GEORGE NEWS - It is small, modern and certainly has the looks. With the all-new Venue, Hyundai makes its SUV debut in the A-segment. It conveys a fun, yet functional design in a versatile and compact modern vehicle.
Though small in size, the Venue is big on practicality and personality. It offers a unique, entry-level vehicle for consumers seeking savvy design combined with an abundance of safety, convenience and connectivity features.
The new Hyundai Venue was launched in Cape Town at an elegant function with good food and music while comedian Riaad Moosa had everyone in stitches.
Journalists had the opportunity to drive both the manual and the automatic versions from Cape Town to Franschhoek, tesing its performance on mountain passes and gravel roads. The Venue offers a remarkable driving experience.
The name "Venue" was not randomly chosen. Hyundai's naming theme for SUVs has typically been a city or place. The vehicle embodies the characteristics of "the place to be" en route to your destination. As Hyundai's most affordable SUV to date, Venue is aimed at urban adventurers with a taste for savvy, trendy design that stands apart.
The Venue is available in South Africa with three specification levels: the Motion as an entry-level derivative, followed by the Fluid, which has more design and convenience features, and topped by the Glide with its impressive and comprehensive list of features.
The side profile boasts full-volume wheel arches and strong character lines, while the cascading grille incorporates Hyundai's signature forward-looking visage found on both the Kona and Santa Fe SUVs.
The unique front lamp layout separates the turn lamps and headlamps and features optional premium LED headlights with LED daylight running lights for the Glide version, as well as fog lamps. The Venue's unique character line is carried through to the tail lamps. The rear shark-fin spoiler and rear fascia asymmetric block help improve aerodynamic efficiency while remaining stylish.
The Venue's interior offers intuitive controls and forward-thinking design. The roomy, comfortable interior offers adequate space for both urban commuter and travellers on a long road trip. The Venue Glide comes with a 60/40 split, flat-folding rear seat to maximise utility. The infotainment system features either a 3,8-inch mono LCD display in the Motion derivative, or an 8-inch display audio touchscreen system and rear-view monitor for the Venue Fluid and Glide versions. Luxuries include dual USB ports, a 3,5-inch TFT instrument cluster display, a rear-view camera and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels comfortable and luxurious.
The Venue includes an abundant list of standard safety features including six airbags - 2 front, 2 side-impact and 2 side air curtain - for the Fluid and Glide options, seat belt pre-tensioners with force limiters, Isofix child seat attachments, and an advanced braking system (ABS). The Motion derivative comes with two airbags - one each for the driver and front passenger. Electronic stability control (ESC) is a standard feature in all derivatives - as are electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist (BA). All Venues also come with hill start assist control.
Thanks to Hyundai's three-cylinder turbocharged Kappa 1.0 T-GDI engine, it delivers 88kW at its peak performance around 6 000 r/min, and maximum torque of 172Nm in a range from 1 500 to 4 000 r/min. Fuel consumption was measured at a frugal and realistic 6,5 litres per 100km for the manual transmission versions, and 6,9 litres per 100km for the DCT. These figures were bettered handsomely in the recent WesBank Fuel Economy Tour, where the Venue was a class winner with a fuel consumption figure of 5,8 litres per 100km.
Prices range from R274 900 to R369 900. Included are 7-year / 200 000km warranty, 7-year / 150 000km roadside assistance, and a 3-year / 45 000km service plan. Service intervals are at 15 000km, or annually when applicable.
I enjoyed driving both the automatic and the manual transmissions. The automatic had a bit of a lag when I needed instant power, but the manual was immediate. The automatic was much more fun to drive in Cape Town traffic though. On the mountain passes the Venue stuck to the road and provided a soft ride. The car is beautiful, with bold lines, and I love the ample use of chrome. The Hyundai Venue is a quality car and a force to be reckoned with in the small SUV market.
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