New Hyundai Bayon is a rev-matching baby SUV

Published: 02 March 2021

Hyundai Bayon SUV details
‘Intelligent’ manual, big-car tech
Coming in summer 2021

Hyundai’s new Bayon crossover has been revealed. It’s another SUV for Hyundai’s growing ranks, and an official replacement to the ix20 – remember that?

No worries if you can’t, this is designed to be a more – ahem – youthful offering, taking on everything from Ford’s Puma to the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and new Vauxhall Mokka.

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Hyundai says the name comes from the city of Bayonne in France; the brand points out that all of its SUVs have destination-based names to split them apart from the conventional car range.

Another crossover? Yawn…

Yes, but stay with us. The Bayon certainly doesn’t look anonymous – that’s for sure – something that’s almost a requirement in order to stick out in one of the most crowded classes of car these days.

bayon rear

There are some familiar Hyundai cues here: split headlights at the front like the Kona, Tucson and Santa Fe, and a glass-heavy rear end with very interesting kinks in the surfacing. We’re getting strong Pontiac Aztek vibes from the rear, but in a good way for once. In order to inject at least a little bit of pizazz, Hyundai has listed several new colours (including the new Mangrove Green, pictured) that can be accented by an optional black roof.

Inside, a lot of the design has been taken from the i20 hatchback: big screen in the centre, digital dials, straked vents that stretch across the width of the dashboard. Bluelink connected services include information like cloud-based navigation for more switched-on route planning and, where applicable, live parking info including where there are spaces and how much they’ll set you back.

Bayon interior

As for safety tech, every Bayon has lane-keeping, high-beam and speed-limit assistance as standard, as well as an alert when it notices the car in front pull away in traffic. As for space, it’s about average in terms of space available in the Bayon, with a 411-litre boot – a smidge smaller than you’d get on a Nissan Juke or Ford Puma.

I’d like some engine and performance specs

It’s a B-segment crossover, so don’t expect a whopping V8. Or a hybrid or EV, for that matter – Hyundai thinks it’s got that covered with the Kona and the fleshing out of its Ioniq range, starting with the 5.

There’s a base-spec 1.2-litre, but the (slightly) more interesting options come in the shape of a 1.0-litre turbo with either 99 or 118bhp – both of which have mild hybrid assistance. Go for one of these and you have the choice of a six-speed ‘intelligent’ manual gearbox or seven-speed dual-clutch auto.

bayon front

The ‘intelligent’ manual allows at-speed coasting when you release the accelerator – something usually reserved for the most sophisticated automatics. When put into Sport mode, the intelligent manual also has rev matching – something only seen thus far on the brand’s N range.

When can I buy one?

Prices aren’t confirmed yet, but Hyundai says the Bayon will be available in the summer of 2021.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches