I am not going to spend too many words on this car because there is
neither a lot to praise or to criticize. Having seen the vast
improvement of Cee'd and Soul, it's not surprising to see Kia produced
another competitive product. However, the Venga is not a class leader.
It has mainly two assets - a spacious cabin and a stylish look. By the
standard of B-segment supermini, it offers remarkable space for four
thanks to its 2615mm wheelbase, 1600mm height and an efficient
packaging. Its rear seat slides in longitudinal direction to alter
space between cabin and luggage space, so you can either fit very tall
guys at the back or at most 440 liters of luggages, and then there is
another space beneath the boot floor to store tools and trivial things.
The rear seat also splits and folds flat to accommodate more luggages.
Having said that, these utilities and space advantage are no more than
standard features of the B-segment MPVs that the Venga actually compete
|Having seen Cee'd and Soul, it's not
surprise to see Kia produced another competitive product...
|It is a standard follower rather than
a standard setter...
Then come the design, the most stylish among all KIA cars I
would say. It is said to be the first KIA designed from scratch by its
German design boss Peter Schreyer. I love its nose and its compact,
wheels-to-the-corners stance. However, once you get used to it, it
becomes quite ordinary. It lacks the visual impact of Citroen C3
Picasso. The interior is similar. Its instrument pod and center console
looks neat and classy in first sight, but spend more time in it and you
will forget about it. Dark and hard plastics dominate the cabin,
failing to deliver a cheerful ambience normally associated with
In the mechanical side, there is little to speak. Among the 4 engines
it offers - 90hp 1.4 CVVT and 124hp 1.6 CVVT petrol, 90hp 1.4 turbo
diesel and 128hp 1.6 turbo diesel - the cheapest 1.4 petrol is the most
sensible choice. This engine is relatively eager and quiet. Its
continuous variable valve timing gives it remarkable torque for its
class, i.e. 101 lb-ft, and 80 percent of which is available from 1500
rpm. Therefore you can forget the more expensive engines, whose manners
are less sweet. The 5-speed manual gearbox is also satisfying to shift.
The Venga is
derived from the same platform as Soul, with wheelbase stretched to
meet its requirements for extra space. It is also a tall car, but its
suspension is tuned to satisfy European customers, which means a rather
firm setup. As a result, body roll is very well suppressed, while the
ride is less comfortable than most rivals, especially C3 Picasso. Its
handling is nimble, planted and grippy, but it is not especially
entertaining to drive, blame to the numb steering and brake.
|The interior looks neat and classy in
first sight, but spend more time and you will forget about it.
Overall, Venga is competent rather than outstanding. It is a standard
follower rather than a standard setter. While it does most things well,
it won't give you a proud feeling like C3 Picasso or Honda Fit (Jazz).