Hyundai Venue targets India's booming compact SUV market

by Shapur Kotwal & Sumantra B Barooah 17 Apr 2019


The compact SUV market in India is set to turn even more exciting. Hyundai has just revealed the all-new Venue compact SUV simultaneously in India as well as the USA.

A global model that will be produced in multiple plants around the world eventually, the new Hyundai Venue in India will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and the Ford EcoSport. What will give the Venue a considerable advantage is the success and popularity of its bigger sibling, the Creta, currently the undisputed leader in its class.

Looks a Hyundai but different
On the looks front, the Venue is clearly a Hyundai. What is striking though, and markedly different from other Hyundais in India, is the huge grille, with its large chrome-lined mesh and oversized Hyundai ‘H’ at the centre and the split headlamp unit. There’s a slender LED-equipped strip at the top, while below sits a larger Tata Harrier-like rectangular multi-projector element unit bordered by the LED DRLs.

Unlike the Venue for the US, the Indian car has a lot of cladding in and around the chin, it gets massive wheel arches with 16-inch wheels, even has a strong shoulder line. Hyundai designers have also kept the cabin nice and upright, presumably to keep Indian customers happy, and around the rear, Hyundai seem to have taken a pointer from the Jeep Renegade, with the funky looking square LED tail-light.

Built on a wheelbase of 2,500mm and almost identical in size to Maruti’s Vitara Brezza, the Venue is, however, the lowest car in its class with its height of 1,590mm. The Venue is 3,995mm long and 1,770mm wide. Hyundai claims that 69 percent of the car is built of high-strength steel and it comes with air curtains around the front wheel for better aerodynamics. While the variant break-up is awaited, top-spec Venues will get six airbags, ESC, hill-assist control and brake assist. Dual airbags and ISOFIX child-seat mounts are expected to be standard fit. 

Inside the Venue
The neatly designed dash split horizontally between a darkened top and a lighter coloured bottom. The dashboard design also looks nice because Hyundai designers have clustered buttons and knobs either around the touch-screen or near the central console.

The centre console, in fact, is particularly interesting. It gets a high-set 8.0-inch touch-screen between a pair of air-con vents, a string of shortcut keys below it and further down are chunky looking air-conditioner controls. Being a Hyundai, the Venue is pretty well equipped. There are multiple USB sockets up front, and top-of-the-line cars will get cruise control, wireless charging, an Arkamys sound console, a cooled glovebox, rear air-con vents and even a sunroof. Only the XUV300 has a higher airbag count, at seven.  

High on connectivity 
Where the Hyundai will completely distinguish itself is in connectivity. The Venue is the first Hyundai model in India to get its Blue Link connectivity technology. In brief, the system comprises 33 features that span safety, security, vehicle management, remote access, location-based services, alert services and AI-based language inputs. You can read more about its functioning here. The system will use an embedded Vodafone-Idea SIM for connectivity.

Three engines for the Venue
The Hyundai Venue will be powered by three engines, the most affordable of which is likely to be the 1.2-litre petrol that puts out 83hp and 115Nm of torque. The more expensive and high-tech petrol is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, direct-injection turbo that puts out 120hp and 172Nm of torque. The Venue’s mainstay, however, could be the 1.4 diesel that puts out 90hp and 220Nm of torque. The XUV300 diesel and the Nexon, both, develop more power, but Hyundai’s powerplant is likely to be smoother and quieter.   

The engines will come with a choice of three different gearboxes. While the 1.2 petrol will get a 5-speed manual and the 1.4 diesel will get a 6-speed manual, the 1.0 turbo-petrol will be offered with a 6-speed manual as well as a 7-speed dual-clutch auto. Incidentally, the Venue will be the only dual-clutch in the segment. 

Is it worth waiting for?
Of the other things to know, the Venue will come with 3 years/unlimited kilometres warranty and Hyundai is also confident of offering the lowest cost of ownership.  Hyundai Motor India will officially launch the Venue will launch on May 21, 2019. Expect the Venue’s prices to range from Rs 800,000-12 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom). While it won’t be cheap, the Venue packs in a lot of content.    

Targeting sales of 65,000 units in 2019, over 90,000 from 2020
With the all-new Venue, Hyundai will be gunning for a share of the booming compact SUV market in India and also to increase its overall UV market share. In FY2019, the carmaker increased its UV market share to 13.37 percent from 11.81 percent in FY2018. The Hyundai Creta has had a successful run in FY201 with sales of 124,300 units (FY2018: 107,136 / +16.02%). In fact, in FY2019, the sales gap between the Creta and the market leading Maruti Vitara Brezza has reduced to 33,580 units from 41,326 units in FY2018

Now with the new Venue in its stable of SUVs and with the official launch next month, Hyundai Motor India is targeting sales of 65,000 units in 2019, and over 90,000 units in 2020. The company expects the 1.0-litre variant to contribute to around 40 percent of the Venue's sales in India.

The Chennai-based OEM expects over 30 percent of the Venue's sales to come from first-time car  buyers with the compact SUV targeted at the 25-30 age group. The company says it has achieved 95 percent localisation with the new Venue with 125 component suppliers. 

The SUV market in India just turned more exciting.   

Also read: Mahindra and Ford to jointly develop midsize SUV for India and emerging markets

UV makers' market share stats for FY2019  

India's Top 5 SUVs in FY2019 

Top 10 Passenger Vehicles in FY2019