The Hyundai Venue just got a facelift that included a fresher face, redesigned taillights, a slightly updated cabin and that’s it. But the Venue didn’t make the cut because of its facelift, which gives it some much-needed kit, but because of the 1.5-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine. This replaces the older 1.4 liter engine and achieves higher performance – 99 hp and 240 Nm versus 89 hp and 220 Nm. Interestingly, this is still not the same engine as the Kia Sonet diesel car, which will receive even higher power and a variable geometry turbocharger to reduce lag. Back to the venue, because this diesel manual transmission is also a great powertrain. The performance is brisk and the venue picks up speed without too much hesitation. It’s no rocket ship and the turbocharged petrol still has more power, but the low-end grunt makes the diesel a very versatile engine. Then there’s the thrill of having a proper manual transmission – one with measured throws and a light clutch – which definitely adds to the appeal of the venue here at the track. Yes, the petrol-automatic combos will make more sense for the urban jungle, but for driving pleasure the manual is second to none. Hyundai makes refined diesel engines and this one is no different, offering respectable levels of refinement for a small-capacity diesel. The Venue also handles well, even when driven hard, and once you’re comfortable with it on a track day, you can actually have fun behind the wheel. The ride quality is absorbing enough to allow you to cruise the curbs fairly aggressively and smash through potholes in the real world.
The venue is a good package overall. The plastics are a little scratchy in places and it’s still missing things like ventilated seats and a high-end audio system, but the infotainment screen is responsive, the cabin is well-split and the space and practicality are on par with rivals. if not better.
- Hyundai Venue Diesel (lap time – 01:16.7)
|COMFORT / SPACE||5||3.5|
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||4|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||24|
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