Hyundai Venue First Drive Review
A few weeks back, we got the opportunity to drive Hyundai's latest entry-level SUV. Here is a detailed review of India's first connected car, the Venue.
Last month, Hyundai Motor India had launched the country’s first Smart SUV, the Venue. With over 17,000 bookings and 80,000 interested people on the first day, the smart SUV received a clear and positive response from the Indian customers. The SUV has also received over 33,000 bookings in less than a month and around 2 lakh customers have also expressed their interest to purchase this vehicle. So, is the Hyundai Venue a perfect compact SUV? Well, a couple of weeks back, we got the opportunity to test Hyundai’s latest entry-level SUV for a day and without wasting any further time we’ll get right to it. Read ahead for our in-depth review!
Looks to kill for?
Well, the Venue gets an unconventional front headlight design that reminds us of the Tata Harrier which is also one of the most beautiful SUVs in its segment, so, yes the Venue looks quite unique and bold. The dark chrome grille on the Venue is available with all variants except the base variant. Even though the Venue looks quite different, it doesn’t look as mature and heavy like the Mahindra XUV300 or the Ford EcoSport. In fact, the Venue looks more like a smart premium-urban SUV, which is mostly oriented towards the younger audience.
Many of the design features and exterior looks are kept standard across all variants. To make this small SUV even more attractive, Hyundai has fitted the top-end variants of the Venue with 16-inch diamond cut rims that look incredibly stunning, while the lower variants get 15-inch steel wheels. The Venue gets under cladding on the sides to provide it with a rugged SUV look. Except for the base variant, all the other variants in the Venue are equipped with roof rails, which truly enhance the practical yet stylish appeal of the car.
The automatic projector headlights which have a good throw and intensity are only available in the top variants, while the base variants get basic halogen bulbs. The headlight cluster on each side includes a cornering light and a circular-type of LED DRL, while the turn indicators are placed at the top. The tail-lights in the top variants are fitted with LEDs and get a crystal effect for additional premium appeal, while the base variants get standard bulbs. The car also gets bridge-like roof rails, a shark fin antenna, chrome door handles and a blacked-out floating-pillar effect in the top-end variants. The rear of the car gets a silver bash-plate like bumper for an enhanced off-roader feel.
The rear of the car also gets all the standard features which are available in other traditional compact SUVs like rear parking sensors, a rear parking camera, a high mount stop lamp, a rear defogger, a viper and washer and a small spoiler to enhance the overall sporty look of the car. The Venue is available in a total of 7 paint schemes and 3 two-tone options and about 2 different interior options.
Talking about boot space capacity, the Venue has one of the biggest boot spaces in its segment, which is about 350-litres. For the keyless entry option, the top-variants get a smart key, while the lower variants get a standard key with no request sensor option on the door handles. On the inside, the car gets a single-tone black interior, while the other interior options also include dual-tone denim or khaki colour schemes. The inclusion of an air purifier, an automatic climate control system, a sunroof, a 20.32 cm smart touchscreen infotainment system and a wireless-charging option make the Venue’s interior one of the most attractive and feature-loaded in its segment.
The seats are manually adjustable for height and recline, however, the lumbar option is missing. The steering wheel also gets the tilt-adjustable option but misses out on telescopic adjustment. In terms of driver comfort, the inclusion of the dead pedal helps in decreasing the additional exertion during long drives and journeys. The steering wheel, gearbox lever and seats are wrapped in a combination of leatherette and cotton fabric, which not only enhances the premium look but also improves the comfort and feel. The overall interior fit and finish is well-built and uses high-quality plastic and rubber materials.
In terms of safety, the Venue is equipped with 2 front airbags, ISOFIX mounts and an ABS as standard, while the top-variant also gets the option of 6-airbags. Hyundai has developed the Venue with a specially created strong steel frame and body parts. The top-end variant also gets the option of switchable traction control which is enabled using the ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) and a Hill Hold Assist option. The Venue also gets a cruise control option and many steering-mounted buttons for direct control to the main infotainment display and other features like giving voice commands and adjusting the instrument cluster.
Exclusive New Features
The infotainment system is the primary and most important new feature in the Hyundai Venue as it is the first connected car of India. Which means the Venue gets an in-built Vodafone-Idea Sim Card for extra connectivity features using the BlueLink technology. The BlueLink technology offers a total of 33 features, many of which have been made specifically for the Indian audience. These features can further be broken down into 7 subcategories – safety, security, remote access, vehicle relationship management, location-based services, alert services and artificial intelligence. For additional convenience, the SOS, RSA and BlueLink button is integrated into the central rear-view mirror.
Variants and Engine options
The Venue is offered in six variants: E, S, SX, SX(Dual-tone), SX(O) and SX+. The Venue gets a total of 4 drivetrain options, a 1.2-litre petrol engine producing 81 HP and 114 Nm of torque paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox, a 1-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 120 HP and 172 Nm of torque paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed automatic gearbox and finally a 1.4-litre diesel engine producing 90 HP and 220 Nm of torque mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. In terms of fuel efficiency, the 1.0-litre motor is rated for 18.27 km/l and 18.15 km/l (manual and automatic), the 1.2-litre petrol promises 17.52 km/l, while the 1.4-litre diesel can return 23.7 km/l.
The prices for the Venue start from INR 6,50,000 for the E base petrol variant, while the diesel base variant costs INR 7,75,000. The 1.2-litre petrol S variant gets a price tag of INR 7,20,000, while the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol S is priced at INR 8,21,000 for the manual transmission and INR 9,35,000 for the automatic transmission and the diesel S variant costs INR 8,45,000. However, the SX variant is only available in 1.0-litre turbo-petrol manual transmission and 1.4-litre diesel engine options. The price of the petrol SX variant is INR 9,54,000 and price for the diesel SX variant is INR 9,78,000. The top SX(O) variant costs INR 10,60,000 for the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol in manual transmission, while the automatic petrol costs INR 11,10,500, however, the diesel top variant SX(O) is priced at INR 10,84,000. (All prices are ex-showroom, India)
Overall, the Venue is a well-built car and gets many segment-first features, however, most of these features are only available in the top SX+ variant. The interior styling and quality feel quite premium, while the exterior looks smart and sporty. The prices for the Venue start from INR 6.5 Lakhs and goes up to INR 11.10 Lakhs (ex-showroom) which is quite low when compared to its rivals. These prices combined with the product quality make the Venue one of the most value-for-money products in the Indian market.