The distinctive Hyundai Bayon has many attributes – not least the fact it’s good value for money.

In recent years, many of the existing small SUVs have become steadily more expensive and tend to be similar in appearance.

So there was certainly a gap in the market for a unique-looking vehicle at the affordable end of the segment.

In stepped Hyundai with an all-new crossover for those with an eye for something a bit different.

The Bayon’s unusual light architecture sets the tone for the distinctive exterior. The split front headlights and wide, narrow daytime running lights immediately stand out.

Meanwhile, an air intake band stretching across the entire front end creates an impression of width.

Along the side, the Bayon is full of sharp and angular creases, while the rear is dominated by two arrow shaped brake lights which fit in nicely with the zig-zag shape of the boot.

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It’s a vehicle that slots into the Hyundai line-up just below the Kona, making it the firm’s entry-level SUV.

In terms of dimensions, you might question how much difference there is between the Kona and the Bayon, which in turn leads you to wonder what the point is of the newcomer.

Hyundai says that, by launching a new, additional B-segment model as the entry point into its SUV line-up, it is making the most of a great opportunity to cover European customers’ demand even better and to increase its offering in a highly popular segment.

And there’s no doubt it ticks many of the right boxes, as it’s comfortable, practical,well equipped, and pleasant to drive.

Bayons are powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged GDi engine backed up by a 48 Volt Mild Hybrid system.

Whitehaven News: The Hyundai Bayon pictured in this week's sunny West Yorkshire weather

In terms of power output, it comes in two flavours - a choice of 100PS or 120PS.

The latter, tested here, pulls nicely for an SUV of this size and allows you to get a move-on when necessary, but won't provide any driving thrills.

Ride quality and refinement are also excellent and, with trustworthy handling to throw into the mix, it's an easy enough car to drive,

There’s also a choice of two transmissions.

My test car came with an intelligent six-speed manual that features an electronically controlled clutch that de-couples the transmission from the engine under certain driving conditions to enhance efficiency. It’s a nifty piece of kit.

Alternatively, there’s a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

On the inside, the interior is a pleasant place to be - not quite so premium as some rivals but more spacious than most.

The Bayon’s cabin isn’t dissimilar to that of the i20, although that’s no bad thing.

All versions come with a sharp and crisp 10.2-inch digital instrument display, while an effort has been made to liven up the plastic on the dash and doors with some sculpted effects. Despite that, there's no getting away from the fact that quite a lot of hard black plastics are dotted around the cabin.

A leather-trimmed steering wheel helps to lift the feel,.

Space up front is excellent and the room available for back seat passengers is also decent enough, with headroom being especially good.

The 334-litre boot is also a decent size, adding to the Bayon's practicality, and there's a total of 1,205 litres available with the rear bench folded.

Prices for the Bayon range start at just over £20,000 for the 'SE Connect' trim, although you'll pay a few grand more for the 'Ultimate' version, tested here.

Hyundai provides an appealing five-year/100,000 mile warranty.

All things considered – distinctive looks, good practicality, affordability and ease of use – there's no reason why the Bayon can't be a worthy challenger in the competitive crossover segment.

The Lowdown

Hyundai Bayon Ultimate

PRICE: £23,745

ENGINE:1.0-litre T-GDi 120PS with 48 Volt Mild Hybrid system

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds and top speed of 115mph

ECONOMY: Emissions of 118-120g/km and around 50mpg.

WARRANTY: Five-year/100,000 mile