The Hyundai Venue iMT is offered only with the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine producing 118bhp/172Nm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed “intelligent” manual, which as we said earlier is a manual gearbox but with an automated clutch mechanism eliminating one of the most tedious parts of the driving experience.
It feels no different from getting off the line in a car with a regular manual gearbox. Put your right foot on the brake and with the gear lever in neutral, start the car. You can then slot it into first gear and once you ease off the brake the car starts to roll and you give it gas to get going.
On the move, you shift as you would a regular manual. The shifts are smooth with an absence of the head nod and sway that one would find in cars mated to an automated manual transmission (AMT). You even get engine braking when you need to slow down.
The benefit of this setup is most evident in heavy traffic. Normally, you would have to put the car in first, ease off the clutch and depending on how far you have to roll forward either let the initial momentum do its thing or press the accelerator to move forward. This then succeeds by brake application. With an iMT you just have to press the brake, put the car in first, let it roll forward and then brake at the point you want to stop. The car will not stall and in fact, you don’t need to even press the brake to move from first (if the car is already on) but given the general level of discipline present on our roads, having an alert right foot hovering over the brake pedal is always encouraged.
Out on the bigger expressways and highways, the climb is quick with a noticeable pull past the 2000rpm mark and linear acceleration to the 5500rpm redline. Three-digit speeds arrive quickly and once you have rowed through the gears to fifth or sixth, it is just a matter keeping the momentum going. Since the car does not stall, it is one less issue for you to deal with while travelling on a highway.
The gearshifts are light and precise and if you keep your foot off the throttle, it's achieved without any resistance. What’s more, the system has your back and will give you a warning beep in the instrument cluster if you shift to the wrong gear or are in a gear too high or low for your current speed. It even gives you the beep if you trying to start the car in first gear. An advantage, we found with this system over an automated manual transmission (AMT) is that because you are controlling the shifts yourself, there’s no sudden chance of the gearbox shifting while you are going through a corner and upsetting the balance of the vehicle at a crucial point.
It’s no different from the standard Venue in terms of handling. The steering is light and easy to use but devoid of feel. In the ride quality department, the suspension takes most bumps and imperfection without much effort but over the bigger potholes, you do get some noticeable vertical movement. We have tested the Venue in detail last year and to get a full impression of what it’s like to drive and handle you can click here.