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    Hyundai Venue N Line First Drive Review

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    Jay Shah

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    Hyundai Venue N Line Right Front Three Quarter
    Hyundai Venue N Line Right Front Three Quarter
    Hyundai Venue N Line Right Front Three Quarter
    Hyundai Venue N Line Right Rear Three Quarter
    Hyundai Venue N Line Right Rear Three Quarter
    Hyundai Venue N Line Left Side View
    Hyundai Venue N Line Left Side View
    Hyundai Venue N Line Left Front Three Quarter

    Why would I buy it?

    • Drive Experience
    • Additional features over standard Venue range
    • Distinctive design

    Why would I avoid it?

    • No manual gearbox on offer
    • Needs power bump over standard Venue

    What is it?

    Left Front Three Quarter

    Indian car buyers have developed a special liking for models that look unique and offer more aesthetic appeal. And the OEMs too, have left no stone unturned in spoiling the buyers with a plethora of limited edition models. Hyundai India recently included the Venue in the N-Line umbrella and it’s the first SUV in the line-up to get the special treatment. It wears a new funky outfit and modern tech along with some tweaked mechanical bits.

    Left Side View

    The major updates to the styling are up front, with the front grille chiplets finished in dark chrome and nicely placed N-Line badge and a revised front bumper highlighted by a split skid plate design. Over at the side, the Venue gets a new set of alloy wheels but they remain the same size, 16-inches. The Venue N Line also gets red trinkets on roof rails, fenders, side skirts, fore and aft bumpers, along with red front brake callipers. On the whole, Hyundai has tastefully executed the N Line treatment on the compact SUV.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    At the back, the highlights are the gloss black protruding roof spoiler and a set of twin-exhaust tips. And to add a touch of exclusivity and bragging rights, there are as many as eight ‘N’ logos on the outside! Yes, we counted them. Also new is the Shadow Grey exterior shade that joins the current palette of Polar White and Thunder Blue hues. While the signature blue is offered only with a contrasting black roof, the other two are offered in both monotone and dual-tone paint schemes.

    Exhaust Pipes

    Is the cabin any good?

    Dashboard

    Unlike the standard Venue that follows a dual-tone black and beige colour theme, this N Line version gets an all-black treatment. While it does lend the cabin a sporty feel, the single shade theme feels a bit plain and may not be of everyone’s taste. However, the sprinkled red inserts on the AC controls and vents, door pads, gear stalk, as well as on the piping of the leatherette seats do feel sporty.

    Gear Shifter/Gear Shifter Stalk

    The bigger changes, though are the new N-branded three-spoke steering wheel with large paddle shifters and leather-capped gear knob again, with the ‘N’ logo. The front seats are identical to the ones in the standard one but are draped in black leatherette upholstery which are further accentuated with a chequered flag design and N-branding below the headrest. The overall space and comfort haven’t changed and it continues to be similar like on the Venue. The mix of hard and soft plastics, adequate storage spaces, and well-appointed cabin remain the USPs of the N Line as well.

    Front Windshield/Windscreen

    Since the N Line is based on the top-spec SX (O) variant of the standard Venue, it is already festooned with a mix of essential and feel-good features such as a digital instrument cluster, a powered driver seat, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in navigation, connected car tech, and an electric sunroof. What the N Line benefits over the existing offerings are metal pedals, red ambient lighting on the dashboard, a sliding centre armrest, an electrochromic IRVM, and a dash camera. Since the dash camera needs a memory card to store the captured footage, we couldn’t test the quality of the video. Having said that, the unit has two, front and rear cameras and is a very useful accessory.

    Front Row Seats

    The Venue N Line boasts safety features such as six airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchorages in the rear seat, a reverse parking camera with sensors, and disc brakes on all four wheels. The N Line can be had in N6 and N8 variants where the base N6 variant is also extremely well equipped making the N Line family more accessible. The difference between both trims is Rs 1 lakh where the N6 misses out on side and curtain airbags, electrochromic IRVM, rear armrest, 60:40 split rear seats, dash camera, and electric adjustment for the driver seat.

    Second Row Seats

    Is it nice to drive?

    Engine Shot

    The power plant on the Venue N Line is the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol mill that also does duty on its vanilla sibling. The output remains unaltered at 118bhp and 172Nm of peak torque. It’s paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. No, there’s no manual or even Hyundai’s famed iMT (clutchless manual) gearbox. However, you do get sporty-looking paddle shifters and three, Eco, Normal, and Sport drive modes to choose from.

    Right Front Three Quarter

    At idle, the motor is quiet and vibration-free. As you slot the gear stalk into D and get going, the initial acceleration feels slightly sluggish but once you go past the 1,800-2,000rpm and the turbo spools up, the mid-range kicks in and that’s when you feel the meaty performance of the motor. The N Line revs happily and rather effortlessly up to nearly 6,000rpm. Our VBox recorded the 0-60kmph run in 6.11 seconds and the 100kmph from a standstill in 12.87 seconds. Acceleration from standstill isn’t thrilling because the DCT gearbox, just like in the i20 N Line, preserves the clutch and doesn’t allow for smoky starts.

    Left Side View

    Now, Hyundai has also made three crucial mechanical changes to its steering, suspension, and brakes to enhance the Venue’s dynamic ability. First up, the added weight on the steering wheel ups the engagement level resulting in more confidence at highway speeds. Not that it’s a big difference from the standard one, but the increased weight does feel nice when you chuck the car enthusiastically into a corner.

    Right Rear Three Quarter

    While Hyundai has not mentioned the exact tweaks made to the suspension setup, upon driving it, we felt a perceptible difference. The Venue N Line felt planted on the highways and when tackling the corners, the Venue was flatter with reduced body roll. At city speeds, while you do feel the bumps and ruts a bit more, the overall ride is not jarring or unsettling. The inclusion of rear disc brakes adds more assurance and with that improved stopping power especially over continuous usage. What also impressed us were the dual-tip exhausts that have a fruity note to them when revved at idle and at low speeds. It doesn’t holler but in fact, emits a mild free-flow sporty note.

    Should you buy it?

    Front View

    The Venue N Line has quite a few things going for it. With an extra dough of Rs 58,000, what you get is a combination of sporty aesthetics and marginally improved driving dynamics making it an appealing package. However, the omission of a manual gearbox setup and unchanged engine performance will want the enthusiast in you wanting for more. But for those looking to stand out from the crowd with money no object , the Venue N Line is a viable proposition.

    Steering Wheel

    The Hyundai Venue N Line is available in N6 and N8 variants priced at Rs 12.16 lakh and Rs 13.15 lakh (ex-showroom). It puts itself against the likes of the Kia Sonet X Line and Tata Nexon (Dark Edition, Kaziranga, and Jet Edition). It is Rs 58,000 and Rs 1.19 lakh more than the comparable S(O) and SX(O) variants of the standard Venue. Other rivals in the segment include Mahindra XUV300 and Maruti Suzuki Brezza. The hatchback alternative in the N Line family is the i20 N Line which is available at a starting price of Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom) with the same engine but two gearbox options.

    Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi

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