A fine place to meet the road

PLEA­SURES: LIKE A BIG­GER SUV THAT SHRUNK IN THE WASH, VENUE MAKES SOLID IM­PRES­SION

The Citizen (KZN) - - Motoring - An­dre de Kock

You don’t have to feel guilty about en­joy­ing Hyundai’s lat­est of­fer­ing.

Pla­gia­rism is a dirty word in jour­nal­ism. For those not familiar with the con­cept, it refers to the theft of other writ­ers’ words, sto­ries or ideas to be passed off as one’s own.

This writer has over the years reg­u­larly in­dulged in oth­ers’ works. You see, I am of­ten – as in this case – stumped for a witty, in­for­ma­tive and cheer­ful in­tro­duc­tion to a road im­pres­sions ar­ti­cle.

In my drink­ing days I could draw the cur­tains, lie down and Wait for the Voices to Come. But I can no longer im­bibe in the de­mon sauce and have to rely on my mem­ory.

Since I read a lot and re­mem­ber some of it, I will from time to time re­pro­duce amus­ing things stuck in my mind. Thus over the years I must have pur­loined ideas from Os­car Wilde, PG Wode­house, Da­mon Run­yon, Jerry Lewis, Jeremy Clark­son, Pi­eter-Dirk Uys and Trevor Noah, plus ev­ery stand-up comic I have ever heard. Guilty.

But I am not the only one who pur­loins the ideas of oth­ers. Hyundai, for in­stance, call their lat­est small cross­over the Venue. Now, when I was young, a gen­tle­men’s club on the East Rand called The Venue of­fered all sorts of won­der­ful – if not spo­ken of – de­lights, at a price. Or so I was told; my in­come never stretched to a fact-find­ing tour.

Ac­tu­ally, I am sure the two Venues have noth­ing in com­mon.

That said, the Hyundai Venue in Fluid spec does boast all sorts of en­joy­able sur­prises and, in the name of glean­ing in­for­ma­tion for this story, this time I could con­duct my own re­search.

To start with, the Venue is 3 995mm long, 1 770mm wide,

It looks very right It goes very well It is eco­nom­i­cal

Pricy but then, what is not? 1 590mm high and has a gross ve­hi­cle mass of 1 670kg, which makes it the smallest SUV in the Hyundai range.

It is pow­ered by a 998cc three-cylin­der tur­bocharged petrol en­gine that pro­duces 88kW of power at 6 000rpm and 172Nm of torque be­tween 1 500 and 4 000rpm.

This, in the case of the test ve­hi­cle, passed to the front wheels via a six-speed man­ual gear­box – a de­light­ful fea­ture in the eyes of this an­cient writer.

The Venue has ven­ti­lated disc brakes front and drums rear, with ABS and EBD, plus an elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme and hill-start as­sist sys­tem.

The ve­hi­cle is, to our mind, very pretty, but we have learned over the years that styling speaks to ev­ery ob­server in a dif­fer­ent way. That is why we have pho­to­graphs with these ar­ti­cles, so look at them and de­cide whether you also find the Venue a lit­tle bit car­toon­ish, like a big­ger SUV that has shrunk in the wash.

Adding to the looks are 6.5-inch wide, 16-inch al­loy wheel rims, dressed in 215/60 R16 rub­ber­ware.

In­side, the Venue will seat four adults in com­fort and five in a squeeze. It has man­ual air-con­di­tion­ing, glove box cool­ing and ad­justable air vents for the rear oc­cu­pants.

There is an on-board com­puter with a mas­sive range of in­for­ma­tion, from your av­er­age petrol con­sump­tion, av­er­age speed, dis­tance to empty, trip me­ter, bat­tery charge, brake fluid level, seat belt warn­ing, am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture and brake fluid level to oil pres­sure.

The au­dio sys­tem has a ra­dio, USB and Blue­tooth con­nec­tions, four speak­ers and two tweet­ers.

Ac­tive Safety fea­tures in­clude LED day­time run­ning lights, a high mounted rear stop light, au­to­matic lock­ing doors and an im­pact-sens­ing door un­lock­ing sys­tem.

Pas­sive safety fea­tures in­clude crum­ple zones front and rear, side im­pact pro­tec­tion beams, airbags all round for the front oc­cu­pants and plus side and cur­tain airbags in the rear.

The lit­tle SUV is an ab­so­lute plea­sure to drive. Ac­cel­er­a­tion feels brisk – just more than 11 sec­onds from stand­still to 100km/h, says Hyundai, with a top whack of around 180km/h.

More im­por­tantly, the wide torque range has the Venue pulling strongly from around 1 300rpm, mak­ing the use of sixth gear ab­so­lutely plau­si­ble in city traf­fic.

The gear­box is a de­light to use, with changes pre­cise and per­formed with fin­ger-tip ease.

Though not at­tempt­ing to drive eco­nom­i­cally, we man­aged an over­all fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure of 7.6l/100km, mostly in city traf­fic.

The Hyundai Venue Six-Speed Man­ual will cost you R309 900, which in­cludes a five-year/150 000km war­ranty. Ser­vice in­ter­vals are ev­ery 15 000km.

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