Hyundai Venue- First-Drive Review

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Hyundai's first sub-four-metre SUV, the Venue is a bit late to the game but, it comes armed to the teeth to tip the balance against its market rivals in the same segment. Read our review below to find out in more details.

Hyundai Venue: First Drive Review- Prologue

While the compact SUV segment in India has welcomed a range of models from various carmakers such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Mahindra and Ford, the country’s second-largest auto manufacturer, Hyundai, had been standing outside the game for a very long time.

In fact, the South Korean carmaker has been quite successful with the Hyundai Creta premium B-SUV that averaged the monthly sales volume of more than 10,000 units in 2018. However, Hyundai remained absent from the compact SUV segment, in which the Maruti Vitara Brezza is taking the lead with nearly 13,000 sales units on a monthly basis, until recently. Finally, the company has shown its strong determination to grab a piece of the sales pie in this class by the introduction of the new sub-four-metre Venue SUV which slots below the popular Creta sibling.

Marketed as the country’s first-ever “Internet-on-the-go” SUV, the Hyundai Venue, though being a bit late to the party has been launched amid much fanfare in the Indian auto space. With an onslaught of “tasty” features and modern powertrain setups, the Hyundai Venue is proving to be a very promising package in the segment and looks set to lock horns with the likes of Maruti Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford Ecosport head-on. We took the SX Plus Turbo DCT variant of the Hyundai Venue out for a quick spin and have summed up our hands-on experience in this detailed test drive review.

2019 hyundai venue front three quarters red front

Hyundai Venue Test Drive Review - Design

Visually, the overall design of the new Hyundai Venue bears a huge resemblance with many global models from its mother company. Quite frankly, you won’t be mistaking the all-new Venue for any other model but a Hyundai. The front fascia of the car looks aggressive with the presence of Hyundai’s signature big cascading chrome-lined grille, LED lighting fixtures comprising rectangular split headlamps with LED daytime running lights and a sleek turn indicator. The side profile of the Hyundai Venue sounds much similar to its Creta elder brother. It features a set of stylish 16-inch diamond-cut alloys wheels, more pronounced wheel arches, robust shoulder line, roof rails, etc. that make it in line with SUV character. In tandem with some other Hyundai models, the Venue gets body cladding stretching all around from the front bumper to the rear end, giving the SUV a tough appearance.

2019 hyundai venue front three quarters white

On the other hand, the rear end of the Venue does not look as prominent as the front and in an obvious sense, it looks a bit hatchback-like. A pair of sleek squarish tail lights make the Venue look a tad meek from this angle but the overall design is still very interesting to look too. In a meanwhile, the way the rear turn signals are mounted on the inside but not the outside is quite distinctive and all. There is a bold character line flowing through the taillights that give the car a more muscular look. Other highlighting design elements of the car include dual-tone treatments on both bumpers with front and rear fax skid plates as well as prominent plastic inserts.

Hyundai Venue First Drive Review | Is This The Next Big Thing From Hyundai?

In terms of dimensions, the all-new Hyundai Venue gets quite a “compact” size that it comes as a let-down for some buyers who are looking for a larger SUV. You can easily notice that albeit sharing the same length, the new Venue gets the lowest wheelbase in the competition, while the width is just wider than the Ford Ecosport which is currently the narrowest model in its class by a mere 5 mm. However, Hyundai’s latest entrant into the sub-four-metre SUV segment still shines its own ways regarding the exterior aesthetics, and thanks to a handful of design cues inherited from the successful Hyundai Creta, the Venue still, from the word go, manages to garner quite a huge fanbase.

Hyundai Venue: First Drive Review- Compact Yet Premium

As said earlier, the newbie Hyundai’s SUV measures a pretty “modest” dimension with the length, width and height stand at 3,995 mm, 1,770 mm and 1,590 mm, respectively. It gets a wheelbase at 2,500 mm which is, in specifics, 10 mm shorter as against that of the Hyundai Elite i20. With these above figures, the Hyundai Venue, says, does offer an “adequate” space on the inside, wherein the rear seats can accommodate two adults comfortably yet further would be certainly a bit of squeeze. What is more, the small rear windows make the interior a tad dark, while the high-set front seats even worsen the sense of space inside.

