Hyundai’s new micro-crossover is affordable and perfect for a city commute – but we won’t get it in Australia.
Say hello to the 2022 Hyundai Casper – the Korean brand’s latest SUV positioned below the already-small Venue in the marque’s broad range.
Named for a skateboard trick and not the friendly ghost, the Casper will be built and sold in the Korean domestic market, and it will also be exported to India.
Sadly, though, the Casper won’t come to Australia at this stage, with a spokesperson for Hyundai Australia confirming to Chasing Cars that there are “no current plans for Australia”.
Measuring 3,595mm long, 1,595mm wide and 1,575mm tall, the Hyundai Casper is truly tiny. For reference, a three-door Mini Cooper is more than 200mm longer than the Casper.
The diminutive size makes the Casper identical in length to the Kia Picanto hatchback with which the new Hyundai crossover shares a platform.
Powering the micro SUV is a one-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an optional turbocharger.
While power and torque figures have not been confirmed by Hyundai, the Korean Car Blog has speculated that the non-turbo engine will produce 56kW while the turbocharged version will produce 74kW.
We reckon the latter output closely resembles that of the Kia Picanto GT which also makes 74kW of power but has 172Nm of torque.
Both engines will reportedly be mated to four-speed automatic transmissions. It is not yet known whether the Casper will be available with a manual gearbox.
Hyundai’s quirky design language continues to be developed on the small-scale Casper.
The crossover sports stacked daytime running lights and funky circular headlights, with atom-inspired alloy wheels at each corner.
Chunky B-pillars, flared wheel arches and roof racks complete the look and make the Casper look more SUV than microcar.
Inside, the cabin has an upmarket design built around an eight-inch touchscreen. Buyers also receive a 4.2-inch trip computer display and seven airbags.
A pragmatic arrangement allowing the front passenger seat to fold completely flat makes the most of the Casper’s modest length, with Hyundai claiming that the load bay allows a 2,059mm object to lie flat.
If it were to come to Australia, it’s likely that the Casper would be priced to compete with its Kia Picanto cousin, as well as other sub-$20,000 vehicles like the Suzuki Swift and MG 3.
Since launching the Venue SUV in 2019, Hyundai have not offered a vehicle at a sub-$20,000 price point, instead allowing the previous Accent hatch to go unreplaced.
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