This offering is going to target the fresh Volkswagen T-Cross and the aging Ford EcoSport
Hyundai build good cars, but what the Korean manufacturer is doing even better these days is SUVs. The craze is, and remains, SUVs.
There was a small gap right at the bottom of Hyundai’s comprehensive SUV portfolio. So, in comes the new compact Venue that starts at R274 900 and slots in below the Creta at R359 900, with the Kona at R384 900, the Tucson at R425 900 and finally the Santa Fe (R609 900-plus).
There are a number of competitors, but it’s plain to see based on sales numbers and popularity, this offering is going to target the fresh Volkswagen T-Cross and the aging Ford EcoSport. To do this, Hyundai is offering three specification levels, the Motion as an entry-level derivative, followed by the Fluid which has more design and convenience features, while the Glide has an impressive and comprehensive list of features.
The styling might not be for everybody, especially if you like your SUV looking a bit more traditional and boxier, but I think many manufacturers are going to go with this urban funky, modern look. I like the styling.
Where Hyundai never skimp is on standard features and safety and it’s no different on the Venue. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has audio controls and – in the Fluid and Glide derivatives – cruise-control buttons, along with a 3.8-inch infotainment system in the Motion and an eight-inch touchscreen system the Fluid and Glide.
As is now the norm, the eight-inch display gets both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions for intuitive operation of the most commonly used smartphone functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio and voice-controlled search capabilities. You also get dual USB ports, a 3.5-inch thin-film transistor instrument cluster display to show useful information, a rear-view camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone operation, glove box cooling and rear air conditioning ventilation ducts in the Fluid and Glide.
Safety comes in the form of six airbags – three pairs in front, side-impact and side air curtain, seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters, ISOFIX child seat attachments and anti-lock braking system all model dependent. Electronic stability control as well as electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and hill start assist control are fitted to all models as standard.
Interior space is as can be expected from a compact A-segment SUV and the Venue features a 60/40 split, flat-folding rear seat backs to add extra cargo space should you need it. There is a rear cargo cover for added security which can be stowed when not in use. Both the Motion and Fluid derivatives come with a choice of a manual or double-clutch automatic gearbox, while the top-of-the- range Glide only comes with the double clutch auto. So, there is a model and a specification for everybody.
They only use one engine derivative, the three-cylinder turbo- charged Kappa 1.0 T-GDI petrol engine. It delivers 88 kW of power and a maximum torque of 172 Nm in a range from 1 500 rpm to 4 000 rpm. I got to drive the six-speed manual Fluid first and was blown away by the level of responsiveness and urge from this engine/ gearbox combination.
Jumping into the seven-speed DCT Glide , the Venue for the first time felt like it had a small capacity engine – and it wasn’t because of a lack of power over the manual version, it was just that the auto was smooth, but less responsive. Hyundai claim the fuel consumption was measured at a frugal and realistic 6.5l/100km for the manual transmission versions and 6.9l/100km for the DCT.
Included on all models is the five year/150 000 km warranty plus the additional two year/50 000 km powertrain warranty along with a three year/45 000 km service plan.
Venue 1.0 T-GDI Motion – R274 900
Venue 1.0 T-GDI Motion DCT – R304 900
Venue 1.0 T-GDI Fluid – R309 900
Venue 1.0 T-GDI Fluid DCT – R339 900
Venue 1.0 T-GDI Glide DCT – R369 900
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