Hyundai Venue debuts in NZ

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Words: Nile Bijoux
6 Dec 2019

Hyundai’s new small SUV has launched in New Zealand with a special price tag to stimulate initial interest. In a very Kia-esque move, Hyundai has knocked $2000 off the price of the base mode, imaginatively called the Entry, and so will be available for a limited time for $27,990. Meantime the Elite will be $33,990.

Hyundai says Venue “embodies the characteristics of ‘the place to be’, en route to the final destination.” Apparently that translates to it being a fun drive along with the capabilities for modern urban living.

Both variants use a 1.6-litre 90kW/151Nm engine paired with a six-speed auto. Selectable drive modes include Eco, Normal and Sport while a new Traction Mode features Snow, Mud and Sand settings for those looking to venture off the beaten path.

Hyundai says the Venue has a special ‘Australasian tune’ for the suspension and steering. The result is a “charming and fun car, with intuitive control responses,” after Hyundai’s engineers evaluated 33 front damper and 41 rear damper iterations before arriving at the Venue’s final setting. The rear torsion beam, selected to maximise rear occupant and luggage space, was given special attention during the suspension tuning process.

Venue gets Hyundai’s corporate cascading grille and a pair of stacked headlights, while chunky wheel arches offer an athletic stance. It takes the overall aesthetic of the Kona and squares it off, creating a more rugged-looking crossover, helped by body side cladding, rear skid plates and roof rails. The optional two-tone roof adds to the visual appeal.

Storage is rated at 355 litres without any seats folded. Cabin room should be good, thanks to a height of 1592mm and a wheelbase of 2520mm. It’s overall length is 4040mm.

Inside is an 8.0-inch infotainment system, supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto out of the box. Entry variants get a four-speaker audio system with the Elite cranks it up to six points of musical output.

Safety is taken care of thanks to Hyundai’s standard SmartSense package, which includes forward collision avoidance, a reversing camera, lane-keep assist, driver attention warning, a parking distance warning (rear) and high beam assist. The Elite adds in blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning.

If you’re interested in a quicker crossover at the expense of ultimate comfort, hold out until next year when Hyundai’s N division is expected to divulge information on a hot Venue N. If the i30 N is anything to go by, the Venue N should be a real ripper.

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