Hyundai Venue Review
Car Tested: Hyundai Venue; Road Test No. 1102; Test Location: Guwahati
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 7.63 - 13.13 lakhs
With the Venue, Hyundai finally has a good looking and feature loaded contender in the sub-4-metre SUV space
The compact SUV segment in India is flourishing with some very capable products from a variety of manufacturers. Hyundai has an offering in almost every mass market segment in India but the Korean automaker was conspicuous by its absence in the sub-4-metre SUV segment. The void between the i20 Active and Creta has now been filled with the Hyundai Venue and I must say, it has been priced very attractively. Does the car have something that’ll give jitters to its rivals? Time to find out.
Motor Quest: Hyundai had showcased the Carlino/HND-14 concept at the 2016 Auto Expo, post which they started testing the car all across India very rigorously. The QXi or Venue as it is now called has finally been launched after a long wait.
Exteriors - The styling of the Hyundai Venue does resemble the Creta from certain angles. At the front, the Venue looks quite sophisticated and stylish with that bold grille and the uniquely designed headlight layout where the indicators are placed at the top while the main headlamp unit is placed in the bumper. The side profile is where the Venue resembles the Creta the most, with a very similar shoulder line. The rear looks quite pleasant and the design is straightforward. The size of the Venue is similar to that of the Maruti Vitara Brezza while the Ford EcoSport does look bigger.
Interiors - There are a lot of things to talk about the cabin of the Hyundai Venue. The design of the dashboard is functional and user-friendly with the controls being in easy reach of the hand. The dashboard and door pads have hard plastics but the quality isn’t something that you’d call cheap. It feels quite nicely built. The centre console has a floating 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with some shortcut buttons below the screen.
With BlueLink, one can monitor and configure various features of their Venue, right from their smartphone
Hyundai has really loaded the Venue with a lot of features, it gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Navigation, Voice Commands, auto climate control, keyless go with push-button start, sunroof, etc. The vehicle also comes with an air purifier which is placed in a bottle-holder below the armrest. The Venue gets a manual day-night IRVM but below the mirror, you get buttons for BlueLink, Roadside Assistance and SOS. The DCT misses out on leather seats, rear wiper and side airbags. The Venue comes with BlueLink connectivity which makes this the first connected car in this segment.
You need to download the BlueLink app on your phone and pair it with your car. With this, you can control a variety of functions like remote engine start/stop, remote AC start, remote toggle of horn/lights, etc. You can even check the health of the car and see if any wear and tear parts need replacement or whether the car needs to be serviced. You can even track the live location of the car. The Venue comes with a Vodafone-Idea e-sim built in and when you make a command from your phone, the command first goes to the server and then reaches the car. The speed of the command execution depends on how the network is, if the network is poor then commands take about a minute to execute.
While the front seats have adequate space, it is the rear which feels tight
The front seats of the Venue are snug and comfortable, providing very good support. The driving position is very good and the bonnet is placed high up. The cabin is a bit narrow than say the Ford EcoSport though. At the rear, again the seat is very comfortable and the backrest angle is very good too. However, space is a bit limited, especially the knee room. Shoulder room and head space are good though. The Venue is more of a 4-seater but you can squeeze in a child in between. The boot has a large enough capacity of 350-litres and even inside the cabin there more than enough storage spaces and cubbyholes.
Performance - The Hyundai Venue is offered with a choice of 3 engines. The 1.2-litre, 4-cyl Kappa petrol and 1.4-litre U2 CRDI diesel engines are shared with the i20. However, the buzz here is all about the new 1.0-litre, 3-cyl, GDI turbocharged petrol engine. Hyundai’s all-new turbo petrol engine is offered with a 6-speed MT or a 7-speed DCT which has been developed in-house by the automaker. It produces 120 PS at 6000 RPM and 172 Nm from 1500-4000 RPM. The new petrol engine has good NVH levels while on the move but at idle, you do feel some vibrations filtering inside the cabin.