2019 hyundai venue front grille

However, the above little things should be virtually all that we can complaint about the Venue. The overall design of the cabin is premium while the materials quality, as well as fit-finish, is extremely top-notch. The high-set front seats are really supportive and the light three-spoke leather-wrapped steering gives us some sporty feel as well. You might be awestruck by the neatly-designed dashboard of the car which rolls out a sense of sophistication and solidness. Standing out on the dash is a floating 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a line of functional shortcut keys underneath it. The interior theme comprises of three options, depending on the body paint shades of the car, namely singe-tone Black, dual-tone Khaki and dual-tone Denim.

Hyundai Venue: First Drive Review- Feature-laden and Connected

2019 hyundai venue interior dashboard

The recently-launched Venue is available with Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity tech which is set to blow all its competitors away. It offers as many as 33 connectivity functions and 10 out of which are specifically-developed for India. The Hyundai Venue is tom-tommed as the first-ever “connected” SUV in the lot and well, we’re talking about an embedded SIM card that enables you to stay connected with your beloved Venue by enjoying the convenience of some easy touches on your smartphone. That said, now you can start the engine, switch on the air con or lock and unlock the doors, etc. remotely from your smartphone. So what does “remotely” mean here? It means as long as you are still connected to a mobile network, you could do it all from any place in the world. Other uber-cool features on offer encompass live traffic tracking, GPS navigation, tyre monitoring pressures, geofences and many more.

Blue Link connectivity technologies:

Hyundai Venue- Blue Link Connectivity
 Safety and Security
 Auto Crash Notification  SOS/ Emergency Assist
 Roadside Assistance  Panic Notification
 Stolen Vehicle Tracking  Stolen Vehicle Notification
 Artificial Intelligence 
 Interactive Voice Recognition- Indian English
 Alert Services 
 Geo-Fence Alert  Time Fencing Alert
 Speed Alert  Valet Alert
 Idle Alert  
 Remote 
 Remote engine Start/stop  Remote Door Unlock/Lock
 Remote Temperature Control  Remote Vehicle Status
 Remote Horn Honk & Light  Find my car and share my car
 Vehicle Relational Management (VRM)
 Auto/Manual DTC check  Monthly Health Report
 Maintenance Alert  Driving Info/ Behaviour
 Location Based Services (LBS)
 Push Maps Call Centre  Push Map to Car from App
 Live POI Search  Live Traffic Info
 Share the destination  Live Car Tracking
 Destination Set in Link with schedule  Location Sharing

Other than the advanced Blue Link technology, there is a lot more to talk about the feature-laden cabin of the Hyundai Venue. As you may know, Hyundai is well-known for introducing cars with loads of features and the latest entrant to the sub-four-metre SUV segment gets no exceptions. The 8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system appears like a tablet at the centre of the dashboard and it supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay too. The air-purifier sits comfortably in one of the cup holders while there’re also a bunch of other interior highlights such as power sunroof, 6-speaker sound system tuned by Arkamys sound driver, wireless phone charging, passive keyless entry, start push-button, 6 airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounts, vehicle stability management and hill start assist. The Venue offers automatic headlamps, however, strangely, the auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror has been given a miss.

Hyundai Venue: First Drive Review- Powerful and Efficient

 Hyundai Venue- Specifications
Engine Max Power Max Torque Fuel Economy
 1.0-litre turbo- petrol/ 6-speed MT/ 7-speed DCT  120 PS  172 Nm  18.27 kmpl/ 18.15 kmpl
 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol/ 5-speed MT  83 PS  115 Nm  17.52 kmpl
 1.4-litre turbo-diesel/ 6-speed MT  90 PS  220 Nm  23.70 kmpl

The Venue gets three powertrain options under its bonnet. They are a 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine, a 1.0-litre three-cylinder direct-injection TGDI petrol motor along with a 1.4-litre CRDI diesel unit. The 1.2-litre gasoline engine and the 1.4-litre oil burner are exclusively connected a 5-speed MT and a 6-speed MT, respectively while the new turbo petrol mill comes mated to a 6-speed MT or a 7-speed DCT automatic unit. Note that the Venue is currently the only SUV among its rivals to get a dual-clutch transmission.

