Hyundai isn’t slowing down with their love for crossovers. Only this time, with other brands upping sizes, the Korean manufacturer is going small with their newest vehicle, the Bayon.
As early as November last year, what seemed to be a heavily camouflaged Bayon has been spotted making the rounds, and today, speculations have been confirmed: it is tiny. Fortunately, it does come with a lot more than just minute measurements.
On the outside, the Bayon seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from the updated Kona. Top-mounted DRLs should not be mistaken as headlights, as those assemblies are positioned and integrated on either side of the bumper. A slim, narrow top grill runs between the DRL, while a massive lower grille is smack in the middle of the Bayon’s front end.
On the rear, you’ll find something new on the Bayon, and that’s the use of vertically-oriented taillights. Both lighting units are joined together by a lengthy light strip (probably LED,) giving it a more cohesive look and feel. Add the angular tailgate and the C-shaped reflectors on the taillight units, and what you have is a touch of both sportiness and class for the Bayon’s back end.
From the side, we can see that the Bayon also carries fender flares/claddings similar to that of the Kona. What looks like roof rails are also present up top neatly incorporated into the roofline; while we don't see a specific description, we might be able to assume that they're fully useable rails. Completing the Bayon’s side profile are, depending on the variant, wheels that come in 15-inch steelies, or in 16- or 17-inch two-tone alloys.
A look into the cabin shows that the Bayon takes on a modern, digital approach. Fabric is its upholstery of choice and comes in three options: full black, dark and light grey, and dark gray with safari green accents and stitching. Ambient lighting is integrated into the front passenger foot area, door wells, front door openers, as well as the storage area below the center console.
The dashboard layout is unmistakably Hyundai. Toggle switches are utilized for the climate controls, with the headlight beam leveler the only rotary dial on the dashboard. Buyers can also choose between having an 8-inch audio display or a huge 10.25-inch infotainment system top and center on the dash.
The Bayon will have four variants to choose from, with each having its unique power plant. These are the MPi with a 1.2L naturally aspirated engine, the turbocharged 1.0L T-GDi, and the mild-hybrid turbocharged T-GDi 48V with either 100 PS or 120 PS. The entry-level MPi comes standard with a manual transmission, whereas the T-GDi variants come with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-DCT.
Hyundai's SmartSense safety features also found their way into the Bayon. What sets it apart, though, are semi-autonomous driving features. This includes Lane Following Assist and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist work together to keep the Bayon centered in its lane, with the latter automatically applying brakes to avoid rear-ending vehicles in front. All in all, there is a total of fifteen (15) available SmartSense features.
While the Bayon is built primarily for the European market, there’s no saying with finality that it will or will not make it to the Philippines. But here’s the thing: Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI, Hyundai’s official distributor in the PH) is firm on further strengthening their presence in the country. From sub-compact hatchbacks, compact sedans, crossovers of all sizes, and even vans, not even the global situation seems to be slowing them down from bringing in their vehicles.
By the looks of things, the Philippines has started its affair with crossovers as well, and with yet another offering, Hyundai PH might just hit the right spot this time, looks-, features-, and maybe even price-wise. Until such time, we’ll have to wait for what HARI has to say.