Hyundai claims that the new Venue has been designed to target the needs of those living the “urban entrepreneur lifestyle”.
In an age where our always-connected urbanites whole-heartedly embrace handphone-based ride-sharing mobility, does Hyundai’s contender to push for car ownership in this market group seem like a sensible choice?
HYUNDAI VENUE IS CHIC AND HIP
Hyundai’s newest crossover will need to deliver aesthetic appeal aplenty if it is to attract these new shoppers into the realm of car ownership, and luckily, its go at the entry-level crossover segment is quite the looker.
At the front, the Hyundai Venue draws a parallel with Hyundai’s flagship SUV – the Palisade – with its cube-shaped headlamps, while the flanks of the Venue curiously feature indented wheel arches that mimic those on the handsome Volvo XC60.
Our Hyundai Venue S variant test car comes with a two-tone contrasting roof paint finish that is sure to appeal to the extroverted, while its chunky, boxy looks should sit well with the style-conscious, given that SUVs are all the rage now.
The exterior’s boxy looks are also carried into the cabin, where the squarish dashboard and air-conditioning vents, coupled with the two-tone interior (exclusive to S models) that matches your exterior paint colour choice, give it a good degree of design flair.
Those that need to stay connected to their phones will also find the Hyundai Venue packed with connectivity features enough to placate the worst sufferers of Nomophobia.
Colourful icons make navigating through the system a breeze when on the move, while cycling through the system’s sub-menus is easy and fuss-free, rivalling those of any mobile operating system.
Front passengers in the Hyundai Venue are well-catered for space-wise. Meanwhile, dual-USB ports and a 12-volt port at the front further add to the car’s connectivity suite.
Those looking for a runabout for their best buddies will also find plenty of rear headroom, but I’m afraid your friends might not appreciate the lack of air-conditioning vents or any phone charging options here.
Social butterflies also ought to note that this is only a 1770mm wide car, so despite the relatively narrow doors, you can fit two in the rear without shoulders squeezing.
Ferrying people and their luggage is a relative breeze with the Hyundai Venue’s 355 litres of boot space – six litres shy of its larger sibling, the Kona.
And while the Seat Arona may offer 400-litres of capacity at the rear, the Venue counters with a handy slot for convenient storage of the boot’s parcel shelf when not needed.
CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE
For the inner-city commute, the Hyundai Venue does a respectable job. The car picks up a fair amount of the road’s undulations, but still rides with more compliance over larger bumps than the ubiquitous Honda Vezel.
You drive this thing preparing to be wobbled, rather than shaken over bad roads.
Those cross-shopping against ride-sharing can take heart in knowing that Hyundai has gone to great lengths to ensure its Smartstream Gamma II engine returns high fuel efficiency, so you don’t have to rack up a big fuel bill.
The 1.6-litre 4-cylinder features dual-port injection and is paired with Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). We managed 13km/L observed fuel consumption during our test drive. However, stop-start is curiously absent on the Venue.
The drivetrain does a good job of moving the car along as well. Acceleration is delivered in a smooth fashion and the Hyundai Venue doesn’t return the coarse, gravelly racket that other continuously variable transmissions are notorious for.
Even when pressed hard, it always manages to find you a suitable ratio, which is a good thing as our test car demanded a rather violent tug at the gear selector before it would register a request for a downshift.
At speed, the Hyundai Venue’s boxy shape does mean that wind noise is always abundant. This, coupled with the lack of insulation from road noise, ensures that raised voices are a staple for all sitting in the Venue.
Perhaps more comfort-oriented tyres can help. The test car was equipped with Nexen N’Fera SU1s, which are marketed as high-performance tyres.
A WORTHY INVESTMENT
The Hyundai Venue delivers unique styling that matches its pleasing ride, reasonable space and practicality. Starting at $83,999, this car will certainly be an appealing investment for any entrepreneurial urbanite.
Hyundai Venue S 1.6 (A)
ENGINE 1598cc, 16-valves, inline-4
MAX POWER 121hp at 6300rpm
MAX TORQUE 154Nm at 4500rpm
0-100KM/H 11.2 seconds
TOP SPEED 186km/h
CONSUMPTION 17.2km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE From $83,999
AGENT Komoco Motors