No, you’re not looking at the new Hyundai Kona. Instead, what you’re seeing is the 2021 Hyundai Bayon, the South Korean automaker’s most recent and smallest B-segment crossover for Europe. Drawing its name from the French capital of Bayonne (one of the most scenic destinations in south-west France), Bayon offers a compact footprint, numerous connectivity services, and a string of peppy yet fuel-efficient powerplants.
“As the SUV body type continues growing in popularity throughout the world, Hyundai saw a demand for a model capable of navigating European cities while providing enough space to meet customer’s needs,” said Andreas- Christoph Hofmann, Vice President of Marketing & Product at Hyundai Motor Europe.
Hyundai Europe’s newest baby SUV is a crossover version of the i20 supermini and slots below the Kona in terms of size. However, Bayon is only a tad smaller than the recently facelifted 2021 Hyundai Kona, although the Bayon’s 14.5 cubic feet of cargo room (42.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down) is significantly better than in a Kona.
In America, Hyundai has the 2021 Venue slotting below the new Kona, but the former is smaller and has a shorter wheelbase. The Bayon’s Kona-like façade has a wide grille that opens at the bottom, while the relocated headlights and DRLs result from the Kona’s DNA.
Viewed from the side, Bayon has the same dynamic shoulder profile and arrow-shaped C-pillar as the new Tucson. At the back, the Bayon is unique with its arrow-shaped taillights and angular rear door. “Bayon’s unique and confident look, embodied in its strong lines and arrow-shaped lights, is expected to establish it as the most unique, outstanding entry in the thriving European B-SUV segment,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Creative Officer at Hyundai Motor Group.
Meanwhile, the interior is all i120 with a familiar dashboard layout. The Bayon gets the same pair of 10.25-inch screens for the instrument panel and infotainment system, although a smaller 8.0-inch center screen is standard in the base model. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across the lineup, while wireless charging and USB ports keep your gadgets juiced up for the journey ahead.
Powering the newest Hyundai Bayon is a 1.2-liter naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 84 horsepower and a five-speed manual stick. Higher trim models receive a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder mill with 100 horsepower and a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
You can also get a 120-horsepower version of the three-cylinder mill paired with a mild-hybrid system, which is available with either a six-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox. No matter which, all Bayons are front-wheel-drive (FWD) only to reduce complexity and manufacturing costs while improving performance and fuel economy.
So yeah, don’t expect the 2021 Bayon to arrive at American Hyundai dealerships, but European buyers can expect the first deliveries by early summer. Hyundai has yet to divulge the pricing, but we’re assuming base prices to hover around £18,000 ($25,162). The Ford Puma better watch out.