The Hyundai Venue is set to storm the sub-four metre compact SUV segment with its unique connectivity features, striking design and a new turbo petrol engine
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INDIA IS THE FASTEST GROWING automotive market in the world. Within this market, lies the fastest growing segment – the compact SUVs. Call them hatchbacks on stilts or shrunken SUVs, people just can't seem to get enough of them. The trend started with the Ford EcoSport back in 2012 and since then Maruti Suzuki, Tata, and Mahindra have fought tooth and nail to grab a share of this scrumptious pie. Hyundai, surprisingly, has been missing. With the Venue however, Hyundai has included a host of connectivity features that will have you wondering how a little car packs so much. The Venue may be late to the party but by the looks of things, it has brought a bazooka to a knife fight.
IT'S A LOOKER! Modest dimensions with bold design is the new challenge and with the Venue, Hyundai seems to have hit the sweet spot. Just like the Kona Electric, the Venue features the split headlamp design. Indicators and parking lamps are positioned horizontally at the edge of the bonnet and the main headlamps and fog lamps sit lower down. Surrounding the headlamps are the square-ish DRLs which look quite striking. There's of course Hyundai's mesh pattern cascading grille. This design wizardry is part of Hyundai's new design language which is also seen on the latest gen Santa Fe and the India-bound Kona and, the silhouette of the Venue appears like a scaleddown version of the Creta. ENTHUSIASTS REJOICE!
It's the first time Hyundai India will be offering its Kappa 1.0-litre turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol engine. The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine makes 118bhp and 172Nm of torque. Even though this engine is built for better performance, Hyundai says that fuel efficiency hasn't been compromised. The exhaust manifold has been integrated to the cylinder head, thus improving fuel efficiency at higher rpm ranges. Power will be sent to the front wheels via the in-house developed seven-speed dual clutch transmission, which will make its debut in the Venue. There's also a six-speed manual on offer. Hyundai says that the DCT has been subjected to rigorous tests for high gear strength and better
clutch friction materials to offer optimal performance in all terrain.
For those not interested in the additional 30 odd horses, there's also the 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and the 1.4-litre, four-cylinder diesel mill which currently powers most of Hyundai's existing portfolio. The former makes 82bhp and 115Nm of torque while the latter is good for 89bhp and 220Nm of torque. These engines however will only be mated to five-speed and six-speed manual transmissions and the dual-clutch unit will be exclusively offered with the turbo-petrol powertrain.
THE BIG TALKING POINT
The Venue gets all sorts of features that
THE VENUE HAS BROUGHT A BAZOOKA TO A KNIFE FIGHT
would make you go gaga like cornering lights, an electric sunroof, cruise control, an eightinch touchscreen and glove box cooling. But those aren't even the Venue's big talking points. What makes it standout is Hyundai's futuristic Blue Link system that comes with 33 connectivity features, 10 of which are India specific. The in-built tamper-proof device is powered by a Vodafone-Idea eSIM and a cloud-based voice recognition platform. The system allows owners to command a host of features via a smartphone application and the vehicle's touchscreen.
The list of features and their sheer vastness is mindboggling. Owners can access climate control settings remotely via the Blue Link app and warm up or cool down the cabin before even getting in. If there's trouble locating the car, you can activate the car's horn or lights or even share the vehicle's live location to your phone.
To make sure that car thieves don't get the best of you, it's equipped with geo-fencing. This establishes a digital perimeter for the car and when the perimeter is violated, alerts are sent to the smartphone. There's also a valet alert system which sets boundary, speed and idle time limits, ensuring the car doesn't go for a ride when it's handed over to the valet. The focus with AI however is mainly on voice-controlled features. Vehicle Navigation Control helps locate POIs on a map via an AI-enabled voice response while Interactive Voice Recognition provides date, time and weather details. It's also AI-enabled to specifically recognise Indian accents.
Fancy getting a health report of the car without having the need to go to the service station? Blue Link allows auto and manual DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) checks. If it suspects an issue, it turns on the blinkers and performs a system check. The monthly health report shows number of engine starts, distance travelled, drive time, system health etc. And lastly the system also attempts to make you a better driver by analysing your driving habits. It shows information on hard braking, rapid acceleration, max/average speeds etc.
In case of an accident, the system instantly notifies Hyundai's call centre as well as the emergency (upto five people) via SMS along with the GPS location. There's also an SOS button on the IRVM. On pressing it, Hyundai's
VENUE IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW FAR THIS SEGMENT CAN BE PUSHED
call centres contact the car and send immediate technical or medical assistance. These are features that we see only in high end luxury vehicles but Hyundai is making all this techno-wizardry far more accessible. SETTING THE BAR
Compact SUVs have come a long way and the Venue is a great example of how far this tiny segment can be pushed. It has only been previewed so far and from the little we have seen, it looks like Hyundai has stretched the boundaries to benchmark levels. The Venue packs everything that you would want and then some. It offers connnectivity unlike any other car at this price, combined with peppy drivetrain options and great design. The Venue's launch is slated for May 21.
1: A clean dash makes for an inviting interior 2: Small turbo-petrol makes 118bhp and hooks up to a DCT 3: 8-inch touchscreen on the dash to host connectivity features
This pic: The Venue's roofline and silhouette is similar to the Creta's