By: Natasha Archary
Cheeky with a good-looking rear and the guts to enter a saturated SUV market with an attitude that screams, “not without a second glance in my direction,” the Hyundai Venue hits South African roads.
My first look at the Venue, piqued my interest, I will admit. My quizzical intrigue was centered predominantly on the face of the car and the “double” headlights. I suppose there’s a first for everything in design and the Venue at first glance looks promising with key features.
Hyundai the popular choice
The brand remains a firm favourite amongst South Africans, being the 4thpopular vehicle manufacturer in the country. Expanding the SUV range and crossover portfolio in recent years, Hyundai is determined to create a stir with competitors and the Venue.
Taking a stab at the VW T-Cross in marketing campaigns in South Africa earlier this year, Hyundai asked motorists not to cross their T’s just yet. And motoring enthusiasts were eager to see how the Venue would fair in comparison to the rival Ford Ecosport and other subcompact SUVS on the market.
Speaking at the media launch of the Hyundai Venue, in Century City Cape Town, Mr Seonseob Kim, M.D, Hyundai Motor India, spoke about the three key values that the Venue ascribes to:
- Solid presence
- Refreshing driving experience
- Seamless connectivity
Being a smart mobility solution company, 2019 was an instrumental year for the brand and the aim is to lead the industry with technology and innovation. The Hyundai Venue is currently topping sales in the SUV category in India.
Why would the Venue appeal to you?
“If style and quality ranks high with you then the Hyundai Venue is for you,” says Juhyun Ha, Designer, Hyundai Motor Company Design Center.
It was important in the Venue design to come up with a striking concept.
The Venue is a touch boxier than the Kona with a bolder grille. Inches shorter than most SUVs and yet utilising the interior cabin space efficiently. With an expressive colour palette and exterior aesthetic panels and details that can be custom selected.
Taking 2 models of the Venue on an off-road driving experience on an extremely windy day in Cape Town would put the vehicle to the test. How would you get the most out of a family targeted vehicle? Road trip.
With a 3-hour route planned, motoring journalists from across the country pushed the Venue through its paces and here’s how it faired.
Hit the open road
It might have been the dizzingly gorgeous overpass to Franschoek or just the crazy strong Cape winds, but the Venue did not feel sturdy enough on the treacherous mountain terrain and winding, endless stretches of road. It’s not that the car’s sluggish in the least, to the contrary, it takes to the road and opens up the 172 (Nm) torque beautifully.
Mindful that the Venue is smaller than its bigger sisters, the Tucson, Creta, Santa Fe and Kona, and factoring that anywhere else in the country the wind speeds aren’t as hard as that in the Cape. However, the safety rating of the Venue is up for debate and one should try to gather more information on the varying reports.
The Venue received a 4-star ANCAP rating in Australia, due to the differences in the Isofix child seat specifications between Europe and Australia. The lack of a “fusion” autonomous emergency braking system that can detect cyclists. Yes, it may be a technicality that one may easily say, #FirstWorldProblems and look the other way because South Africans don’t really have those issues in mind when looking for a new car, now do we?
We care about comfort, affordability and reliability. The Venue is credible on performance and economy, with a cruising fuel economy of 6.5l/100km. Hitting the 0 – 100km in 11.3 seconds before nailing a top speed of 183km. Although all variants in the range only offer front wheel drive. Seats are hard but the ride is fairly comfortable as it takes to the road with a ground clearance of 195mm. The Venue does not currently offer leather as an interior option. Cloth is the standard in all options within the range, so luxury may not have been a priority with the design elements on this one.
One may question why the need for another SUV in the fleet. It’s a valid question, in a saturated SUV market, was there a need for yet another choice? Only time will tell as we watch the markets to see how South Africans respond.