Big Guns

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


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 Venue gets all sorts of fea­tures that


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


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.


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

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