Hyundai Bayon 1.0

T-GDi Premium

Hyundai Bayon, 2022, front
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, nose
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, side
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, rear
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, tail
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, interior
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, rear seats
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, interior
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, boot

THE city of Bayonne, in the Basque Country region of south-west France, is an area of innovation and beauty - not least for its invention of the bayonet.

Diverse, and filled with people from multiple cultures and religions, the city was also the inspiration for the smallest model in Korean car maker Hyundai's fast-expanding SUV range, the Bayon.

And a bit like the bayonet itself, this very appealing crossover model looks sharp and striking in its own right.

Low-slung and swept back with a short front and back end, the Bayon is a car you instantly notice, yet despite its compact dimensions it makes intelligent use of interior space.

Little touches can make a big difference and the arrow-shaped lights at the rear edges are connected by a thin lit line to give the Hyundai a wide stance and more assertive look from behind.

As an urban crossover the Bayon is designed primarily for town, city and suburban life, where its clever design, practicality and fuel economy make it a match for any of the similar products - Puma, Juke, Arona, T-Cross, Captur et al - from the major volume producers.

And playing its part in the process is the 1.0-litre three cylinder T-GDi turbo petrol engine combined with a 48-volt mild hybrid set-up, available with either 100 or 120ps of punch. There's also a trio of trim grades called SE Connect, Premium and Ultimate, with prices from £20,880.

Performance is clearly not a priority here, the 100PS version powering our tested Premium model taking a leisurely 10.7 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill.

Fuel economy though is a different story, our own average return over 250 miles of mixed town, country and motorway mileage matching the manufacturer's official Combined figure of 47.5mpg.

Based on Hyundai's popular i20 supermini, the Bayon's cabin is well-lit and modern with LED ambient lighting in the front passenger foot areas, door wells and storage space below the centre console.

At the centre of a plethora of connectivity kit are a pair of 10.25-inch touchscreens, the central one supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as for accessing functions like sat nav and the eight-speaker Bose sound system included on Premium and Ultimate models.

Two USB ports up front - one allowing data transfer - plus another in the rear mean up to three devices can be charged simultaneously

You also get a chunky leather steering wheel and comfortable criss-cross patterned fabric seating, while this model used a six-speed manual gearbox and included alloy pedals.

Space up front is excellent and you can fit three across the back with ample legroom and a wide, soft berth for a centre rear passenger. We were also able to transport a 6ft Christmas tree with the rear seats folded down.

There are also plenty of smaller stowage areas like bottle holders in all four door bins, a pair of cupholders behind the gearstick, a deep central container with lid, glovebox and a rubberised tray below the dash.

Out on the road the Bayon is light and easy to manoeuvre, with a high seating position, adequate all-round visibility and the choice of engaging Eco, Comfort or Sport driving modes - each offering a different engine response and feel from the steering.

Hyundai has no hesitation in claiming a best-in-class safety package for the Bayon, the likes of autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, speed limit warning, forward collision avoidance assist, high beam and lane keep assist all included.

And there's also Hyundai's five-year unlimited mileage warranty for extra peace of mind.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Bayon 1.0 T-GDi Premium

Price:£22,730

Mechanical:100ps, 1.0-litre, 3-cyl petrol engine + 48V battery driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission

Max Speed:111mph

0-62mph:10.7 secs

Combined MPG:47.5

Insurance Group:12

C02 emissions:121g/km

Bik rating:29%

Warranty:5yrs/unlimited miles

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