Compact SUV are full and plenty, across segments and in all sizes and forms. However, the focus here, is on the sub4-meter segment in India, with rivals from Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Toyota, Nissan, Mahindra, and Kia. The Venue is positioned between the i20 hatchback and the radical-looking, new Creta. And the little SUV is sold with a 1.4-litre engine, a 1.2-litre engine, and a 1.0-litre, direct-injection, turbo petrol engine. In terms of transmission options, it comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, a 6-speed manual, and a clutchless iMT gearbox. With competitive pricing, the Venue slots right in as a compact SUV that promises to be a great product.
The Hyundai DNA
The Venue is unmistakably a Hyundai; it’s just that it’s a little too boxy from up-front. The cascading grille, although a bit too large, gets chrome lining. The grille is flanked by split headlights, with a sleek LED strip above and a square-like housing bordering the LED DRLs. There’s body-cladding around the SUV that gives it a rugged look. It also boasts of a flat-surface bonnet, a prominent character line, roof rails, and flared wheel arches. And the 16-inch alloy wheels don’t look small. At the rear, you get cube-like tail lights and small reversing lamps positioned low down in the bumper. It also gets dimpled cladding and the wide scuff plate shouts SUV. However, Venue isn’t the biggest in its segment and is built on the i20 platform.
Get into the Hyundai cars, and the neat dashboard gets horizontal elements, giving it a solid appearance. It gets an all-black theme with silver elements, and the overall quality is excellent; in fact, it’s the best in its segment. The steering and gear lever feel good to grip, but a few low-rent plastics can be spotted around. The white stitching on the steering, gear lever, and seats bode well the all-black look. It features a floating 8.0-inch touchscreen that works smoothly. But it’s in the features department where this SUV excels. It gets an ’embedded’ SIM card that lets you connect with the car in different ways – from starting your engine, turning on the AC, and unlocking/locking doors, all through your phone.
The interior is quite small, but the driver’s seat ensures you fit in without any issues, and the driving position is spot-on; so is visibility, thanks to a high seating. Legroom is a bit less at the back, making it the smallest in its segment. Legroom at the back is best suited to small kids or short adults, the rear windows hamper visibility. The height of the seat base is good, and three can be seated without a squeeze. It’s a very practical cabin with lots of storage compartments, and the 350-litre boot can swallow in all your shopping bags.
In terms of equipment, it gets 6 airbags, cornering lamps, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android and Apple connectivity, projector headlamps with DRLs, ABS with EBD and brake assist, speed-sensing door locks, Arkamys sound system, hill-start assist and ESP, sunroof, cruise control, and wireless phone charging.
We drove the 1.4-litre diesel engine that produces 88bhp and 220Nm of torque, and the engine feels at home in the mid-range. There is turbo lag though because of the weight, but once the turbo spools up, the Venue is a lot of fun to drive. And the suspension setup is excellent, particularly for something that rides on tall springs. Body roll isn’t much, and darting into corners won’t scare you. The steering feels light at low speeds, but you do sense some feedback as you pick up the pace. By and large, the Hyundai Venue a hoot to drive, but tends to run out of breath at around 4,000rpm. It’s a perfect city commuter and a decently able highway cruiser. But throw a harsh bit of road at it, and that’s when you feel the firmness of the springs.
And then, there’s the turbo-petrol.
The 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder, direct injection turbo petrol engine in the Venue is paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The motor is smooth and throttle inputs are linear, and with its auto ‘box, it makes driving a stress-free affair, which is great, considering the traffic us Indians have to deal with. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.