In the run-up to its official launch in India on May 21, 2019, the Hyundai Venue has started reaching dealers. On May 2, bookings for the Venue had opened at dealerships across India and through Hyundai’s India website. Prices for Hyundai’s rival to compact SUVs like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport will be announced upon launch, on May 21.
Seeing as the Venue will be entering quite a competitive segment, Hyundai has equipped its compact SUV with more than a few segment-first options and features, in order to carve its own niche. At launch, there will be four engine-gearbox combinations – an 83hp, 1.2-litre petrol paired to a 5-speed manual transmission, a 90hp, 1.4-litre diesel with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and a 120hp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol motor with 6-speed manual and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox options. The last combo is unique in the segment considering Ford discontinued the EcoSport with the dual-clutch unit when the EcoSport facelift arrived in November 2017.
Another aspect where Hyundai is looking to give the Venue a leg-up on feature-rich rivals like the XUV300 and EcoSport is in terms of its connectivity features. As we had reported previously, the Venue will be Hyundai’s first model in India to sport its Blue Link connectivity technology, which has 33 features – including 10 exclusively for India. At least on higher-spec variants, the tech will provide the Hyundai Venue with segment-first safety and security, remote vehicle relationship management, location-based services, alert services and artificial intelligence features.
Speaking about its Hyundai Venue variants, it seems like the Korean company will have a version for every budget, if your wallet has between Rs 8-12 lakh (ex-showroom). Including the engine-gearbox options, there will be 13 variants to choose from. Even the base Venue E seems to be well-kitted with features such as dual front airbags, ABS, rear parking sensors, a tachometer, manual AC, front power windows and wheel covers for the 15-inch wheels. The Venue SX+ and SX(O) get segment-leading features like the Blue Link tech, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and wireless charging. Other features on the top-spec variants includes six airbags, ESC and vehicle stability management, brake assist, 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, a smart key, push-button start and 60:40-split folding rear seats as standard.
In terms of design, the Venue shares a lot with larger Hyundai SUVs, including the split-headlight unit and a version of the brand's signature ‘cascading' grille. From the side, the Venue looks like the Hyundai Creta, which should aid its appeal. While our specifications comparison showed that the Venue is one of the smaller compact SUVs, it is typically Hyundai on the inside, with a plush well-appointed interior.
It remains to be seen if Hyundai has a winner on its hands with the Venue and if it will be able to top our pick of the compact SUVs, the Mahindra XUV300.