2021 Hyundai Bayon crossover revealed

New entry-level Hyundai SUV to sit below Kona; heavily based on i20 supermini

  • Rival to Captur and Puma
  • Mild-hybrid petrol engine
  • On sale this summer

The new Hyundai Bayon crossover has been unveiled. It’s designed to sit below the Hyundai Kona and is heavily based on the latest Hyundai i20 supermini. Prices and specifications will be revealed closer to the car’s summer launch, but prices should start from around £20,000 - an increase of roughly £1,500 over the cheapest i20.

It offers eye-catching styling, the latest connectivity and mild-hybrid petrol engines to try to tempt buyers away from all its rivals, which include the Ford Puma, Renault Captur and SEAT Arona.

2021 Hyundai Bayon SUV styling

Clearly influenced by the bold new Hyundai Tucson, the Bayon gets a wide grille at the front, flanked by low-set headlights that sit below daytime running lights. This is a popular styling trend, as it’s also found on many of the Bayon’s prospective rivals - like the Skoda Kamiq, Citroen C3 Aircross and Nissan Juke. Silver-painted bumpers, a raised ride height and black plastic trim around the wheel arches show its SUV aspirations.

At the rear, the boomerang-shaped tail-lights follow creases in the bodywork with a thin light bar that sits underneath the rear windscreen. Nine colours are available and seven of them can be specified with a contrasting black roof. Depending on spec, there are 15-inch steel wheels and alloy wheels available in 16 and 17-inch sizes.

Interior and technology

The Hyundai Bayon shares its interior with the i20, so high-spec cars will get a pair of 10.25-inch screens - one for driving info and a touchscreen for media and navigation functions. Even base-spec cars will get a touchscreen with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, although it will be smaller at eight inches. We’re told the Bayon is the first small SUV to get wireless CarPlay (most connect to your phone with a cable).

Connectivity is a big selling point for the Bayon, thanks to Hyundai’s BlueLink smartphone app. As well as creating user profiles, seeing where you’ve parked the car and remotely unlocking it, the app can sync with your preferred calendar app - if an event has an address listed on it, it will appear in the car’s sat nav. You also get Connected Routing for more precise route guidance, and Live Parking to see how much parking fees are.

Aimed at families, the Bayon offers the latest safety technology too. It’s not yet confirmed which features will be offered as standard but some of the available driver aids include blind-spot monitoring, rear occupant alert and a system that spots when the car at the front of the queue moves away, as well as regular things like lane-keeping assist and auto emergency braking.

Practicality

It may be more compact than the Kona but the Bayon actually offers a bigger boot at 411 litres. Flipping down the rear seats frees up 1,205 litres, while the car’s high ground clearance should offer a great view of the road ahead.

Engines, performance and efficiency

Like the i20, you get a 99bhp 1.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine, while a 118bhp version is also available. Both come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a seven-speed DCT auto optionally available. Flat-out acceleration from 0-62mph takes 10.7 and 10.4 seconds for the 99 and 118bhp engines respectively, or a second longer in each case if you pick the automatic. Economy figures are yet to be revealed but CO2 emissions stand at 118-120g/km.

The manual gearbox is Hyundai’s new ‘intelligent’ transmission, with no physical link between the clutch pedal and the clutch itself. It instead uses electronic sensors and actuators, which allows the engine to switch off when you’re in gear but not pressing the accelerator. In the i20, this system worked well, feeling like a normal manual gearbox with the benefit of slightly improved fuel economy.

We don’t expect an electric or hybrid model, despite petrol and diesel cars being banned in the UK by 2030.

There doesn’t seem to be much space for a new model to sit below the Kona, so it’s possible that the Kona will morph into an electric-only model. The Hyundai Kona Electric impresses with its near-300-mile electric range and the company has struggled to keep up with demand on occasion, so it may focus its efforts on the battery-powered model. The Kona Electric has also been recently facelifted.

As the Hyundai Bayon and Kona would be similar in size, Hyundai will further separate the two models when the next-generation Kona arrives in 2023, with the new model growing in size with more interior space and a larger boot.

Read the latest on Hyundai here or check out what other cars are coming in 2021.

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