The Hyundai Venue has been the talk of the town ever since it hit the market. It looks desirable, comes loaded with equipment, and wears a Hyundai badge. What’s more, it’s done extremely well on the sales front too – consistently beating out the erstwhile market leader, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. In fact, it’s difficult to believe any talk of a slowdown when you look at the sales figures of the Venue.
When I first drove the car, I was very satisfied with the on-road driveability of both the 1.4-litre diesel engine and 1.0-litre petrol model. But, at our annual jury meet, it was time to push the Venue to its limits at the BIC.
The car we have here is armed with a 1.0-litre direct injection turbo petrol motor mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. On the road, this combination of engine and gearbox feels buttery smooth, with seamless gear changes under linear acceleration. Upshifts and downshifts are always smooth and quick, except under kick-down acceleration, that is – when there is some delay from the transmission. And this particular trait is quite evident at the track too! When you put the pedal to the metal, the rev needle shoots up, but the transmission takes its time to decide which gear to pick. Steering-mounted paddles to change gear would have been helpful here.
The engine, however, is very free-revving and responsive – in fact, it feels very willing, even from 5,000rpm onwards, as you race towards the redline. While the Venue’s first drive revealed the radical transformation that Hyundai has made in terms of its steering feel and response, on the track this becomes even more apparent. The Venue’s steering has just the right amount of heft, and it even has an actual feel. All in all, it’s a huge step forward in terms of the driving dynamics of Hyundai’s cars – and the Grand i10 Nios is also testimony to this fact.
In addition, the Venue gets class-leading quality and technology. It even comes with an in-built eSIM that gives it connectivity tech that puts most luxury cars to shame. All in all, it provides driving dynamics, looks, technology and quality that you would expect of a much pricier machine – and that’s why the Hyundai Venue is amongst the ‘Best of 2019.’