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Hyundai Singapore Venue packed with style and safety
Hyundai's new Venue SUV packed with style and safety - by The Straits Times

Hyundai's smallest sport utility vehicle packs in more style and safety features.

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Hyundai Singapore Venue packed with style and safety

Hyundai's new Venue SUV packed with style and safety - by The Straits Times

Hyundai's smallest sport utility vehicle packs in more style and safety features.

Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent

Clock icon 3min read time

With less than a year to my official retirement, the issue of whether to continue owning a car crops up regularly between the missus and me.

There is no real hurry, though, since the certificate of entitlement on my current car has around six more years to expiry.

If, however, we decide to replace it, it might be with something like the upgraded Hyundai Venue. The reasons are many and may well apply to those who are nowhere near retirement as well.

For starters, the car now has a suite of driving aids - blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist, forward collision avoidance, driver attention monitor and leading vehicle departure alert.

The last feature is especially useful for those who habitually check their phones at a stop, often holding up others when traffic starts moving again. In the Venue, a gentle chime sounds when the vehicle in front starts moving off.

These aids are available in the Venue S, the variant tested here. Of the lot, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot warning make their presence felt the most.

In the Hyundai, lane-keeping exerts the strongest steering counter-force among cars with the program. And its blind-spot warning is tuned conservatively, so it goes off even if the vehicle in the next lane is more than two car lengths away.

I find this somewhat irritating because when I am behind the wheel, I like to be in control. But I foresee the time will come when such aids come into their own. With age, our senses will become less keen and a car which can mitigate this will be welcome.

Which brings me to the next reason for considering the Venue - its compactness. The smallest crossover in the Hyundai range, it is extremely easy to pilot - even in the tiniest and twistiest of multi-storey carparks.

On the road, its size and good visibility allow the driver to be more easily in touch with his surroundings.

At the wheel, the Venue feels more like a nippy hatchback than a sport utility vehicle. Its 1.6-litre engine, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), makes it a throttle-happy carrier which revels in stop-start traffic. Yet, its sturdy chassis makes it a comfy cruiser on open highways. Its ride quality is well above average too.

The only niggle is its tendency to remain in a higher-than-normal engine rev band when starting off, a characteristic of CVTs. The other thing is its fuel consumption, which at 7.9 litres/100km, is higher than expected of a car its size.

Elsewhere, cruise control makes longer hauls on expressways more effortless. And as a crossover, it offers easier ingress and egress than sedans and hatches, which tend to be lower slung.

Despite its size, the Venue is a fairly complete car. Its responsiveness makes it feel like a bigger vehicle, as does its slew of elaborate features. These include phone pairing, USB charging port, rear-view camera and multi-traction control (not so much for taking this front-wheel-drive off-road, but for better traction on wet days).

It is also fairly spacious. While the second row may not be comfortable for adults on longer journeys, its boot space is rather generous for the Venue's footprint.

Lastly, the car has a cheerful styling. It gets a new "cascading" grille now, making it more dynamic looking. The test car is in Cosmic Gray with Acid Yellow roof and wing-mirror covers. Various parts of the cabin are in Acid Yellow too (including leather stitchings), giving it a premium feel.

When you are a senior, the last thing you want is a ride which reminds you of your age.

The Venue is a likeable car and its appeal is in no way confined to empty nesters.

Hyundai Singapore Venue parked

Find out more about the Hyundai Venue 1.6.

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