3 Cool Hyundai SUVs We Can’t Get, and 1 We Can
Take a deep dive into the global Hyundai SUV product catalog and you’ll find a bunch of cool Hyundai SUVs and crossovers that are simply too cool for us in the US. From the itsy-bitsy Hyundai Casper to the seven-passenger version of the Hyundai Santa Fe, the company is finding market niches across the globe with SUVs that don’t quite fit in here like the Bayon.
Asia gets a 7-passenger Santa Fe while ours seats just 5
How great does a seven-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe sound? The Santa Fe has always been a popular SUV for the budget-minded who want a practical, efficient, but only five-seat SUV since the old Santa Fe XL disappeared. But, Asia and Australia get a cool version that we don’t in the US that seems more like a Palisade that was shrunk in the dryer. There, you can get a seven-passenger Santa Fe SUV with a 2.2-liter diesel (!) or a 3.5 liter V6, and an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Too bad it only comes in right-hand drive for now.
Korea gets the Casper that looks as cute as the Friendly Ghost
How cute is this? In Korea and some other markets, Hyundai makes what could be the cutest SUV on the planet, the Hyundai Casper SUV. It fits into Korea’s “micro-segment,” which is a special tiny-car segment that is ideal for city cars. However, it may not be able to keep up with US traffic; the base engine is a tiny three-cylinder 1.0 liter that makes 75 horsepower. The upgrade adds a turbo that boosts the power to about 100 horsepower. It’s also small. At just 141.5 inches long, it’s about the same length as the wheelbase of a Ram 1500 truck. Regardless, its second row is clever and has individually-sliding seats that independently recline.
Europe gets the slick Bayon, but it has hints of the cool Hyundai SUV we get in the US
Europe on the other hand gets the sweet new Bayon crossover, which stands out with cool colors, a stylish exterior, spacious interior, and a ton of tech. The Bayon gets an optional large “centre” touchscreen, as well as digital gauges, Smart Cruise Control and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist. Because it’s European, it gets a 1.0 liter turbo-diesel engine, or a 1.2 “litre” four-cylinder that makes 84 horsepower. You can see some echoes of the very cool Hyundai we do get in the US in the Bayon, minus the diesel.
The cool Hyundai SUV we get, but in a limited quantity
While those cars may be too cool, too small, or too weird for US roads, we will get the cool new mid-century-modern-inspired Hyundai Ioniq 5 SUV. The small, but not Casper small, SUV starts at $39,700, but good luck getting one. On the company’s site it says: “Extremely limited availability,” and lists the 26 states where you can buy one. It was a 2022 World Car of the Year finalist, and in some markets, they’re selling out in minutes. The Ioniq 5 is the Hyundai’s latest shot at reviving its Ioniq sub-brand with technology, style, and a not-for-everyone minimalist look. It has 168 horsepower and a 228-mile range. However, the Ioniq 5 has a unique fast-charge system that the company says allows it to charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in less than 20 minutes.