Hyundai unveils new compact SUV, but not for NZ

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Words: Matthew Hansen
3 Mar 2021

Two days after Hyundai global teased its new Bayon compact crossover, it unveiled it in full — revealing a diminutive, sculpted entry to an increasingly competitive segment. And yes, it’s something that we Kiwis are unlikely to get to see in the flesh.

While it hasn’t been formally confirmed, the Bayon is tipped to be a European market exclusive. The brand has confirmed that the model will not be going to North America, which dovetails with previous reports indicating that it will be sold in markets that don’t get the Venue — a model launched in New Zealand last year.

The Bayon (pronounced ‘Bye-On’) follows the footsteps of the i20 in its styling inside and out. The exterior features plenty of creased bodywork, a styling push that Hyundai is rolling out across a bunch of its models. It measures in at 4180mm in length and 1775mm wide, packing a touch more practicality on the i20 it’s based on.

The interior is perhaps where Kiwis are missing out most compared to the Venue we get instead. While the Venue’s cabin is a pleasant place to be, the Bayon’s cabin (which is mostly i20 based) steps things up by adopting more of the brand’s more premium design traits, including the Audi-esque air conditioning vents.

In the middle of the dash is either a 10.25-inch or 8-inch touchscreen, and it comes paired to a 10.25-inch digital cluster behind the steering wheel — the latter becoming an increasingly common high-tech feature in small vehicles.

Under the bonnet you’ll find one of two different 1.0-litre turbocharged triples, one producing 73kW of power and the other producing 88kW of power. Each gets the same torque, 172Nm. Most interestingly, each engine gets 48-volt mild hybrid. And, you can even have each model with a rev-matching 6-speed manual.

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