Hyundai Bayon

48-volt mild hybrid

Premium

Hyundai Bayon, 2022, front, action
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, side
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, rear
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, tail
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, interior
Hyundai Bayon, 2022, boot

IT may be the smallest SUV in Hyundai's range but the new Bayon is big on style and big on quality.

With its two-tier bonnet and striking angular rear it's a car which really does put many of its rivals in the shade.

It's not quite as unusual under the skin as it's powered by a relatively small 998cc, three-cylinder petrol engine with 48-volt mild hybrid assistance which helps boost its mpg.

Nevertheless it offers a nice combination of respectable performance and decent economy, is very well equipped in Premium spec and really easy to drive.

And despite its dimensions it also has a big car quality feel to it, with generous interior space, doors that close easily with a nice solid action and switches that feel chunky and well put together.

The interior is predominantly black with very little light relief but there's plenty of onboard information always available to the driver and the main dials are colourful and crystal clear. Changes of driving modes between eco, comfort and sport bring a change in the dashboard colour scheme to compliment the blue ambient lighting.

A 10.25-inch, centre-set touchscreen high on the dash makes it easy to change functions while still keeping a wary eye on the road and displays a good view of what's behind you when you go into reverse.

The seats are comfortable and supportive, but I found the driver's seat too low for my ideal driving position even when on the highest setting.

In some respects the Bayon has a back to basics approach with a conventional keyfob lock/unlock system and key start - rather than keyless lock/unlocking and pushbutton starting - and there's a manual rather than electronic handbrake, although for some drivers these are plus points.

On the other hand it offers heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and readouts from both digital and analogue speedometers at the same time. A second digital speedometer sits in the corner of the touchscreen making it easy for passengers to monitor your progress, although for some couples that might not be such a good thing.

Unusually to start the car you have to keep your feet on both the clutch and the footbrake.

On the road there is a very distinctive three-cylinder sound from the 100bhp engine but generally the Bayon is refined and well soundproofed.

Pulling power is reasonable for such a small engine but if you really want to press on you have to work the six-speed manual gearbox hard, but it's a slick and super smooth unit and a delight to use. Alternatively if you want more power there is a 120 bhp version available.

What I did like about the Bayon was its stability at high speed making it a good motorway cruiser.

And on the safety front it's very well equipped with everything from lane assist to autonomous emergency braking and forward collision avoidance not to mention a hill holder clutch to stop you rolling backwards when pulling away on a steep hill.

There's generous boot space for holidays with 411 litres available for luggage and for after dark you have LED headlights with main beam assist.

FAST FACTS

Hyundai Bayon 48-volt mild hybrid Premium

Price: £23,520

Mechanical: 100bhp, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 114 mph

0-62mph: 10.7 secs

Combined MPG:53.3

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions: 118-130 g/km

Bik rating:28%

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