The Hyundai Bayon is the latest compact crossover from the South Korean carmaker to hit the market in Europe. It is reasonaby priced, starting at €14,290, or just over $17,000, including VAT. It’s intended to compete with current B-segment favorites in Europe, like the Ford Puma.
Its exterior design is polarizing, but its interior design and cabin are both quite good and Hyundai is now teasing us with a detailed glimpse into the Bayon, which will not see a release in the U.S., unfortunately.
Even if it were coming here, we would very likely overlook the little crossover because it’d be considered under-powered, but damn if I don’t appreciate a modern dashboard with a clutch pedal, and an honest-to-goodness dead pedal.
That looks like a dead pedal I could actually rest my left foot on, even in the auto-equipped Bayon. The kind I’d likely have to pay good money to install in my BMW E36, but beyond that idiosyncratic detail, the Bayon’s cabin seems like a very comfortable place to spend time in.
The Bayon’s cloth seat textures look good, and the infotainment screen is plenty big. The volume knob is right there, within easy reach of the steering wheel and the HVAC controls seem easy enough to learn for hands-free operation.
I suppose the shifter in the six-speed manual Bayon is meant to be a budget option but, honestly, it looks just as good as any shifter probably found in up-market options from competitors like Volkswagen or Ford. Its steering wheel texture even reminds me of those found in late model Hondas. It’s really great!
Maybe it’s not as nice as the interior in the new Tucson, but then again, even for the Spanish car market, the Tucson is priced €9,585 EUR over the Bayon, which is around $11,444 USD more (VAT included.) That’s a lot of money. Good on Hyundai for providing drivers in its entry-level cars well-appointed interiors.
The Bayon’s exterior is another matter altogether, but it’s not...the worst. I’m not a fan of the current trend of headlights transitioning from round or circular designs to narrow strips, but I understand that as lighting tech progresses those old shapes will go by the wayside.
I’ll miss the faces circular headlights used to make on our cars just the same. The Bayon does have a pretty cool rear end design, though, and I think it’s rear three-quarter view looks futuristic without being overdone.
Whether or not it picks up where the Pontiac Aztek left off, however, is in the eye of the beholder. Even if you hate it, you’d be spending all of your time in the cabin if you owned it, and that’s a good thing.