The Turbo GDI engine has a strong mid-range with more than adequate power
Once you get going, the first thing you notice is the considerable amount of turbo lag. Yes, there is lag lower down and once the turbo starts spooling, the motor dishes out power in a very linear and controlled manner. Power delivery goes on all the way to 6000 RPM and it is seamless throughout. However, you do not get the push-in-the-seat feel when you floor the throttle. Once you start climbing revs, the engine gets vocal but it sounds very nice near the redline. The engine has a claimed fuel efficiency of 18.27 km/l but out in the real world, you can expect something in the range of 11-14 km/l.
We drove the DCT variant and have mostly good things to say. First up, the gearbox is very smooth and gear shifts are jerk-free. It responds well to throttle inputs but when you mash the throttle, it doesn’t tend to downshift on its own, in fact, it keeps building speeds in the same gear. There’s no S mode on offer and neither do you get paddle-shifters but you do get a tiptronic mode. If you’ve selected a cog and go hard on the throttle, the gearbox upshifts at the redline on its own. The turbo GDI engine and the DCT offer a good combo minus the turbo lag.
Driving Dynamics - The Hyundai Venue’s steering feels very light at city speeds and that makes the car very easy and convenient to drive. At high speeds, the steering weighs up nicely but some more communicative feedback would have been better. The vehicle turns in nicely and holds its line well but of course, there is some amount of body roll on hard cornering.
The Venue is easy to drive and the high ground clearance comes in to be useful
The suspension has been well engineered to tackle our roads and it takes on potholes and bad patches easily. Ride quality is indeed very good, however, it feels a bit on the stiffer side at high speeds and there is a fair amount of vertical movement of the passengers. The ride and handling balance of the Hyundai Venue is nice and will suit most customers well. The brakes also offer excellent stopping power with a sharp bite.
Safety and After Sales Service - The Hyundai Venue comes with 6 airbags on the top variant, ABS, ESC, Vehicle Stability Management, Hill Start Assist and the likes. The 6 airbags are offered only on the SX (O) trim while other variants come with dual front airbags as standard. The DCT isn’t offered on the SX(O) trim, the top-most trim for the AT is called SX+ and it misses out on the side airbags amongst other things. Hyundai’s after-sales service and reliability have always been impressive and they have a good spread of service stations across India.
Verdict - The Hyundai Venue is indeed a very impressive vehicle. For most buyers out there, it ticks all the right boxes since it combines good likes with an impressive feature list along with a decent balance of ride and handling. The DCT is also a plus point for people who don’t want an MT. Rear seat space can be a cause of concern for some people though. While the Venue isn’t as engaging to drive as the EcoSport, it does most of the other things nicely and at this price, it makes for a very good contender in this segment even though Hyundai is the late-comer here.
* Pleasing styling with compact dimensions
* Feature-loaded interiors along with advanced connectivity options
* DCT is very good and so is the new GDI engine
* Fantastic ride quality and safety equipment
What's Not So Cool
* Rear seats have limited space
* Not as fun to drive as some rivals
Alternatives: - Maruti Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300
Hyundai Venue Specifications
* Engine: 1197cc, 4-Cyl, Petrol | 998cc, 3-Cyl, Petrol | 1396cc, 4-Cyl, Diesel
* Power: 82 BHP @ 6000 RPM | 118 BHP @ 6000 RPM | 89 HP @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 115 Nm @ 4000 RPM | 172 Nm @ 1500-4000 RPM | 220 Nm @ 1500-2750 RPM
* Transmission: 5-Speed MT | 7-Speed DCT, 6-Speed MT | 6-Speed MT
* Fuel Consumption: 10-13 km/l (P MT), 11-14 km/l (P AT), 14-17 km/l (D)
* Fuel Type: Petrol | Diesel
* Tyre Size: 195/65/15 (Front & Rear)
* Suspension: McPherson Strut (Front), Torsion Beam (Rear)
* Brakes: Disc (Front), Drum (Rear)
* Safety: 6 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, Hill Start Assist
Hyundai Venue Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 3995 mm X 1770 mm X 1605 mm
* Wheelbase: 2500 mm
* Ground Clearance: 190 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 45-litres
Further Reading -
The Hyundai Venue is a very impressive compact SUV that has been priced attractively. The Venue is offered with a variety of features and it is also the first connected car in its segment. The vehicle is quite easy and convenient to drive and comes with 3 engine options. Space at the rear is a bit limited but on other fronts, the Venue scores high.