2019 hyundai venue front three quarters red right side

The small-displacement turbo-petrol engine comes to churn out the maximum power of 120 PS and 172 Nm of peak torque which makes it even stand on par with that of the Hyundai Creta sibling in terms of powerful performance. This turbocharged engine offers a fair bit of turbo lag that is hardly noticeable when the motor marks over 1,500 rpm. The first-in-class 7-speed dual-clutch transmission delivers faster and more seamless gearshifts as compared to the torque converter and the AMT units.

2019 hyundai venue front three quarters white colour

However, since the engine has an odd number of cylinders, the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) level are marginally high and there’s a slight reluctance on downshifting if you step hard on the gas and plan to carry out quick overtaking manoeuvres. All in all, aside from all this, the overall performance of the car is still crisp and way better than many equivalent models of the segment. The ARAI-rated fuel mileage of the SUV stands at 18.27 kmpl which is, in fact, a very decent figure when compared to some other models of the same category.

Hyundai Venue: First Drive Review- Excellent Ride and Handling

Frankly, we all know that the current range of vehicles from Hyundai are seeing a huge improvement in terms of ride and handling quality over its arch rivals, all the ways to garner a larger band of followers towards the South Korean brand. Of course, the same goes for the all-new Hyundai Venue as well. The all-new compact SUV by Hyundai really impresses us with its sporty ride and handling. The car offers a light steering that makes it a breeze to travel with at the city speeds, especially in the congested street. And it helps you stay high confidence while twirling the “young boy” around the corners of the street, to say the least. Note though, for quite some time, it shows some vagueness, especially around the steering wheel’s dead centre position but this should be typical for any electronic power steering on a cost-effective vehicle.

2019 hyundai venue rear three quarters white

Hyundai engineers have finely tuned the suspension of the Venue on the stiffer side which can be felt evidently right from the first 50 metres of the intra-city commutes. However, it is never getting too obvious and the Venue’s occupants would hardly get any discomfort of sorts to make a complaint.

At high speed on the significant undulations, the new sub-four-metre SUV turns out the deal with it quickly. The high-profile 215/60-section tyres are pretty good enough to cushion the shock while the 195 mm ground clearance, as well as the long wheel travel, should be of help to tackle the speed breakers and the broken roads. In brief, the Hyundai Venue appears to miss out on the real “magic carpet” ride but it’s still comfortable in most kind of usages.

Hyundai Venue: First Drive Review- Verdict

Hyundai Venue- Prices (ex-showroom)
 Variants  E  S  SX  SX (O)  SX+
 1.2-litre petrol MT  Rs 6.50 Lakh  Rs 7.20 Lakh      
 1.0-litre petrol MT    Rs 8.21 Lakh  Rs 9.54 Lakh  Rs 10.60 Lakh  
 1.0-litre petrol DCT    Rs 9.35 Lakh      Rs 11.10 Lakh
 1.4-litre diesel MT  Rs 7.75 Lakh  Rs 8.45 Lakh  Rs 8.45 Lakh  Rs 10.84 Lakh  

For all these talents and prowess, does the Hyundai Venue have enough ingredients to take the Indian market by storm? Absolutely, yes! In fact, after almost twenty days of launch, the Hyundai Venue receives a warm welcome by the country’s enthusiasts and witnesses a decent bookings orders across the nation. Apart from the pronounced lean and body roll as well as the most “compact” size giving it a strict four-seater layout, not much could be found on the Venue to blow away our interests. The attractive-looking silhouette, a plush cabin combined with new-age technological kits and very impressive driving experience from the word go would really fulfil the most choosy one’s needs.

On the other hand, at the price starting from Rs 6.50 Lakh and goes up to Rs 11.10 Lakh (all prices are ex-showroom), the Hyundai Venue is totally a convincing package for us, not to mention the lucrative three-year/ unlimited km warranty together with an extensive sales network. Surely the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford Ecosport are having a tough competition then.

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