The all-new Hyundai Venue compact SUV has just been revealed simultaneously in India as well as the USA. A global model that will be produced in multiple plants around the world eventually, the new Hyundai Venue in India will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and the Ford EcoSport. What will give the Venue a considerable advantage is the success and popularity of its bigger sibling, the Creta, currently the undisputed leader in its class. Can the Hyundai Venue deliver a similarly impressive all-round performance? Can it appeal as much when it comes to design, interiors, comfort and features? Here’s our first look at the car.
What is it?
The Venue is clearly a Hyundai, that’s for sure. The basic shape and proportions give it the stance of a scaled-down Creta. But what also hits you right away is that huge grille, with its large chrome-lined mesh and oversized Hyundai ‘H’ at the centre. It’s certainly bold, and what also makes it look different from older Hyundais is that the headlamp unit has been split. There’s a slender LED-equipped strip at the top, and then below sits a larger Tata Harrier-like rectangular multi-projector element unit that’s bordered by LED DRLs. Unlike the car in the US, the Indian car has a lot of cladding in and around the chin, it gets massive wheel arches with fair-sized 16-inch wheels, and the Venue even has a strong shoulder line. Hyundai designers have also kept the cabin nice and upright, presumably to keep Indian customers happy, and around the rear, Hyundai seem to have taken a pointer from the Jeep Renegade, with the funky looking square LED tail-light.
Built on a wheelbase of 2,500mm and almost identical in size to Maruti’s Vitara Brezza, the Venue is, however, the lowest car in its class with its height of 1,590mm. Hyundai claims that 69 percent of the car is built of high-strength steel and it comes with air curtains around the front wheel for better aerodynamics. While the variant break-up is awaited, top-spec Venues will get ESC, hill-assist control, brake assist and six airbags. Only the XUV300 has a higher airbag count, at seven. Dual airbags and ISOFIX child-seat mounts are expected to be standard fit on base and lower trim Venues.
|Hyundai Venue dimensions|
Clieck here to see exterior and interior images of the Hyundai Venue
What’s it like on the inside?
A neatly designed dash greets you on the inside. And the good bit is that it is interestingly detailed and isn’t bland or plain by any stretch of imagination. Split horizontally, the design of the Venue’s dash also looks neat because Hyundai designers have clustered buttons and knobs either around the touchscreen or near the central console.
The centre console, in fact, is particularly interesting. It gets a high-set 8.0-inch touchscreen between a pair of air con vents, a string of shortcut keys below it and further down are chunky looking air conditioner controls. However, cabin quality is a notch down on what we've seen on the Creta. The top portion of the dash is nicely textured but there are plenty of hard and shiny plastics lower down. Front seat comfort is good and the turbo-petrol version's sporty seats are particularly snug with plenty of side bolstering.
The Venue is a Hyundai and so is pretty well equipped. There are multiple USB sockets up front, and top-of-the-line cars will get cruise control, wireless charging, an Arkamys sound console, a cooled glovebox, rear air con vents and even a sunroof. An area where the Hyundai will completely distinguish itself is in connectivity. The Venue is the first Hyundai model in India to get its Blue Link connectivity technology. In brief, the system comprises 33 features that span safety, security, vehicle management, remote access, location-based services, alert services and AI-based language inputs. You can read more about its functioning here. The system will use an embedded Vodafone-Idea SIM for connectivity.
Sadly, the Venue rear seat experience is far from class best. Rear legroom is just average by established standards and the Venue's relatively narrow width also translates into limited shoulder room, in effect making the rear seat best for two adults only. What also doesn't help matters is the high window line that, coupled with the all-black cabin theme, gives a cooped-in feeling at the back. Also, while we are yet to spend extensive time on the back seat, the first impression is that the backrest is a touch too reclined and there's excessive bolstering in the lumbar area.
The Venue cabin does offer plenty of space for odds and ends and the large door pockets are designed to hold a 1-litre bottle each. What also adds a dose of practicality is the boot. It's well shaped and can comfortably accomodate two suitcases.
What’s under the hood?
The Hyundai Venue will be powered by three engines, the most affordable of which is likely to be the 1.2-litre petrol that puts out 83hp and 115Nm of torque. The more expensive and high-tech petrol is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, direct-injection turbo that puts out 120hp and 172Nm of torque. The Venue’s mainstay, however, could be the 1.4 diesel that puts out 90hp and 220Nm of torque. The XUV300 diesel and the Nexon, both, make more power, but Hyundai’s unit, as we’ve experienced earlier, is likely to be smoother and quieter.
The engines will come with a choice of three different gearboxes. While the 1.2 petrol will get a 5-speed manual and the 1.4 diesel will get a 6-speed manual, the 1.0 turbo-petrol will be offered with a 6-speed manual as well as a 7-speed dual-clutch auto. Incidentally, the Venue will be the only dual-clutch-equipped SUV in the segment.
|Hyundai Venue engines & gearboxes|
|Venue petrol||Venue turbo-petrol||Venue diesel|
|Type||4-cyl, naturally aspirated||3-cyl, turbocharged||4-cyl, turbocharged|
|Manual gearbox||5-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|Automatic gearbox||-||7-speed dual-clutch||-|
Is it worth waiting for?
Of the other things to know, the Venue will come with 3 years/unlimited km warranty and Hyundai is also confident of offering the lowest cost of ownership. The Hyundai Venue will launch on May 21, 2019. We expect the Venue’s prices to range from Rs 8-12 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom). While it won’t be cheap, the Venue packs in a lot of content. Only a full drive will reveal how good the Venue really is, but the first signs sure are positive.
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