KIA Venga (2010 - )
Last updated 12 December 2016
Report of poor starting of (identical) 2011 Hyundai ix20 1.4CRDI when ambient tremperatrure below 3C.
Practicality and ease-of-use were obviously top priorities for the designers behind the Kia Venga. Despite its small size the Venga is spacious, with sliding rear seats, wide-opening back doors and a high-up driving position like a little SUV. It’s easy to get in and out and easy to drive – but the Honda Jazz does everything (except price) a little bit better.
There are two petrol and two diesel engine options. The 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrols are affordable but they’re old-fashioned and naturally-aspirated, meaning they need to be worked hard to give their best, unlike modern turbo petrol engines. Emissions are fairly high – 130g/km for the 1.4-litre means tax isn't as cheap as you'd expect.
The diesel engines are a better bet, unless you’re a low mileage driver. The 90PS 1.4 CRDi is responsive at low engine speeds and has official economy of 119g/km, but surprisingly the more powerful 114PS 1.6-litre diesel is marginally more economical and has lower emissions. It is more expensive, of course – but the expense might be worth it for high-mileage or motorway drivers.
Sensibly designed rear seats make the Venga very family-friendly. They can be slid back and forth and reclined, depending on whether boot space or legroom is a priority, plus they split fold for bulky loads. Furthermore, the rear doors open very wide which makes life easy when strapping in child seats.
The boot is wide and flat, with a reasonably low load deck and a false floor, covering some little storage areas for small odds and ends. Volume with the seats up is 440 litres and sliding the rear seats forward increases this a little. Folding the rear seats down makes a nice flat load area with 1253 litres of capacity.
Honda’s latest Jazz has fairly similar load capacity on paper, but it has a more versatile and user-friendly rear-seat layout and a lower load deck, so is more user-friendly than the Venga. However, the Venga is available for less than the Jazz and it has a broader range of engines – so it’s still a good buy if you value practicality above all else.
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