A fine place to meet the road
PLEASURES: LIKE A BIGGER SUV THAT SHRUNK IN THE WASH, VENUE MAKES SOLID IMPRESSION
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.