fuel economy isn't exactly a strong point for both these cars, and you can expect around 10 km/l in both cars as long routes.
Features & Equipment:
Since both of these vehicles are expensive high-end family vans, so we expect all kinds of basic features in them as standard. But these people movers certainly do need to have a few standouts and driving aiding features which are also the deciding factor for many buyers. So, what are those features? Let's talk on them more specifically. Carnival comes with
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Hill Start Assist
High-Performance Dampers (HPD)
Safety Power Windows (Front & Back)
Parking Sensors (Front & Back)
Power Sliding Rear Doors
8 Speaker Audi System
Automatic Light Control
Front and Rear Charging Ports
3-Zone Climate Control
12-Way Power Driver Seat
Auto Folding Mirrors
On the other hand, Starex possess features like
Automatic Light Control
Single Zone Climate Control
Rear A/C Vents
Dual Sun Roof
So its quite clear that Starex isn't much luxurious in contrast to the Carnival. At this price range, I least expected 8 airbags, dual zone climate control and power sliding doors.
Price & Conclusion:
Since we compared the top tier variants in this comparison so you can now expect a top tier price too for these large family movers. The Hyundai Starex GLX will set you back a total of PKR5,199,000, and on the other hand, the Grand Carnival EX is priced at 5,499,000. Now is the 3 Lakh difference justified for the Carnival? Well, to me yes it certainly is. Not only KIA looks better but also features a lot more equipment as standard, the interior feels nice and performance is top notch for such a large vehicle. Not to say that Starex is a bad vehicle by any means. I am sure it might have some good things in to too which we will definitely check out once this car is made available to the public however the price to feature and performance ratio is just isn't enough. I believe that 45-47 lakh was the right price for the Starex. So if you are into buying a family MPV, then I would definitely recommend spending an extra 3 Lakh and go for the Carnival LX. The price difference is totally worth it. But regardless of what vehicle you buy, you get a 4 year or 100,000 km warranty for added peace of mind. Though that is lesser than what you get globally in both these vehicles but still a good sign to see it here.
Related Content: Hyundai Grand Starex launched – Check out the price and specs
2019-02-26 13:36:56 UTC