Recently drove the latest compact SUV from Hyunda, and initially thought, Ho Hum, another one in a crowded A-segment. Thing is, there are good one’s, and not so good one’s, and this one is definitely a good un. What sets it apart is the natural question, and we will unpack that, in this review. The Venue, first introduced at the New York Motor Show earlier this year, joins its larger siblings with its practical and convenient features in a compact package.
Let’s start with the name: Venue is hardly a name for a car? It refers to a place, which Hyundai has long used to name their SUV’s, this time it means a place where people want to be seen in, go figure. The all-new Venue with its bold and unique character might be small in size, but it is big on practicality and personality. It offers a unique, entry-level vehicle for consumers seeking savvy design with an abundance of safety, convenience and connectivity features.
It is a nice looking SUV, with great colours, we had the Fiery Red colour which really popped in the pics. It has a full cascading grille which takes cues from it’s bigger sibling, the Santa Fe, and the smaller Kona. It has optional LED headlights with LED daylight running lights for the Glide version, as well as fog lamps. The unique Venue body character line carries through the profile to the tail lamps.
The Venue looks great with striking 16-inch alloy wheels as standard equipment on the Fluid and Glide versions, and 15-inch steel wheels for the Motion.
Lets hop into the clean looking cabin. It has a fair amount of space for a compact version, in both the front & rear, and the luggage area is roomy enough as well, with a 60/40 split to enhance this further. The leather wrapped steering wheel has all the buttons needed to make your short, or longer trip very enjoyable.
The infotainment system features either a 3,8-inch mono LCD display in the Motion derivative, or an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system and rearview monitor for the Venue Fluid and Glide versions. The 8-inch display in the Fluid and Glide includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions for intuitive operation of the most commonly used smartphone functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio and voice-controlled search capabilities.
It has as Dual USB ports, a 3,5-inch TFT instrument cluster display to illustrate useful information, a rearview camera and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation. This makes driving a pleasure. Glovebox cooling is ‘’cool’’ and helps with longer drives.
The Venue includes an abundant list of standard safety features including six airbags – front (2), side-impact (2) and side air curtain (2) – for the Fluid and Glide options, seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters, Isofix child seat attachments, and an Advanced Braking System (ABS) to deliver safe car control in difficult road conditions. The Motion derivative comes with two airbags – one each for the driver and front passenger.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a standard feature in all derivatives, as well as Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) which balances braking forces at each wheel when the car is dynamically loaded, and Brake Assist which provides maximum ABS-level braking force to the driver when an emergency stop is necessary. All Venues also come with Hill Start Assist Control
This is where we were surprised, it boasts a three-cylinder turbocharged Kappa 1.0 T-GDI engine. It delivers 88 kW at its peak performance around 6 000 r/min., and maximum torque of 172 Nm in a range from 1 500 to 4 000 r/min. And it feels much more powerful than the stats show, as we tested at the Reef, which has been the undoing of many smaller engine cars. This one passed the test and then some.
The engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission, or seven-speed automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT) in the Motion and Fluid versions. The top-of-range Glide derivative only uses the DCT transmission. We drove the manual version, and this one worked just fine.
Fuel economy is obviously a selling feature, and it does well here, it has a claimed 6,5 litres per 100 km for the manual transmission versions, and 6,9 litres per 100 km for the DCT. These figures were bettered handsomely in the recent WesBank Fuel Economy Tour where the Venue was a class winner with a fuel consumption figure of 5,80 litres per 100 km. The car drives great thanks to it’s very good suspension.
The prices (VAT inclusive) of the Hyundai Venue range are:
- Venue 1.0 Motion (manual) R 274 900
- Venue 1.0 Motion (DCT) R 304 900
- Venue 1.0 Fluid (manual) R 309 900
- Venue 1.0 Fluid (DCT) R 339 900
- Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT) R369 900
Included in the prices are Hyundai’s groundbreaking 7-year / 200 000 km warranty, 7-year / 150 000 km roadside assistance, and a 3-year / 45 000 km service plan. Service intervals are at 15 000 km, or annually when applicable. This pricing is excellent considering the proposition. I enjoyed the drive and the solid feel of this vehicle.