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RoadTrip | Finding a diamant close to home in Hyundai's new Venue

2020-04-12 09:30

Ferdi de Vos

Hyundai Venue,roadtrip

2020 Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT). Image: RoadTrip / Ryan Abbott

The latest addition to the Hyundai SUV range has arrived in South Africa.

Curiously named Venue, we decided to take the small sport utility to what we thought would be the perfect venue – Diamant Estate, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Paarl Mountain in the Western Cape.

Hyundai has made its SUV debut in the growing A-segment of the market, taking on competitors such as the Mahindra XUV300, Ford Ecosport, Suzuki Vitara, and upcoming Kia Sonet. The newcomer, billed as a “unique, entry-level vehicle for consumers seeking savvy design with an abundance of safety, convenience, and connectivity features”, is curiously named Venue.

Hyundai maintains this fall in line with its naming convention for SUVs to be typically named for a city or place. So, in their view "Venue" refers to a "place" people want to be seen in and embodies the characteristics of “the place to be” while reaching the final desired destination, wherever that may be.

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Hyundai Venue,roadtrip

2020 Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT). Image: RoadTrip / Ryan Abbott

Towards the venue

Taking this as our cue, we decided to find a venue fitting for the Venue, and decided on Diamant Estate, conveniently situated close to the town of Paarl.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Paarl Mountain with spectacular views towards Cape Town and Table Mountain, the recently revamped estate is the perfect venue for any celebration or event – from weddings, conferences, corporate meetings, to product launches, and film shoots.

So, to experience this venue we said "bienvenue" to a top-of-the-range Venue 1.0 TDGi Glide and set off from the Mother City in an easterly direction, with the smooth rocks on top of the Paarl mountain glistening like diamonds in the morning sun. 

Our road trip companion exhibited the latest interpretation of the signature design language of Hyundai with full-volume wheel arches and strong character lines, a cascading grille, and unique front lamp layout. Endowed with the smooth three-cylinder turbocharged Kappa petrol engine coupled with a slick seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, our progress on the N1 was swift and smooth.

Hyundai Venue,roadtrip

2020 Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT). Image: RoadTrip / Ryan Abbott

'Nimble and eager'

Delivering 88kW at around 6000rpm and a maximum torque of 172Nm in a range between 1500 to 4000rpm, the small turbo mill felt nimble and eager, even in the slightly bigger SUV bodyshell. The strut and torsion beam axle suspension provided a good compromise between comfort and confident vehicle control and the steering felt light and relatively accurate.

The inviting interior displayed good use of dimensions to create space for driver and both front and rear passengers, and decent sized luggage area, including a 60/40 split, flat-folding rear seatback and cargo cover. The eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation. 

WATCH: Citroen C3 AirCross and Hyundai Venue are two compact SUVs with unique offerings

Unexpected standard equipment in the upmarket Glide grade included glovebox cooling, rear air-conditioning ventilation ducts, and automatic cruise control with buttons on the leather-wrapped steering wheel making a long road trip easier for the driver. 

Hyundai Venue,roadtrip

2020 Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT). Image: RoadTrip / Ryan Abbott

A real diamond

After driving up an impressive uphill snaking entrance road we arrived at Diamant Estate where General Manager Wilhelm Maree congenially received us and proceeded to show us around the venue. Established in 1692, the estate offers a variety of packages to accommodate up to 25 guests in rooms ranging from luxury, classical, to standard, all with en suite bathrooms.

The Manor House is the grand lady on the farm with four luxurious, recently renovated guest rooms, a large shared lounge and dining area, and a small, shared kitchen. Pioneer House is conveniently situated right next to the Manor House and offers eight elegant and charming double en suite rooms.

REVIEW: Hyundai Venue 1.0T Fluid offers the right blend of familiarity and comfort

Maree showed us The Chapel, an old, small wine cellar dating from the 1700s, now tastefully transformed into an intimate chapel for wedding ceremonies or music concerts. This venue can seat up to 100 guests, while The Barn, situated next to the Old Chapel, is used for in-house guests to enjoy breakfast, or for smaller functions and conferences, catering for up to 40 people. The two venues can be used in conjunction, with only stylish glass doors separating the two.

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Hyundai Venue,roadtrip

2020 Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT). Image: RoadTrip / Ryan Abbott

Cocktail, anyone?

Just as impressive was the manicured lawns in front of the Manor house. With breath-taking views, and surrounded by old oak trees and vineyards, this is an exquisite area for cocktail events, pre-drinks, an outside wedding ceremony, or a traditional South African braai. Catering is done in-house by a company with over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

The Venue, like Diamant Estate, did not disappoint. The small SUV is big on practicality and personality and for R369 900, including a seven-year/200 000km warranty, seven-year/150 000km roadside assistance, and a three-year/45 000km service plan, it should prove popular in the market.

Perhaps too popular, as it may take sales away from other Hyundai SUVs, such as the Creta and Kona. It is a 'place' people will want to be seen in, much like Diamant Estate is the 'place to be'.

Hyundai Venue,roadtrip

2020 Hyundai Venue 1.0 Glide (DCT). Image: RoadTrip / Ryan Abbott

Our Vehicle: Hyundai Venue 1.0 TDGi Glide (DCT) 

Engine: 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbopetrol

• Displacement: 998cc

• Maximum power: 88kW @ 6000rpm

• Maximum torque: 172Nm @ 1500 - 4000rpm

• 0-100km/h: 11.5 seconds

• Top speed: 187 km/h

• Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch

• Fuel tank capacity: 45 litres

• Economy: 6.9-litres/100km (claimed)

• CO2 emissions: 148g/km

• Price: R369 900

We like: Nimble and eager engine, slick gearbox, and pliant ride. Practical and well-appointed. Great warranty and service plan.

We do not like: A bit pricey, compared to its competitors. 

RoadTrip Rating: 86%

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Read more on:    hyundai  |  ferdi de vos  |  roadtrip  |  new models  |  venue  |  suv

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