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Hyundai Venue 1.0 litre turbo petrol test drive review

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The sub-compact SUV segment has been slowly starting to get crowded with almost every automaker bringing in their respective models to make the maximum of the newly emerged cash cow segment and one that commands the highest market share. Hyundai may have been a latecomer into this highly competitive segment, but how good is the Venue compact SUV out on our roads? We take the Venue petrol DCT auto out for a spin to find out.

When viewed in profile, the Venue looks more of a cross between a hatchback and a crossover than a flat out SUV. Having said that, it does get some interesting details such as a chrome lined cascade front grille, a split headlamp design where the main headlight is located lower down and the turn indicators are placed high up and a dual tone bumper with grey and black colour scheme and a skid plate.

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The side profile is where the Venue reminds a lot of the Creta, especially in the way the glasshouse wraps around the car. Hyundai has also cleverly integrated a thick shoulder line in the metal thus hiding some of the bulk of the car. Further accentuating the SUV appeal is the generous dose of body cladding, large wheel arch and chunky R16 alloy wheels wrapped in 215/60 section rubber. The taillamps though small in size have a unique pattern; this along with a smartly styled tailgate flanked by the bold looking Hyundai logo and Venue badging gives the car a premium look. The rear bumper also follows the split tail lamp layout, however it only houses the reverse lights, while the tail lamps are at its usual location.

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On the inside, the all black colour scheme along with shiny chrome  blends well with the cabin. The dashboard receives a futuristic design with the touchscreen infotainment system integrating most of the functions, lending it a clean look. However the infotainment system does look oddly placed especially considering it eats up into the space of the A/C vents. What’s really interesting and feels good to use are the chunky climate control knobs that have a nice feel to them. The steering wheel has a nice grip to hold while driving, but the controls placed on it look cluttered and you do tend to accidentally hit them at unexpected occasions.

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The front seats are well cushioned and offer great support and should you desire more, the height adjust levers on the sides do offer so much more. Headroom is sufficient but taller passengers will find their head touching the roof especially in the sunroof equipped version. The passengers seated at the rear would have an impression of being cooped up from outside, but won’t have much to complain about once inside. The seat is placed at a good angle and is comfy enough to accommodate three passengers. But what steals some of that fun away is the high window line that could have liberated a lot more space. Nevertheless legroom and shoulder room are best by segment standards, stretching your legs out even with the front seat pushed halfway back shouldn’t be much of a hustle. Boot space stands at 350 litres but can free up a lot more with the rear seats folded down, however the loading lip is a bit high, meaning you will have to lift your luggage a lot higher up to get them inside.

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Push the start/stop button and the 1.0 litre turbo petrol motor wakes up to life and the first impression evokes the feeling of a punchy and well refined motor. It’s silent and smooth with almost no noise and vibrations filtering in. Sure it does get noisy at higher speeds, but we found it to be audible enough than its rivals. The 1.0 litre turbo petrol makes 120hp and 172 Nm of torque and while these figures may not seem performance friendly on paper, it doesn’t translate the same way while out on the road. The 7-speed DCT transmission works  brilliantly leaving no room for a jerky ride or studs mostly seen in  automatic transmissions.

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Put your foot down and the car takes off in an impressive manner, the 1.0 litre motor is rev happy and doesn’t grumble even at higher speeds. If there is one point to note here, would be to do with the steering which could have a better feel at higher speeds. The Venue’s motor also doesn’t shy away at city speeds as you can be ambling around town and get up to triple digit speeds in no time.

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The Venue also feels very compact to drive in congested areas. Getting in and out of a tight parking spot is not a cause to worry about as the light steering allows for easy manoeuvrability . The Suspension is composed of McPherson strut upfront and torsion beam  at the rear. While it does a good job of soaking up the bumps and potholes at city speeds, it does crash into the deeper potholes as the speeds build up.

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If there is one department where we feel the Venue could perform better, it’s the brakes. Point to note is that the Venue comes in disc at front and drum at the rear, however the issue is that they don’t feel as feel as confidence inspiring as they should. Should you feel the need to get the car to a halt, you will have to brake harder than usual.

Verdict

The Venue, just like the Creta, is another well engineered model. While it lacks the butch looks of a SUV, feels a bit cramped on the inside and the brakes are not upto the mark, it doesn’t mean that the Venue is a bad car. To start things with, the cabin feels well put together as the materials used are of a high quality and above everything the engine especially in the turbo petrol mated to the 7-speed DCT is punchy on performance and doesn’t disappoint even at city speeds. Overall the Venue ticks all the right boxes and is sure to make the competition sit up and take notice.                                   Hyundai Venue 1.0 litre petrol ATPriceRs 6.50 to Rs 10.84 lakhsS DCT, SX+ DCTRs 9.35 and Rs 11,10 lakhsEngine3 cylinder 998cc turbo petrol enginePower120hp at 6000rpmTorque172Nm at 1500-4000rpmTransmission6-speed manual/7-speed DCTFuel tank45 litresMileageVenue DCT – 18.15 kmpl

Venue MT – 17.52 kmplTyre size215/60 R16Length/weight/height3995/1770/1605mmwheelbase2500mmGround clearance195mmKerb weight1168kgVariants (DCT only)S, SX+

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