Small car, big demand.
Currently, America's smallest Hyundai crossover is the Hyundai Venue, but earlier this year, we discovered that something else was about to be unveiled by the South Korean brand with an adorable name. It didn't take long for us to learn that development was almost complete and that the final product would be revealed soon. That proved true on the 1st of this month when Hyundai unveiled the all-new Casper. Sadly, it won't be making its way to our shores, but in South Korea where it is being offered, the uptake has been astonishing. According to reports, almost 19,000 orders were received for the car on just the first day.
If you're wondering why the car is so popular, its pricing might provide you with a clue. The base Smart model starts at the equivalent of $11,860 in Korea while the mid-level Modern trim sets you back $13,612 and the top-spec Inspiration model costs $16,010. With 18,940 orders placed in the first 24 hours since the car's launch, the Casper has the highest number of reservations on launch for a non-electric Hyundai model.
But it's not just the price of the crossover that is attractive. The dinky little four-seater also offers an eight-inch infotainment display with navigation and voice recognition, various driving modes, and even safety features like seven airbags and forward collision mitigation.
Another notable feature is that the front seats can both fold and the rear seats can slide forwards and backward by 6.3 inches. That allows you to fit long items in storage or even make the cabin into a tiny camper van. Those rear seats can also recline by up to 39 degrees. In a world where cars are getting larger by the day, it's awesome to see that some companies still offer just what you need and nothing more. This philosophy applies to the minuscule engine options too. The first on offer is a 1.0-liter three-pot with 75 horsepower while the other is a turbocharged 1.0-liter with 99 hp. Both get a four-speed automatic powering the front wheels.
We love this thing and think it will be just as successful when it launches in India next year, and we're hopeful that the rumored electric variant said to arrive in 2023 will be just as cool. It's just a pity that it wouldn't sell here.