The Hyundai what? ‘Tis a rather strange name, don’t you think?

The Hyundai Venue! I can’t even make a childish joke about its name like I do with all of Hyundai’s models. Think Kona and Creta. I can be lame and say things like, I attended the launch venue in Cape Town for the Venue and stupid stuff like that, but I would rather not.

So what is the Hyundai Venue?

It is a sub-compact SUV which competes directly with the likes of the recently launched Volkswagen T-Cross and the Citroën C3 Aircross. This segment is heating up, hey?! I am kinda glad about it too.

These are my kind of cars. Nippy but practical. And as Hyundai Motor Company’s designer, Juhyun Ha, says, “It is a young and energetic car that is small but confident.” She might as well be describing me.

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The Venue is Hyundai’s youngest and smallest model in its SUV line up. I quite love the look of it too. It has quite a Volvo-vibe about it. And from some angles, like the profile, it looks a bit like its T-Cross competitor. Don’t tell Hyundai I said that. But speaking of its T-Cross competitor, didn’t you love Hyundai’s cheeky campaign, “Don’t cross your T’s just yet”? Very witty. I approve.

Climb inside the Venue

There are three trim levels available; Motion, Fluid and Glide. We didn’t get to experience the entry-level Motion and I would have liked to, if just to see if it would be worth recommending. But we did get to drive both the Fluid and Glide models. Spec in these models pretty much match what the T-Cross offers so things such as Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cruise control, rear parking sensors with rear camera, six airbags and automatic headlights all come standard.

The plastics feel pretty good and overall there is a sense of great build quality coming from this Venue. Where I am disappointed is with the fact that the rear bench is only a 60:40 split in the Glide model. With the T-Cross and C3 Aircross offering sliding rear benches, I think Hyundai missed out on an opportunity here. The boot gives you 350-litres which is fine. But thankfully, it shines in terms of space in the rear. Legroom and headroom is ample. My six-foot-something driving partner was quite comfortable sitting behind himself. He is weird like that.

Driving to the Venue

All models are powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Both a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic transmission are on offer. But if I were you, I would opt for the manual. It is smooth-shifting and you certainly get more out of the engine than you do with the auto ‘box – which tends to be a tad screechy when pushed a little hard.

Other than that, the Venue is a refined little package. It doesn’t like being thrown in to corners, but who does really? What I mean is, this is not the segment for that. It is made for young families who are hopefully more interested in the practical side of things than the performance side of things. But a young family will also be happy to know that we managed a low fuel consumption of just 5.7L/100 km on this launch drive.

Should you buy a Venue?

I will say yes. It will come down to customer preference whether you opt for the T-Cross or the Venue. They are pretty similar in spec and not too far off in price. Bearing in mind that the Venue offers more in terms of service and warranty.

Ha said that Hyundai is “…hoping Venue will become the small giant in the compact SUV market.” I believe it has the potential to do just this. I think any customer will be happy with this car and it is one you should consider if you are shopping in this market.

Pricing of the new Hyundai Venue

1.0 Motion MT – R274 900
1.0 Motion DCT – R304 900
1.0 Fluid MT – R309 900
1.0 Fluid DCT – R339 900
1.0 Glide DCT – R369 900

If you would prefer to shop for a used car, then head on over to carmag.co.za  for some awesome deals on second hand cars.

This article was first published on julietmcguire.com

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