DRIVEN: New Hyundai Venue is more attractive, but getting pricey

Published Oct 27, 2022


Johannesburg - Since first hitting the streets in late 2019, when the world seemed so normal compared to now, the Hyundai Venue has become South Africa’s third most popular compact SUV, behind the Toyota Urban Cruiser and Volkswagen T-Cross.

The Venue is one of the only compact SUVs that competes with both of the aforementioned, catering for the budget end of the market as well as the swankier side where the German competes.

The facelifted Hyundai Venue that was launched in South Africa recently, continues to cast its net wide, with a line-up of six derivatives that range in price from R294 900 to R449 900.

For its midlife upgrade, the compact Hyundai gets a new look and in my opinion the facelifted model is somewhat easier on the eye than its predecessor, with redesigned headlights and a new ‘Parametic Jewel’ grille that makes it look like a baby Tucson.

There are significant changes at the back end too, with new light clusters that now run across the tailgate. This and the redesigned bumper make the Venue look wider and more purposeful than the outgoing model.

Speaking of purposeful, Hyundai has also added an N Line model to the range for the first time. Replacing the Glide variant that previously served as the flagship, the N Line gains a number of bespoke design features, including an N Line Dark Chrome grille, unique 16-inch alloys and a black roof that includes a sunroof. It also gets unique exterior colour choices in the form of Nicobar Blue and Shadow Grey.

Inside the N Line stands out with its synthetic leather seats with red trim and N logos, as well as mood lighting and alloy pedals.

Apart from the added frills of the N line model, the cabin of the Hyundai Venue remains largely as before. While overall build quality is relatively decent, some of the plastics do feel a bit low rent, particularly in the lower sections. While this is perfectly adequate at the lower end of the range where rivals like the Urban Cruiser and Magnite fare no better in this regard, the Hyundai could be a bit of a hard sell at the top end of the range, where you’re expected to part with 450 grand.

All models ship with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. While the N Line trim grade is new, the Motion and Fluid models continue at the lower and middle ends of the line-up, with the former offering all the essentials and the latter gaining items such as 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, a cloth and leather seat upholstery combination and cruise control, among other additions. Click here for a more comprehensive look at the features available in each model.

We got to experience the 1.0T N Line and Fluid models on the local launch held in Gauteng recently, and this is probably the only engine you should consider.

As before, the base model is fitted with a normally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine that produces just 61kW and 115Nm. Unsurprisingly this engine was not available for evaluation at the launch, so we can’t tell you how underpowered it is, but those numbers don’t look good, particularly for Gauteng altitudes.

Thankfully Hyundai also offers the Motion base model with the 1.0-litre turbo engine as an option, and at R354 900, this is likely to be the sweet spot in the range, depending on what kind of spec you’re after.

The 1.0T engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, unless you’re buying the N Line, in which case the latter is standard.

On the open road, the three-cylinder turbo engine feels willing enough. It can be a little vocal under hard acceleration though, but once on the boil it offers comfortable and relatively effortless performance.

Overall road refinement is not bad at all, and the ride quality is comfortable, but there is a bit of wind noise at higher speeds.

As for the after-sales back-up, all Venue models are sold with a three-year or 45 000km service plan and the vehicle also has one of the best warranties in the business, with the five-year/150 000km manufacturer warranty, extended to seven years or 200 000km for the drivetrain.

Hyundai Venue Prices (October 2022)

1.2 Motion manual - R294 900

1.0T Motion manual - R354 900

1.0T Motion DCT - R394 900

1.0T Fluid manual - R389 900

1.0T Fluid DCT - R429 900

1.0T N Line DCT - R449 900

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