The compact SUV segment is the hardest, most fiercely competitive segment for SUV’s in India. Every manufacturer has launched products in this segment in the last decade.2.jpgHyundai now enters this segment with the entry of the Venue. The Venue was launched earlier this year and has been an instant success. Hyundai is known for quality, ease of service & maintenance, making products that are top class and priced competitively.

This weekend we drove the Hyundai Venue SX 1.0 turbo petrol manual as part of our ongoing series #MonsoonTrails.

THE OUTSIDE6.jpgThe Venue has an upright stance with a longish bonnet which makes it stand out in a crowd. The design language is quite different from the competition in the segment.

Chrome finish for the grille, low-set bumper mounted headlights with rectangular DRLs are all segment first features. One gets 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and projector fog lamps on the topmost SX trim variant. The LED tail lamps gets lenticular lens which look superb when it switched on.8.jpgcollage 1.jpgTHE INSIDE

The cabin of the Venue is made up of nicely finished plastics, soft touch materials and ergonomically designed seats and interiors. The dashboard, tablet style touchscreen display, leather steering wheel all showcase the sleek and classy design language Hyundai is known for.

Slide into the driver’s seat and the first thing one notices is the level of all round visibility on offer. The front seats are comfortable and offer good under thigh and lumbar support. Leg and head room in the back row is good as well. Shoulder room may feel a bit cramped when 3 passengers are seated in the rear.collage 2.jpgHyundai is known for designing cars which are loved by Indian customers. One of the reasons is the practicality their cars offer in terms of storage options. Deep bottle holders on the doors, biggish enough glove box, cup holders between the seats, open area above the glove box, open space under the ac section. The Venue comes with wireless charging, sunroof, 8-inch infotainment system with smartphone mirroring tech and cruise control, cooled glove box.

Safety and driving aids are part of the standard package these days in modern vehicles. Dual airbags, ABS and EBD with rear parking sensors are offered standard across all variants. The top spec versions come with 6 airbags, cornering lamps and stability control.

Being connected is the new catchword in cars being launched this year. The venue is the 1st car in the compact SUV segment to offer this option. Using Hyundai’s Blue Link Connectivity app which comes pre-loaded in the infotainment system, one can access 33 services such as safety, remote control, security related options, vehicle alerts etc.

THE DRIVE12The version I drove during this review was the 1.0 litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol 6 -speed manual which puts out 120bhp and 172nm of torque.

The Venue engine comes with a twin stage oil pump and a clever waste-gate management for the turbo. This helps in improving throttle response while reducing loss of energy. This was immediately evident in the briskness with which the Venue took off the moment I put it into 1st gear. One feels the power from as low as 1800 rpm… Post 2500 rpm there’s a slight boost in power…Before you know it, the speedometer is crossing 100 kmph.14.jpgI drove it over 300 kms on this review. Most of the driving was done outside Mumbai. Handling, braking, sliding into corners the Venue scored good marks in all these departments. Ride quality is of paramount importance for car buyers in India. Here again the Venue scored good marks. There’s no noticeable discomfort to the passengers even while going over bad patches of roads.  The manual gearbox works very efficiently. Going through the gears was very smooth and this complements the 172 Nm torque delivery the Venue offers. The clutch on the Venue isn’t heavy, one doesn’t feel tired even in bad traffic conditions.

THE VERDICT

Hyundai has got it spot on with the Venue. One gets a well refined engine, spacious and comfortable cabin, loads of features, connected car capabilities and very good driving dynamics. The Venue is easy to manoeuvre in traffic, braking and handling is sharp, it offers good ride quality and is available at a killer price tag. Making this compact SUV an excellent companion to own and drive.911.jpgThere are a total of 13 variants of the Hyundai Venue to choose from.

The Hyundai Venue E (base version petrol) is available for Rs 6.50 Lakhs ex showroom Mumbai. The Venue E (base version diesel) is available for Rs 7.75 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai.

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sanjeev joshi

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