Motoring: The Hyundai Bayon has impressive fuel economy at 53.3 mpg




If you want an SUV but are more used to small hatchbacks, then Hyundai has the solution with the Bayon.

It is the smallest car the Korean manufacturer makes – a subcompact crossover which features some roof rails and a bit of rugged off-road cladding for good measure.

That is about where the 4×4 treatment ends, though.

The Bayon is not the prettiest car. Some may say it’s quite ugly, but it’s not dull either, with weird-shaped headlights offset to the side, a mean frowning grille, thinned-out indicators, and day running lights.

The Hyundai isn’t especially powerful, either, with only one engine on offer: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol with mild-hybrid tech. But two variants are offered, one producing 100PS and the other 120PS – and both come with a choice of a manual or automatic, depending on trim.

Speaking of which, there’s a choice of three grades – and it’s the Premium trim with the entry-level 100PS engine reviewed here.

Zero to 62mph is dealt with in 10.7 seconds, which is hardly astonishing but then perfectly adequate for such a small engine. The additional power in the 120PS version only shaves a third of a second off that time.

The gear changes in the six-speed manual are smooth and encourage decent acceleration from the engine.

The Bayon is lower to the ground than most crossovers, and you’ll likely not notice the difference compared with driving any small, regular hatchback, but this helps limit body roll in the bends. That doesn’t mean it handles well, though.

While the Bayon’s compact size means it’s reasonably agile, it’s not much fun to drive, and the steering wheel doesn’t provide you with a lot of feedback. The wheel is light, though, making the Hyundai effortless to drive. Furthermore, the ride is comfortable at all speeds, while fuel economy is an impressive 53.3mpg.

Inside, the cabin is okay, but it’s clear you’re driving something that’s the bottom rung of Hyundai’s ladder, with plush materials in short supply and harder, cheap plastics dominating. The infotainment system is also frustrating to use, as it isn’t responsive enough.

The seats are reasonably comfortable, although if you’re tall, you might find it a tad cramped in your chair. But there’s plenty of headroom, and, thankfully, rear seat space is better than you might expect.

The boot floor is adjustable, while the load capacity is measured at 411 litres, expanding to 1,205 litres if you fold the seats down in a 60/40 split. That is alright, but it’s still on the smaller side compared with some challengers.

The Bayon earned a four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. Kit includes a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and a driver alertness monitor.

You get a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty with Hyundai, which currently has one of the best reliability ratings in the industry.

Overall, the Bayon has some likeable features, offering decent economy, a comfortable ride and spacious rear seats. But its bland interior and frustrating infotainment system let it down.

Fast Facts – Hyundai Bayon [Premium 1.0 T-GDi 100PS 48-Volt Mild-Hybrid] as tested:

Max speed: 113 mph

0-62 mph: 10.7 secs

Fuel economy: 53.3 mpg (WLTP)

Engine layout: 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol mild-hybrid

Max. power (PS): 100

CO2: 118 g/km

Price: £23,080

Main Photo Credit: Hyundai Bayon

Tim Barnes-Clay

Tim Barnes-Clay is Sorted Magazine’s Motoring Editor. He test-drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches around the world. The dad-of-three has a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism and has been a presenter and producer at ITV Central. He has also worked as a radio reporter and undertakes video and voiceover work. You can follow and interact with Tim on Instagram @tbarnesclay

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