Official Review: Hyundai Venue

Hyundai entered the sub-4M SUV segment with the launch of the all new Venue. With competitors such as the Maruti Suzuki Brezza and Ford EcoSport which already have a strong hold on the C2 segment, the brand has aggressively marketed the product in the country. With highest sales numbers in the segment, the Venue did not fail to impress the buyers.
AutoHunters have prepared a detailed review of the all new Hyundai Venue.

Hyundai Venue Official Review

Pros:

  • Build and quality are amongst the best in the segment.
  • Powerful engines paired with slick shifting gearboxes.
  • Feature-rich and technologically advanced package.
  • Top safety equipment; includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA and more.
  • Balanced driving dynamics, easy to drive and excellent visibility all across.
  • Creta-like design language, looks mini-Creta in every manner.

Cons:

  • Resembles a hatchback, especially the rear.
  • Some essential features are missing in the package. (auto wipers, auto-dimming IRVM, steering reach adjustment…)
  • The SX(O) variant does not get DCT gearbox or dual-tone colour options.
  • No AT available with the diesel motor. Cars such as the Maruti Brezza, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon does get one.
  • DCT does not have any sports mode or paddle shifters. Long term reliability of the all new DCT gearbox by Hyundai is a gamble.
  • Third passenger in the rear seat will be a tight fit. The all black cabin does make it claustrophobic for the passengers.
The Venue looks like a Mini-Creta from the sides

Exteriors

The unconventional positioning of the headlamps along with the squarish DRLs give the car a distinct look

With an aggressive front end, the Venue shares its design cues with its larger sibling Creta. The massive dark chrome and black grill dominates the front. The unconventionally positioned headlamps, indicators on the top and the squarish DRLs give the car a good stance but its small size fails to get great road presence.

The Venue measures 3,995 mm in length, 1,770 mm in width and 1,590 mm in height (1,605 with roof rails), with a wheelbase of 2,500 mm. While it does not lead the measurement numbers in length, width or height, with just 1,590 mm height, the Venue is shorter in the entire segment.
The headlights have halogen projectors along with cornering lights and provide decent illumination of the road ahead. The DRLs are bright and give the car a very upmarket look. The indicators are placed above the headlamps, just where the hood finishes. Sadly, there are no LEDs present in the projectors, which would have definitely upped the game for the Venue.

The stock halogen projectors does a good job of illuminating the road ahead.

Beneath, the bumper gets a faux silver skid plate which does adds up to its SUV stance. The air dam is incorporated in the vertical slats, just below the large chrome grille. The fog lamps are segment first, projector units and are placed towards the sides. The fit and finish of the fog lamps could have been better as it gives an after-market look to the overall well finished car. We do not expect this from Hyundai.

The dual-tone bumper along with the faux skid plates gives a SUV-ish look to the rather simple design

The rear is rather simple and the car feels more like a beefed up hatchback rather than a SUV. To give it a SUV like stance, the designers did use dual tone bumpers along with faux skid plates at the rear. The VENUE badging is placed in the centre, just beneath the Hyundai logo. The 1.0L Petrol variant gets a ‘turbo’ badge at the back.

From the sides, the car retains the boxy shape, just like the Creta. A strong character line goes all the from the hood to the tail lights and the use of chrome is bare minimum and can be seen on the door handles only. The beefed up wheel arches, black body cladding all across the sides does give a rugged look to an overall, simple design.

The boxy design along with strong body line gives the Venue a strong stance

The SX and SX(O) variants get 16-inch smart looking diamond cut alloy wheels while the lower variants get 15-inch steel rims.

Interiors

Step inside the Venue and you will be greeted by an all-black cabin with a functional design layout of the dashboard. Hyundai’s new 8-inch touchscreen is mounted in the centre with the AC vents on the sides. The AC controls are placed beneath the infotainment screen, under which 12V power socket and USB sockets are placed. There is some storage space in front of the gear lever. The higher variants gets wireless charging feature.

The all-black cabin along with Hyundai’s new steering is a welcome addition

The steering is similar to other new Hyundai cars and feels nice to hold. Audio and MID controls are placed on the adjacent sides of the hornpad. On the downside though, the steering can only be adjusted for height and not for reach. Other cars in the segment, such as the EcoSport are offering it. Even the cheaper i20 gets it!

The instrument cluster is a mix of analog meters and a digital MID. The analog tachometer is on the left, speedometer at the right and the MID in the centre. We personally like this placement the most, and this complimented by white illumination, gives the instrument cluster a classy look.

Dual analog meters along with white back-lights looks classy

The doors open wide in a 3-staged action. Ingress and egress is easy and the elderly will be comfortable getting in and out of the car. While the seats upholstery is a mix of leather and fabric, the front central armrest gets a leather covering on the top. The front seats are comfortable with adequate amount of support at the required areas.

At the rear, while there are no issues with the legroom, the taller passengers may find the headroom to be a bit less. The rear seats otherwise, are comfortable for 2 passengers and the third one will be tight fit. All the door pads can house one-litre bottles and utility spaces are decent all across the cabin. The rear AC vent is placed in between the front seats and works well in chilling the cabin.

The rear seat has average amount of space. The support from the seats is decent.

The seat cushioning is on the softer sides and will not be a problem on those long highway journeys. While the 350-litre loading capacity may not be segment leading, but the Venue’s boot is accommodating enough to house 2-3 luggage bags easily. Cars such as the EcoSport and the WRV have a larger boot.

The SX DCT and SX(O) variants of the Hyundai Venue get an 8-inch touchscreen AVNT infotainment head-unit with 6 speakers (including 2 tweeters). Connectivity is through Bluetooth, USB and AUX. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported as well. Along with all this, the car also gets BlueLink with 33 features, out which 10 are India specific. The overall quality levels inside the car are great with no rough edges on uneven panel gaps.

