The new Santa Fe shared Hyundai’s 2018 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) stand with the Hyundai Grand Starex facelift, known in Indonesia and some markets as the H-1. The refreshed Grand Starex was recently launched in the republic, where people carriers of all sizes are popular.

We may have seen a couple of face swaps in Malaysia, but globally, the Grand Starex has only seen one mild facelift since it was unveiled in 2007. Here’s another, because this is not an all-new model. It’s a relatively big facelift, though.

Introduced in its home market in December last year, the Grand Starex facelift gets a new front fascia that ditches the vertical headlights for horizontal trapezoidal items (LED projectors), flanking a big grille with horizontal chrome lines.

The lower air intake has also been redesigned (the LED DRLs are located here), while the bonnet is taller to provide greater pedestrian protection and a more stately look. Reminds me of big Renaults like the Koleos SUV and Talisman sedan. It’s less bold than our market’s Lexus-style mug, but classier for sure.

The van’s rear end is largely similar to before except for the lower bumper and the new, distinctive vertical tail lamps with twin LED “ears” as signatures. There’s also a chrome upper window garnish that wraps around the rear screen, below the new rear spoiler. The base Elegance rolls on 215/70 R16 tyres while higher XG and Royale variants ride on 235/60 R17s.

While the exterior matches South Korea’s Grand Starex facelift, opening the doors reveal an unchanged dashboard. This means that the Indonesian-spec H-1 facelift misses out on the new, and rather nice, dashboard found in the domestic market MPV (below, right). The new horizontal, car-like cabin is very contemporary in design and a big improvement – will Malaysia get it, or will Hyundai-Sime Darby carryover the old dash?

Behind the front three seats, the Grand Starex can be had with two electric ottoman captain chairs in the range topping Royale (eight seats in total, 3-2-3) or new second row swivel seats in the Elegance and XG trim levels.

In the latter, the second row can be turned around to face the rear for a living room style layout. The middle seats in rows two and three can be folded away. With all seats in place, the formation is 3-3-3-3, with plenty of boot space left for luggage. Two airbags only, though.

Engine options include the Theta II 2.4 litre MPI petrol and the A2 2.5 litre CRDi turbodiesel with 170 PS/441 Nm. Indonesian prices range from Rp 487 juta (RM137,565) for the XG petrol to Rp 599 juta (RM169,132) for the Royale CRDi. Like the new Santa Fe, the refreshed Grand Starex should also be coming to Malaysia soon. What do you think of the new look?