Hyundai has entered the compact SUV space all guns blazing with the launch of the Venue. This car is Hyundai’s first offering in this segment and it is available with a wide variety of engine and transmission options. Like other Hyundais, it is loaded with features. What’s more, this is the first connected car to enter the country boasting class-leading features for safety and security, location-based services, driver alerts, voice commands and remote assistance. Despite all this, Hyundai has priced it rather competitively, undercutting the top-spec variants of the Ford EcoSport and the Mahindra XUV300 by a significant margin.
What are the engines on offer?
There are two petrol engines and one diesel on offer – a 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel.
There’s an 83hp 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 5-speed manual gearbox; and 17.52kpl claimed fuel efficiency. Because this engine is shared with the i10 and i20 hatchback, Hyundai has managed to price it very attractively between Rs 6.50-7.20 lakh for the base E and the lower-mid spec S variant. While this motor works well in the i10 and feels just about adequate in the i20, it will fell a tad underpowered in the Venue due to its higher weight; and you’d need to rev it harder to get moving quickly, which will take a toll on real-world fuel-efficiency. So unless you’re really stretching your budget for the Venue, avoid this engine.
The other engine is a 120hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol unit mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; fuel economy is rated at 18.27kpl and 18.15kpl respectively. This engine isn’t available in the base-spec model, but starts from the lower-mid S variant, commanding a premium of Rs 1.01 lakh over the 1.2-litre S manual, for the 1.0-litre manual. Go for this engine if you want a smooth, refined and enjoyable drive experience. The DCT is a great option, available at a price premium of Rs 1.14 lakh over the comparable manual variant – it performs seamlessly and doesn’t take much of a toll on fuel-efficiency, either. If you’re looking for a convenient, small, petrol-automatic SUV, this is one of the best around.
The third option is a 90hp, 1.4-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine, with a 5-speed manual gearbox. As seen in the i20, Verna and Creta, this engine is refined and smooth. However its performance does feel a bit lacklustre. Those who will be covering a high number of kilometres monthly will be happy with its claimed fuel efficiency of 23.7kpl. It’s priced merely Rs 23,000 higher than comparable 1.0-litre turbo-petrol manual variants, and because Hyundai is expecting 50 percent of its sales from the diesel, this engine has been made available in all four variants, right from the base to the top-spec.
What are the variants on offer?
The base E variant is available only with the 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engine, both with manual transmission. ABS with EBD, dual-airbags, parking sensors, day-night mirror, central locking, speed-sensing door locks, seat belt pretensioners, child seat mounts, wheel caps, front power windows, air-con, power steering with tilt adjustment are part of the standard equipment.
The next variant in the range is the S, available with all the engine and transmission options. In addition to the features available on the E variant, the S gets a remote-key entry, dark chrome front grill, roof rails, Bluetooth audio system with 6-speakers, steering-mounted controls, four power windows, electric mirrors, rear ac vents, a cooled glove box, front armrest and rear parcel tray, among others. The 1.0-litre petrol automatic also gets ESC, VSM and hill-start assist, in this variant.
The higher-mid variant is the SX, that’s available with the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol and the 1.4-litre diesel. Some of the notable additional features over the S variant are reverse camera, projector fog lamps, auto projector headlamps with cornering lights and LED DRLs, turn-indicators on outside mirrors, 16-inch diamond-cut alloys, height-adjustable driver seat, adjustable rear headrests, touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Arkamys sound mood, electric sunroof, electric folding mirrors and cruise control.
The petrol automatic’s SX+ variant gets additional equipment like wireless phone charging, air purifier, keyless entry and go, an HD touchscreen display, Hyundai BlueLink connectivity, security alarm and chrome outside door handles. This is the top-spec available with the automatic, and is the priciest in the Venue range, but it misses out rear wiper and washer, side and curtain airbags, leatherette upholstery, a rear armrest and 60:40 rear seat split, all of which are available in the top-spec SX (O) manual variant.
The range-topping SX (O) is available only with the 1.0-litre turbo petrol manual and the 1.4-litre diesel. For the money it gets all the features of the SX plus side and curtain airbags, ESC, VSM, hill-start assist, keyless entry and go, security alarm, chrome outside door handles, rear wiper and washer, rear armrest, 60:40-split rear seat, sliding front armrest, wireless charging, air purifier, an HD touchscreen display and Hyundai’s BlueLink connectivity.
Which is the variant to buy?
If you like personalising your car with accessories like alloy wheels, chrome garnishing, seat covers etc, the S variant with either the 1.0-litre petrol or 1.4-litre diesel is a good option to start off with, as it has the basics covered rather well. But if you like your car to come loaded straight out of the showroom floor, the SX variant is the one for you. Sure, for Rs 1.06 lakh more you can get some more features in the higher, SX (O) variant, but from a value-for-money perspective, the SX is our pick from the range.