Venue comes with Hyundai’s new 8-inch infotainment screen.

Drive and Handling

The Venue comes with three engine options. While there is only one diesel engine, two petrol engines can be seen on the Venue. Talking about the diesel first, the car comes with the 1.4-L CRDi engine which produces 89 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) & 220 Nm of torque (@ 1,500 – 2,750 rpm) and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The other engine options include a Kappa 1.0 Turbo GDI which produces a strong 118 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 172 Nm (1,500 – 4,000 rpm) and a 1.2-L Kappa engine which produces 82 BHP and 115 NM of torque.

A 6-Speed MT comes mated with the 1.4L CRDi

The 1.4-L CRDi engine, which also does duty on the i20, Creta and the Verna, is no different in the Venue. Start the engine and you will be observe a smooth idle with almost non existent diesel clatter audible inside the cabin. The engine feels does not feel rough unless pushed hard, which makes this car, the most refined, in the entire segment.
With negligible turbo lag, the engine does pick up the pace with ease and driving it inside the city limits will not be a difficult task. The acceleration is linear and the gearshifts are smooth. The clutch is on the lighter side but we felt that the clutch travel should have a little shorter. This engine comes with a 6-speed MT and we felt that the gear ratios are perfect for both city as well as highway driving. A quick overtake may require a downshift while cruising at the highway speeds, but apart from this, this engine is the ideal combination with this car. The ARAI claimed mileage for the 1.4-L CRDi engine in the Venue is 23.7 KM/L which is not segment leading but we do not think that the owners will complain about the FE of the Venue.

Hyundai’s tried and tested 1.4-L CRDi diesel motor.

The all new 1.0-L Turbo GDI developed in house by Hyundai is a 3 cylinder turbo petrol engine which is introduced by the brand in the Venue. It produces 18 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 172 Nm (1,500 – 4,000 rpm). Start the engine and you will see that unlike other 3-cylinder engines, this engine feels refined and very less vibrations filter into the cabin, however, the cabin does shake when you crank the engine.
There is some amount of turbo lag but the engine pulls cleanly post 1,200 RPM. Once you cross the 2,000 RPM, the engine gets into its power band and pulls the car effortlessly with shift progress. The engine shines in the mid-range and is eager to pull once it crosses 3,000 RPM mark. The engine’s response is not the sharpest on throttle inputs, but an average driver will not be able to feel the difference. In terms of fuel economy, the Venue carries an ARAI rating of 18.27 km/l, which is the best in the segment. However, in the real world, expect city FE of 12 – 13 km/l from this turbo-petrol.

Turbo badging can be seen on the variants which come with the new 1.0-L TGDI petrol engine.

The 1.0-L TGDI engine comes mated to a 6-speed MT or the all new 7-speed DCT. While the clutch on the MT version is light, it does have a long travel, which may not be desired by many. The shifts are short, the gates are well sorted, and it is a slick shifting unit. The Venue is the only car in the segment with a DCT gearbox and its 7 ratios does feel superior than the AMT or AT units offered in the cars of this segment. The shifts are smooth and quick, yet it is not in the same league as the VW’s DSG gearbox. For bumper to bumper traffic conditions, there is a fair amount of ‘crawl’ available too. Just lift your foot off the brake pedal in ‘D’ and the Venue will crawl forward, allowing you to drive in bad traffic with just one pedal (the brake). With a strong and punchy mid-range, the Venue does feels quick on the highways which makes it excellent highway cruiser. The only downside to this gearbox is the lack of a ‘Sports Mode’ and absence of paddle shifters. The manual mode however, will come handy while planning those quick overtakes on the two-laned highways. The Venue turbo petrol DCT has an ARAI-certified fuel economy figure of 18.15 km/l.

The Venue uses a McPherson strut suspension with coil springs at the front and a coupled torsion beam at the rear. Low speed ride quality is compliant & mature, with small bumps being absorbed well. However, the suspension is on the stiffer side, due to which the potholes holes and rough patches on the road are felt inside the cabin. On the plus side though, the car does not feels bouncy while going throw the undulations on the road. overall, the suspension is well setup and does offer a complaint ride. The car feels stable at triple digit speeds and you will not feel nervous behind the steering while munching the miles. While it is not as planted on the higher speeds as the EcoSport, it does a decent job.

The Venue overall is car-like to drive and can be easily driven around in the city traffic. The car stays composed on the corners and when we pushed it hard, the body roll was evident, though not in excess. The dynamics are clean with no nasty surprises at all. That said, once again, the EcoSport remains the segment leader in this department.The electric power steering is light and butter-smooth at parking / city speeds. The Venue has the segment-best 5.1 meter turning radius, same as that of the Tata Nexon. The unladen ground clearance is rated at almost 200 mm and needless to say, the GC is more than enough.

All variants of the Venue come with disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear, with ABS + EBD. The braking performance is decent and the car stops sans any drama. At the lower speeds, the Venue comes to a halt by just a tap at the brake pedal.

The air purifier in the Venue is a segment first.

Our Verdict

The Hyundai Venue is a late entrant to the already populated Sub-4M SUV category but is surely a great package. The engine options available with the Venue are enough to cover everyone’s requirements. The car is not only feature rich, but comes with many segment first options, such as the Blue Link and the air purifier.
If you are someone who mostly drives his/her car inside the city along with some occasional highway runs, the Venue can be a great car for you. It is easy to drive, feature loaded, and at the same time, adequately powered. However, if we compare it with its rivals, we think the EcoSport will be a better choice if you want a diesel car. The variant of our choice is SX Plus 1.0-L Petrol Automatic.

Hope you liked our review. What do you feel about the Venue? Share your thoughts and views in the comments section below.
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