Hyundai Venue Compact SUV First Drive Review – Small Wonder
We got a chance to drive the Hyundai Venue 1.0-litre Turbo engine with DCT gearbox in the picturesque location of Guwahati and here’s our first drive review.
Hyundai Venue. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18)
At News18, we constantly strive to talk about the bridging gap between technology and automobiles, and that’s why we created India’s first and only ‘The Tech and Auto Show’. But it’s not easy to define this coming together of tech with auto as most of the action happens at the back-end. Also, Indian market is yet to evolve in terms of utilizing technology to make cars futuristic. Thankfully, Hyundai has come up with the India’s first connected car that brings the technology to the forefront – the Venue Compact SUV.
A lot of money, effort and time has been spent by Hyundai to bring this product to the Indian shore, which happens to be the first market to get this connected car. But is it all about technology or does the Venue offers a complete package to the Indian consumers? We got a chance to drive the much talked about 1.0-litre Turbo engine with DCT gearbox in the picturesque location of Guwahati and here’s our first drive review of the Hyundai Venue SUV-
First things first, the Hyundai Venue does stand out in the crowded compact SUV space of India. While it’s not radically different looking car, Hyundai has added enough striking elements to the Venue. There’s a certain hint of Creta, in a good way, of course, mostly from the side angle. The front and rear are unlike any other Hyundai we have seen in the past. The chrome induced grille, low positioned square shaped headlights enclosed in LED DRLs and eyebrow shaped indicators gives the venue a distinctive and modern appeal.
At the rear are the uniquely designed tail lamps, indent on the tailgate that looks rather attractive and embossed Venue texting. But it’s actually the alloy design that takes away the cake. So overall, the Venue has a charming design that will not look old even after a decade. However the big question is how big is the car? While on paper Venue’s dimensions are smaller than rivals, Hyundai has strategically made the Venue look big, at least from the front. This gives the Venue a stance similar to the immediate competition like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.
The focus of Hyundai for the Venue has been on the BlueLink Technology making the Venue first connected car in India. The Venue gets a tamper proof Vodafone-Idea eSIM with 3 year free connectivity package that converts Venue to a gadget. Simply put, you can send commands to Venue remotely now and operate functions like switching on the car, switching on the AC, sending maps to the infotainment screen and more. In all, there are 33 features, 10 of which are custom–made for India.
More than the comfort features, it’s the safety that gets a boost thanks to the BlueLink tech. You get the SOS and assistance buttons on the rear view mirror, vehicle tracking, immobilizer, and other safety technology. All of these can be controlled through your mobile via an app and also through a 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Telematics, Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity.
In terms of convenience, the Venue gets a fully automatic climate control with digital rotary controls, wireless charging, sunroof, cooled glovebox, and cruise control. The highlight for us, though, is the air purifier to eliminate the PM 2.5 pollution inside the car and is a well-thought move for a market like India.
In terms of the layout of the cabin, the Venue is refreshing and modern. You get a neat dashboard with floating style screen and good looking rotary FATC knobs. There are three colour themes to choose from. The unit we drove had an all-black theme, but the other options are a Khaki dual tone and Denim dual tone trim. The seats also get 3 upholstery options including fabric and leather. The overall fit and finish is top notch and the material quality was top notch too. We missed the electronically adjustable front seats though.
Now coming to the big question – is the Venue spacious enough? No Venue lacks one crucial thing and that’s the rear seat space. Due to the dimension constraint, the space inside the cabin is not at par with the rivals, especially in the back seat. While there’s no problem seating 4-full grown adults, 5th member had to be squeezed in – a not so typical aspect of an SUV. Practicality is also is not on a higher side either, but you get decent enough spaces to keep your stuff. Boot is deep and square, but strictly okayish.
Hyundai is offering the Venue in 13 different variants to cater to a wide audience and there are 3 engine options to choose from - a 1-litre Turbo petrol, a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel unit. We got a chance to drive the talk of the town 1.0-litre turbo with DCT gearbox. Just to put things into perspective, the 1.2-litre petrol unit produces 83 PS of power and 115 Nm of torque and is offered with only 1 gearbox – a 5-speed manual unit. The 1.4-litre diesel unit produces 90 PS of power and 220 Nm of torque with only a 6-speed manual gearbox and lastly the much hyped 1-litre Turbo petrol producing 120 PS and 172 Nm of torque. There are two gearbox options to choose from – a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DCT.
We were lucky enough to drive the turbo petrol engine, but came out a little unimpressed with the performance. Maybe the numbers on paper elevated our expectations, but on the road, the 1.0-litre unit is not something out of the ordinary. The power delivery is linear, while the torque is good enough for city driving. The engine produces a lot of noise while accelerating, but the NVH levels are controlled otherwise. The 7-speed DCT is a delight to operate and works wonder. However, you had to put it on manual every now and then to extract the said performance.
The steering is also something we didn’t enjoy much. The feedback is not responsive and you wouldn’t like to play with it at high speeds. For city driving though, the light steering works perfectly fine. The ride quality is supreme and gives you a very plush experience. In terms of mileage, the venue gets a claimed figure of 18.15 kmpl for the 1.0-litre turbo with DCT and 18.27 kmpl for the manual version. The diesel unit has a claimed mileage of 23.7 kpml and the 1.2-petrol offers 17.52 kmpl. All in all, the Venue has segment best figures, almost.
From remote immobilizer to SOS buttons, the Hyundai Venue gets a host of virtual safety features. But it’s no less in regular safety equipment too, and is loaded to the brim with features like 6 airbags, vehicle stability management, hill start assist, ESC, and more. The ABS with EBD and dual airbags are offered as standard.
Hyundai made a bold move by introducing a technologically rich car at a starting price of Rs 6.50 Lakh (ex-showroom, India). However, to be very frank, we were not sure about the name of the Hyundai Venue. That said, the name actually grows on you. And to give the credit where it’s due, Hyundai Venue is the car India deserved for long. It perfectly brings together the concept of technology and automobile, hence enhancing the safety and convenience inside the car. The only thing we think lacking in the Venue is the space in the rear seats, but then, it excels in every other department and the departments that never existed in India before.
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