Review: Kia Venga (2010 – 2018)
Spacious back seats and wide-opening doors. Easy to drive and park. Good visibility. Decent boot capacity.
Not a sporty handler. Generally older generation petrol engines. Has not been significantly updated.
Kia Venga (2010 – 2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £12,960
- Contract hire deals from £170.99 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 8–15
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
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.
What does a Kia Venga (2010 – 2018) cost?
Kia Venga (2010 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
The Kia Venga is among the more cleverly-packaged small cars on sale. It might not be much bigger than a Ford Fiesta, but the interior is very spacious indeed. The rear seats are more than capable of accommodating adults thanks to generous head and legroom, plus they slide and recline.
Despite the ample rear-seat space, the load area is a good size at 440 litres. Sliding the seats forward frees up a little more space, plus there is a false boot floor with small storage areas underneath. The load deck is reasonably low and has no lip, so sliding objects in and out is straightforward.
Folding the rear seats down creates a flat load area with a maximum volume of 1253 litres. As small cars go it’s among the most practical available, but if maximum versatility is top of your buying criteria the Honda Jazz is better still, with its cleverly-designed ‘magic’ seats providing a wider variety of load-carrying arrangements.
Build quality in the Venga is very good, with sturdy, hardwearing plastics that don’t creak or rattle. The centre stack layout looks dated though, with a tiny display for audio information and somewhat fiddly controls for flicking through menus to set up Bluetooth or choose a radio station.
This isn’t a problem in higher-spec models, which come with a seven-inch touchscreen system including navigation. If you’re not keen on the idea of a pricey, high trim level, more basic variants are still fairly well-equipped. Most versions of the Venga have air conditioning, and all come with hill start assistance, a USB socket and Aux connectivity.
1 models come with 15-inch steel wheels, front electric windows, 12V sockets in the cabin and boot, USB socket, aux input, steering wheel audio controls and hill start assistance.
1 Air adds air conditioning.
SR7 adds 16-inch alloy wheels, red upholstery stitching, Bluetooth connectivity and reversing sensors.
2 adds rear electric windows, metallic finish interior details and an iPod cable.
3 trimfront fog lights, tinted rear glass, wiper de-icer, LED running lights, automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, half leather upholstery, gloss black interior details, cooled glovebox, cruise control, speed limiter, 7-inch touchscreen with navigation and European mapping and a reversing camera.
4 adds LED tail lights, keyless entry and starter and heated steering wheel.
Child seats that fit a Kia Venga (2010 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Kia Venga (2010 – 2018) like to drive?
Kia sells the Venga with four different engine choices, two petrol and two diesel. The basic 1.4-litre petrol produces 90PS and is reasonably economical, with an official figure of 50.4mpg. Unfortunately its emissions are fairly high for such a small engine at 130g/km – and it’s not a particularly punchy performer.
It’s an old-fashioned, non-turbocharged engine, meaning it needs to be worked quite hard outside of a 30mph limit. When pushed it gets quite loud and coarse – so if you cover a lot of distance out of town it’s probably best avoided. The other petrol alternative is a 1.6 and a little better, but still on the coarse side and not particularly economical.
If budget allows, a diesel engine suits the Venga better. There are two to choose from – a 1.4-litre with 90PS and a 1.6-litre with 115PS. The latter is the best choice for long distance driving and motorways, but the smaller 1.4 CRDi works fine if you spend more time on country roads.
Regardless of engine the Venga is easy to drive. The steering is nicely weighted, while the gear change and clutch are light and slick. The high-up seating position means visibility is quite good, which is handy on narrow country roads. The suspension is soft and comfortable which is great in town, but means there is some body roll in bends.
That said, there is a good amount of front-end grip through corners. Unfortunately, if you tend to drive on very bumpy or broken back roads the soft suspension struggles to settle down, which makes the Venga far from enjoyable or relaxing on potholed lanes. But for town driving, motorways and better-surfaced B-roads it’s a perfectly capable little car.
|1.4||46–50 mpg||-||130 g/km|
|1.4 CRDi||63–64 mpg||14.0 s||119 g/km|
|1.4 CRDi EcoDynamics||63–64 mpg||14.0 s||117–119 g/km|
|1.6||44 mpg||-||139 g/km|
|1.6 Automatic||41 mpg||-||150 g/km|
|1.6 CRDi||64 mpg||-||117 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Kia Venga (2010 – 2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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