LAOIS MOTORING: Hyundai Bayon is an appealing compact hatch

LAOIS MOTORING: Hyundai Bayon is an appealing compact hatch

I find it hard to place the Bayon. Hyundai claim its a ‘compact crossover SUV” but it does not look like an SUV and in terms of size it just about fits in between the i20 (of which its a tiny bit bigger) and the Kona (of which its a bit smaller). 

So marketing info aside I prefer to view it as a compact hatch, and I found it to be a rather nice one at that!

We often don’t realise it but Hyundai are in the top 10 of the worlds largest car manufacturers.

So while Hyundai Ireland are on the crest of a wave with their best selling Tuscon SUV, and the huge accolades received including World Car Of The Year for the Ioniq 5 EV how did I find the Bayon stacks up?

So Has It Got Any Street Cred?

No question about it this is a nice looking car. From any angle the new Bayon is attractive. I like the slim light clusters and the two tone alloys too.

What is it like inside?

The compact cabin will seat four in reasonable comfort, five at a tight squeeze. The boot is reasonable but would only fit an average large suitcase and some smaller bags. 

The interior looks very well except maybe for a few of the rather hard shiny plastics on some areas of the cabin trim. I particularly like the digital dashboard which allows the driver choose an analogue type dial display though in digital format. The 8’ centre touchscreen is easy to navigate and the graphics are good.

The driving position is perfect and the level of standard kit even from the base model is very good with superb connectivity, wireless charging, multiple USB ports and a host of safety kit including Hyundai’s excellent “Smart Sense” safety system.

All in all then I liked the interior of the new Bayon. It’s a pleasant place for both driver and passengers.

What is under the bonnet?

Two engines are available, a 1.0 litre petrol mated to an auto gearbox or in the case of my test car a 1.2 litre petrol with a 5-speed manual gearbox. 

Performance is probably best described as adequate but it does deliver on fuel, economy burning on average 5.9 litres of petrol per 100km over my road test. Road tax is €200.00 per annum.

If I could level one negative comment at the powertrain its that the Bayon is too low geared. It really feels quite buzzy at 120km/h on the motorway with the engine revving away at a rather high 4,000 rpm in 5th gear. It feels like your driving around one the motorway in 4th gear. Pity they did not put a 6 speed box in the Bayon, it really needs it!

Will I enjoy driving it?

The new Bayon is a well sorted package on the road. It rides and handles nicely indeed. Apart from the engine note at motorway speeds its reasonably refined too.

So what is the verdict?

Prices for the new Bayon kick off at €21,545. The Executive model tested which boasts additional features such as heated seats and so forth costs €23,545.

I liked the Bayon when viewed as a compact hatch rather than a “crossover SUV”

It's neat, stylish and well kitted out and deserves to do well.

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