When it comes to school buses, chances are most of us here in the Philippines rode in a Mitsubishi L300 during our time in grade school and high school. It has been the staple choice of many school bus services for years already. But over in South Korea, kids will soon be riding in something a bit more stylish and futuristic – a Hyundai Staria.
It's not just any Hyundai Staria, either. Officially, it's called the Staria Kinder; kinder is a German word that translates to “children”. On the outside, it's hard to miss, and we're not talking about the Staria's unique styling.
As with most school buses around the world, the Staria Kinder is painted in a bright shade of yellow. Hyundai also added light bars on the front and rear of the roof. There's even a tiny swing-out stop sign near the driver's door. Inside, the van is available with either 11 or 15 seats. Hyundai also made the height of the seatbelt adjustable to ensure kids of different heights and sizes can fit. There's also a seatbelt reminder for the driver to ensure the children are buckled up.
To keep the occupants safe, the Staria Kinder comes with a wide array of safety features. These include forward collision avoidance, lane keep assist, blind-spot avoidance, and rear cross-traffic collision prevention.
Hyundai didn't say what engine powers the Staria Kinder, but there are several engine options available for the standard Staria. For reference, the engine choices are either a 2.2-liter turbo diesel mill and a 3.5-liter gasoline V6. The former outputs 177 PS and 431 Nm torque, while the V6 produces 272 PS and 331 Nm torque.
The chances of the Hyundai offering the Staria Kinder locally are slim to none. But if they did, do you think it could be a good alternative to the L300? That's assuming face-to-face classes resume already. Let us know what you think in the comments.