Hyundai Venue N Line First Drive Review - ‘N’ything Better?
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Does the addition of the ‘N’ badge make the Hyundai Venue a better driver’s car? Let’s find out
After seeing decent responses for the i20 N Line, Hyundai has introduced its second N Line for the country based on the Venue subcompact SUV. It gets a sportier treatment inside and out with some tweaks to the suspension and handling.
But do these changes make it a sportier drive and if so, does it justify the premium over the regular Venue? Here’s our first drive review of the Hyundai Venue N Line to get you these answers.
The Venue N Line doesn’t look radically different from the regular Turbo variant. However, it does carry a sporty flair. In terms of changes, up front, the grille pattern is different and looks sleeker. It is complemented by the new bumper, skid plate and red accents which make the car look sportier.
On the side it gets sporty looking 16-inch alloys with ‘N’ badges and behind them are red brake callipers (front only) which add to the drama. Other notable bits include red inserts on the cladding and roof rails.
At the back, you get the biggest differentiators. There is a spoiler, and something that all enthusiasts love – chromed dual tip exhaust end pipes. Another exclusive here is the Thunder Blue shade that comes with a phantom black roof.
The changes overall do add to its sporty appeal, but the differences are not big. The i20 N Line manages to look quite different from the regular hatchback, however, the changes to the Venue N Line are more subtle and will need a closer look for someone to be sure it is the N Line.
The cabin of the Venue N Line gets an all-black theme which is a step up over the family oriented black and off-white interior of the regular variants. It also feels more premium, with N-Line-specific elements.
You get a new cool-looking steering wheel with a more premium leather covering and red stitching, which is borrowed from the European-spec models and the same goes for the leather-wrapped DCT gear lever, which also gets the red insert and the ‘N’ badge.
The experience is further elevated by black leatherette seats with red stitching, the N Line emblem, and the graphics. The red inserts are further seen on the AC switches and the drive mode knob, and even the blue ambient lighting has been replaced by a red light. The cherry on top of the cake are the aluminium pedals. It’s clear that more work has gone into making the interior of the Venue N Line feel more special than the exterior.
In terms of features, it gets the same equipment as seen on the top-spec SX (O) DCT turbo variant of the regular Venue but with the addition of a dual camera dashcam. The dashcam has a small screen where you can see inside the cabin too, besides the outside view.
Other than this, you get the regular list comprising an electric sunroof, an eight-inch touchscreen system, wireless charger, a digitised driver’s display, four-way powered driver seat, six airbags and a rear parking camera. You won’t feel missed out when it comes to features in the cabin.
Ignition on and you have the throatier-sounding exhaust note of the Venue N Line. It actually does sound good, but can only be properly heard from the outside and we would have liked for it to be a little louder.
The Venue N Line continues with the same 120PS 1-litre turbo-petrol engine that you get with the regular Venue with no changes to the power delivery. The acceleration is linear and it feels a bit laid-back while picking up from lower RPMs.
But the scenario changes as the turbo kicks in. With a slight kickback effect, things get more exciting from here onward. The engine gets grunty, but its noise overpowers the exhaust note. For a more spirited and exciting driving, you will have to keep revving it frequently.
With the help of paddle shifters, the whole experience feels better. For a sportier experience, the gear shifts could have been snappier. You have the Sport mode as well, which does hold on to gears longer and makes the throttle response sharper. The gearbox, otherwise, is smooth and responsive to use.
Overall, the Venue N Line is a good all-rounder. It gets enough drivability for relaxed city and highway runs and a slightly sportier drive when you are in the mood for some excitement. The added bonus is the throaty exhaust note.
Ride And Handling
Not just to drive, but the Venue N Line feels sportier in its ride and handling departments as well. The steering is now better weighted and it offers more confidence at high speeds and corners. Not just that, the better damped suspension makes the ride feel flatter and more planted in a sportier way.
The sharpness can be felt while driving at low speeds, as it picks up the undulations easily. However, the ride quality gets better as the speed increases and the suspension is able to keep the car’s occupants more stable and comfortable.
With the addition of rear disc brakes, the stopping distance is lower than the regular Venue and the braking performance makes one feel more confident too.
N Line Variants
N6 DCT - Rs 12.16 lakh
S (O) DCT - Rs 10.98 lakh
Rs 1.18 lakh
N8 DCT - Rs 13.15 lakh
SX (O) DCT - Rs 12.57 lakh
The Venue N Line’s top-spec N8 DCT variant commands around Rs 60,000 over the regular Venue’s SX (O) DCT. Does the premium feel justified? Yes. For that Rs 60,000, you’re getting better braking performance, a throatier exhaust note, a sportier ride quality and some good-looking visual elements.
The all-black interior with the red inserts looks classy and the N Line specific steering wheel and the gear lever also look upmarket. So, whether you are looking for a spicier variant, or a sportier experience, the Venue N Line fits the bill in both cases.