Generally speaking, a venue is the scene of any event or action, it can be as big as a stadium or (nowadays) as small as your home/office for a video chat. However, recently car maker Hyundai added an all-new Venue into the mix with the launch of a new ‘baby’ SUV with the same name – and we got to drive the Elite version.
Dressed in optional two-tone paintwork, one of which happened to be a bright lime(ish) green, the Venue is a city-dwelling compact SUV that you’d never miss in a mall car park. It’s got a funky looking exterior with DRL’s that frame the headlights, (particularly good at night), a cascading Hyundai family grille, lime accents, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lights and roof rails should you wish to strap things on top, maybe sporty things.
At a shade over 4m in length, it sits just below the Kona in the Hyundai SUV family ranking and distances itself from the road a full 170mm, meaning that should rise above any kerbs or potholes thrown its way.
Under the bonnet lies a 1.6L CVVT engine that offers up 90kW of power and 151Nm of torque, admittedly these are not excessively high on paper but in all honesty, I didn’t feel starved of power, I just wouldn’t be the one revving the engine at the lights trying to pick a race. Mind you, its 7.2L/100km will maybe outlast a wide range of muscle cars and its 165g/km will leave the air behind cleaner than most.
The SUV’s gearbox is a 6-speed sportshift that’s head and shoulders above a droney CVT and the Venue itself cleverly offers three drive modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) on the road and three more when venturing off the tarmac, yes you hear that correctly, should you encounter and Snow, Mud or Sand, this capable little front-wheel-drive SUV will do its utmost to get you through.
As expected, the interior matches the exterior in terms of funkiness. The finishing is bright and well laid out with materials that are tactile and apt for where the Venue is positioned. What’s not ‘normal’ however, is the sheer amount of driver and safety aids that have been jam-packed into this vehicle. Things like ABS, ESC, EBD, VSM are all becoming the norm now on virtually every new car, but the venue gives you, Blind Spot, Rear Cross Traffic, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist, in fact, it has more assists than an NFL player. It even automatically wipes the rear screen when reversing (even though it has a very clear camera).
We had the Venue for a week and since lockdown was in the rearview mirror, ventured to the local beach and stores (helping the economy and hunting out some fresh air and Vitamin D). It handled the slight bit of unsealed road like a champ and slotted into Mall spaces with room to spare.
For a small family of three such as mine, the interior is spacious enough not to argue and although the boot isn’t huge (355L) it’s ample for the weekly grocery shop. It’s not too big for the tight squeeze that comes with the school run and yet the extended ride height does add to your natural sense of added safety.
Priced well, funky looking and loaded with tech, the all-new Hyundai Venue can happily be the scene of any event or action in our book.