When we pick up the Bayon, it is parked next to a Hyundai i20 (test). To our surprise, they are almost the same height. The height difference is exactly 5 centimeters. So five centimeters makes the difference between a hatchback and an SUV. That and the Kona-esque design with high-mounted daytime running lights and boomerang-shaped headlamps.
The similarities with the Hyundai i20 go beyond the red stripe connecting the rear lights. The Bayon has the same dashboard, with razor-sharp digital instruments and a pleasantly high placed touchscreen. We find it striking that with a Comfort Smart version you already have both screens. Pixel junkies therefore do not have to buy the most expensive Bayon and check an expensive package - something we do see VW doing with the new Volkswagen Taigo.
In addition to the large screens and the advanced safety systems, the Bayon also has a modern engine. The 1.0 T-GDI 48V is a 100 hp turbo engine with mild hybrid technology and a sailing function. The three-cylinder is powerful and economical. When you let go of the accelerator, two things can happen: either the mild hybrid system recovers braking energy to use later when accelerating, or the engine turns itself off, a sailing ship icon appears and you roll 'free' and almost without friction on the highway. The engine will fire again as soon as you press the accelerator or the brake. This makes it very easy to drive 1 in 20.
Small aspects of the Bayon that make us happy are the logical operation with large buttons, the large front seats and the high-placed touchscreen. If you order the Bayon with automatic air conditioning, you can control the temperature with horizontal switches that you can happily swing up or down. 20.5. 21.0. 21.5. No, 21.0.
Can you, as a car brand, oblige your customers to order a cheerful paint color? Our test car in Aurora Gray looks boring. For the same money (795 euros) you order the compact SUV in red or in blue with black. This makes the peculiar design come into its own much better.
When the engine is cold or busy, you will hear a distinct three-cylinder rumble. In addition, an overzealous shift indicator is constantly panting on your neck. 50 in five? Unacceptable! Shift up to six please. If you do that well, you will then feel that you are one gear too high. And thanks.
With a base price of 21,695 euros, the Bayon is at first sight much more expensive than the i20 (from 18,635 euros). That's in the antique 1.2 MPI engine of 84 hp that keeps the price of the hatchback low. With the Bayon, Hyundai does not do such showroom temptations.
If you order both models with the 100 hp turbo engine and the Comfort version (because digital instruments), the difference is 'only' 2260 euros: 23,695 euros for the Bayon and 21,435 euros for the i20.
For a Hyundai Kona (standard with 120 hp) you pay at least 25,835 euros and the version with digital instruments costs 28,135 euros. Are you confused about the model names and the amounts? The Hyundai Bayon is already at the dealer, so you can carry out a comparative study yourself.
Ever since I tested the range of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and watched the car for 18 minutes on each fast charger, I want all Hyundais to look like this. Instead, the Bayon is a cross between the i20 and the Kona – two models that don't show up on the first page when you google 'nice car'.
But if you are looking for a SUV with an economical engine, spacious cabin, easy operation, large screens and modern safety systems, the Hyundai Bayon is a great car. But please order it in a cheerful color.
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