Had booked Kia Sonet but ended up buying Venue N Line: 4500 km review
Coming from a Hyundai Eon, the trips to fuel stations have increased manifold. I think that the fuel efficiency I’m getting is between 8 to 12 in slow traffic.
BHPian jaibatrik recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Initial impressions of my Hyundai Venue N Line N6
Hello, respected fellow forum members! I am here to share my own perspective to help those who come here after me.
I was driving a 2014 Hyundai Eon Magna+ that I purchased in 2017. After almost 5 years, the itch to upgrade caught me. My friends were always urging me to take a safer car, and I too wanted a car that would be suitable for the highway, not just the city.
At the same time, I was going through some trouble elsewhere in life and kept postponing the upgrade. But, as it would turn out, the situation dragged, and I finally decided to not let go of the joy of owning a new car by other things and bit the bullet!
A photo of my beloved Eon.
Hunt for a new car
I was somewhat clear about the requirements. I wanted the car to have the following features.
- It should be a proper automatic (no AMT / iMT).
- It should have a decent infotainment system with Android Auto.
- There should be automatic climate control.
- There should be a reverse camera.
- The car should accelerate well and handle well – but these were not deal-breakers – I do love cars, and enjoy driving, but I am a sedate driver most of the time and have fun pushing the car only on a few occasions.
- It should not be a sedan (I know sedans are preferred for their superior handling and aerodynamic shape, but I live in a city and I value compactness way more than handling).
With the above clear criteria, and a budget of less than 15 lacs, only two cars caught my fancy – the Kia Sonet and the Hyundai Venue. I wasn’t too interested in Kiger / Magnite as they weren’t from the OEMs with bigger footprints.
Further, I didn’t like the styling of the new Venue, and the variant that came below 15 lacs didn’t have climate control, alloy wheels, etc. So, I did a few test drives of the Kia Sonet, found nothing wrong with the car (I already liked it), and booked the HTX DCT variant in August, 2022.
They contacted me in December saying the car was ready, but there was another crisis that I was dealing with at that time and passed on the opportunity to purchase.
Finally, the storms were over, and I was ready to get the car in May, 2023. I contacted Kia showroom where I booked the car, but the prices got increased by more than 60k, and I was in dilemma again. And during one of these days, I came across the Venue N Line news on TBHP and enquired about it at the nearby Hyundai dealership. The price was around 50k more than Sonet HTX, but I was ready if there was value in that.
Test drive, booking, and delivery
I took a test drive of the car, and really liked it. I felt the seating position was better than the Sonet, and the visibility of the road was definitely better. I liked the handling and the planted feel of the car, and the sports mode (which was easily accessible in Venue) literally put a smile on my face. I ended up booking the car at the dealership. They promised delivery in 3 months, but I visited another dealership afterwards, and they had one shadow grey N6 arriving that day itself that they could deliver to me in the interest of month end.
I did a PDI the next day armed with the TBHP checklist, and everything seemed okay. I got the delivery of the car the next day.
The journey so far and my impressions
I have completed close to 4500 kilometers with the grey beauty till date, and have been thoroughly loving it. I haven’t taken her to all the terrains yet, so this review is based on where we’ve gone so far – the office runs, in and around Hyderabad (Shamshabad, Shamirpet, Yadagirigutta, Vikarabad, etc. through ORR) and one recent trip to Bangalore, Mysore, and Bandipura through NH 44, and Bengaluru – Mysuru Expressway.
Here’s what I think of different aspects (at least the ones that matter to me) of the car.
The drivability is good once you are in the power band. You can overtake most of the vehicles on the road without much effort. I have done speeds (slightly) exceeding 120 kmph and didn’t feel the engine was strained. The power, at lower RPMs, comes as a sudden surge though – which I feel is very inconvenient when you are at a crawling speed and want to cover a limited distance quickly. The car might even feel out of control for someone unsuspecting. Overall, quite happy with the performance.
The DCT gearbox is quite nice, by virtue of being butter smooth. On plains or downhill slopes, you cannot feel the gear shifts at all. The default tuning of the gearbox is conservative though, and upshifts are quite quick. Mind that the gearbox, in conjunction with the engine, can serve you power when you need it – by going to the power band / turbo range, and holding the gear. There’s turbo lag though, and you’re better off using the paddle shifters to stay in the power band when the window of opportunity to overtake is limited.
Probably the best quality of this car that I like. I feel that this is tuned perfectly for our roads. The ride quality is not stiff, and be it lower speed or higher, the car absorbs the undulations of the road in such a composed manner. Even at higher speeds, the car stays composed when tackling sudden big potholes.
I haven’t driven the best-handling cars, but this certainly satisfies the driving enthusiast in me. The body roll seems to be contained, and I am able to take corners with sufficient speed.
The steering also feels precise enough to guide the car precisely to where I want it to point. This, along with the suspension, makes driving quite interesting in my opinion. However, I am not fully satisfied with the steering. I find the steering to be unnecessarily heavy, and it’s more pronounced at lower speeds. The steering is so heavy that I used to get shoulder pain after long city driving.
Not a big fan of the grill, but I like the overall styling of the Venue N Line. I do think that the car looks beautiful and I look back often at her after locking and going away.
We know that Hyundai does a good job here, and this is no exception. I didn’t expect anything more at this price point. The cabin feels so premium, and the ergonomics are so sorted.
Coming from the Eon, I used to feel that the seats are hard, and they are indeed firm, but nothing that you cannot endure. The front seats are a nice place to be and they hold you in place even when you take corners at slightly higher speeds.
Great, nothing to complain about here. You even get to see the bonnet!
I’m a huge fan of this feature. You get three modes – Eco, Normal, and Sport; and the driving dynamics (at least power delivery) change completely depending on the mode. In Eco mode, the power comes very linearly, and I feel the turbo doesn’t kick in perhaps? I use it in heavy traffic when all I can do is to match the speed of the traffic. The Sport mode delivers more power even from lower RPMs and acceleration is quite quicker. I generally don’t use it as this drinks too much fuel, and the power delivery becomes very spiky for city conditions. I use it on twisted roads when I’m in the mood for some fun. I use the Normal mode for all other cases, which satisfies all general conditions.
The 8″ touchscreen is nice and responsive, and for the most part, the wireless Android Auto works pretty well. What I’m not satisfied with is the sound quality of the unknown audio system. I’m not an audiophile, yet neither the lower or the higher or any frequency for that matter sound nice to me in this car. Even my Eon had better-sounding speakers.
I feel this is decent for the price. The engine is smooth for the most part, and the cabin is quiet enough to filter out the road noise while allowing some of those exhaust pops in. The journey overall feels relaxing and I don’t feel tired even after longer journeys.
I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it. Coming from an Eon, the trips to fuel stations have increased manifold. Although, I understand that the fuel economy I’m getting, between 8 to 12 in slow traffic, 14 to 16 in smooth city traffic, and 16 to 20 on highways, is decent for this engine.
A few photos
… And that’s probably it! Please reach out to me if you are looking for any particular information / opinion, and I’d be glad to help you on your new car selection journey!
Thanks for reading.
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