A small SUV that’s big on efficiency
Crossovers are popular. Manufacturers have realised that people like driving in a high position, but might not want a huge car, which is why more and more of these formidable yet compact models are being launched.
Hyundai has joined the party, with the mild hybrid Hyundai Bayon. It’s the smallest SUV in their range, and aims to bring the high level of standard equipment and excellent build quality that Hyundai is now known for, into a slightly smaller package.
It could be argued that the Hyundai Bayon directly challenges the Hyundai Kona, but the Bayon has a far greater emphasis on practicality and value-for-money than the Kona. But is it the best choice in the segment if you’re looking for an economical option with great efficiency?
Efficient and easy to drive
The Hyundai Bayon powertrain setup is pretty straightforward, with a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, fitted with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to boost efficiency, by taking some of the work from the engine under certain circumstances.
You then have the option of either 99bhp or 120bhp, as well as either a six-speed manual, or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
As you might expect from an engine with relatively low power outputs, performance isn’t fierce. It takes just over 10 seconds to go from 0-60mph. But this is a car that’s built to be efficient, rather than powerful.
As such, CO2 emissions are low for a petrol engine car, ranging between 118g/km and 130g/km, depending on the spec you choose.
A comfortable and refined ride
The size of the Hyundai Bayon is perfect for British roads, allowing you to coast through country roads or tight city streets without worrying about the car’s width or dimensions. While at the same time this mild hybrid crossover (built on the same platform as the Hyundai i20) manages to feel more spacious inside than many other crossover, despite retaining compact exterior proportions.
The Hyundai Bayon is great to drive through the city, where its raised driving position gives you a decent view of the road ahead.
The engine can be a touch noisy under hard acceleration, but otherwise the Hyundai Bayon is a comfortable and refined affair, with plenty of suspension giving it a relaxed ride, which deals nicely with any bumps in the road.
The Hyundai Bayon has an impressively spacious interior given how compact it is overall. The driving position is very good, thanks to lots of adjustability, while the seating position is raised but not so much that you feel perched too high, which can happen in some of the Hyundai Bayon’s rivals.
The infotainment screen is well integrated, and has some useful physical shortcut buttons below, allowing you to quickly find sections of the system without having to dive through menus.
As standard, the Hyundai Bayon comes with an 8.0-inch screen, or a 10.25-inch version for higher specifications. A nice new feature is the digital dials which are clear and easy to read, as well as being standard on all models regardless of trim.
Prices for the Hyundai Bayon start at £20,295, giving you 16-inch alloy wheels, with LED daytime running lights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, as well as other features.
Step up to the Premium trim, starting at £22,495, and you’ll get 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, LED headlights, and the larger 10.25-inch infotainment system. At this level you’ve also got the option to go for the more powerful engine and an automatic gearbox too.
At the top of the range sits Ultimate. And at £23,795 it’s competitively priced and brings a two-tone roof, keyless entry, and an upgraded Bose sound system. So you get a lot of Bayon for your buck.
An excellent, affordable all-rounder
The Hyundai Bayon is a practical, efficient, and affordable mild hybrid crossover, that’s well-loaded with kit and surprisingly spacious.
It might not be the most involving car to drive to drive, but that’s not the aim here.
As an all-rounder, the Hyundai Bayon seriously impresses. If you’re after a car that can do the school run, trips to the city, and seriously long journeys, then the Bayon is well worth taking for a test drive, to see if it feels right for you.
The Hyundai Bayon perfectly nails the brief of being the right size, easy to drive, comfortable, economical to run, and very good value-for-money. While having noticeably good looks, rather than a dull “practical” design.
It’s a well-judged package at a very good price, that will be just right for many drivers looking for this kind of crossover, at this kind of cost.