launched the baby Venue
in late 2019 and we have now had a chance to keep it for a few days, just to experience it in daily driving and living situations, albeit under somewhat limited COVID-19 conditions. The Venue
is currently Hyundai’s
in the country and sits below the Creta
and the Kona
. Because this is their entry-level SUV
we expected entry-level performance, but were ultimately surprised.
Venue is 3.99 metres long, 1.6m tall, 1.77m wide and has a wheelbase of 2.5m. It also comes with a 195mm ground clearance.
Compact proportions no doubt, but as some wise people say, it ain’t about the size but what you make of it. Interior space is comfortable, not cramped. Even the taller drivers will not suffer on the knees or head. The driver’s seat is manually adjustable for length and height.
Possibly the car’s main physical attraction is that bold front grille with a chromed rectangular mesh design. Like it or dislike it, it certainly gives it some character and draws the eye. Complementing that are the split headlights, stacked in different areas of the front end. The side profile shows a thick C-pillar
, some plastic bumper cladding, standard 15-inch wheels and somewhat of a dinky look. Possibly the most outstanding rear end features are the Z-shaped LED
lights which go around the curve and take a slice of the bootlid with them. Bootlid has the word VENUE
on it, as well as the engine designation.
Currently only the 1.0-litre TGDI, 3-cylinder turbo
petrol engine is available in South Africa and that is the one we drove. It produces a maximum power output of 88kW at 6 000rpm and peak torque of 172Nm between 1 500rpm and 4 000rpm. Drive is through the front wheels via either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT.
We had the former. While these figure are fit for purpose as an entry-level baby SUV,
we were pleasantly surprised by the general performance the car presented under sporty take-off situations as well as keen overtaking. It performed like a more powerful hot hatch, even though Hyundai
claims a 0 – 100km/h time of 11.3 seconds and a top speed of 183km/h. The 6-speed ‘box was a revelation too, selecting gears with ease and pleasure.
Also importantly the Venue handled curves and corners willingly and ably, proving that fun cars are not just confined to hot hatches and powerful coupes. We averaged a fuel consumption figure of some 7.4 litres per 100km in mixed driving conditions.
has done a commendable job with the interior as well, using solid, if basic materials for the dashboard and surrounds. Our unit came with a mix of faux leather and cloth covering for the seats, as well as all-round electric windows. It also had a 20.3cm touch screen infotainment system with several features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, in addition to the USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The car only has four speakers.
The Hyundai Venue
is a remarkable little car with plenty to go for it. It competes in a very busy segment that is getting busier by the month. Buyers in this price segment could do well to have a look at it when shopping around for their next baby SUV