In Korea, its target audience is more youthful than that of many other Hyundai models, which explains why the Casper is only sold online. And this brings us to another reason we don’t get the model: it’s really popular in Korea.
The country’s car market is unusually broad, a melting pot of American- and Chinese-influenced saloons with European-influenced hatchbacks and SUVs. Electric cars, denoted in Korea by a light blue numberplate, are still relatively rare. And as the de facto national car firm, Hyundai straddles all of it – and the Casper is the model it’s using to capture young city dwellers.
Spend any time in traffic in Seoul – and if you’ve spent any time in Seoul, you’ve spent time in traffic – and you’ll see a significant number of Caspers on the road. The diminutive size, modern styling and neat LED lighting help it to stand out, and there’s not much else like it. The only real class rivals come from within the Hyundai Motor Group, with the Kia Morning (née Picanto) and Ray, an even boxier crossover built on the same platform.
Undoubtedly, the Casper feels more at home in urban traffic than larger crossovers do, and it’s a cinch to place on busy roads. But just as you’re picturing it threading through London traffic, you press the accelerator and hear the whine of the slightly rough three-cylinder petrol engine.