A mini-MPV to be driven on city roads? How does that sound? If we're strictly referring to the Venga, it sounds pretty good actually. At first glance, Venga seems to be pretty appropriate for city driving, with a small-displacement engine, decent power and acceptable fuel consumption. On paper, all of these things sound great.
We're not exactly fans of the MPV sector, or the mini-MPV if you prefer, so the first kilometers behind the wheel of the Venga were, let's say, just as we expected. A pretty high driving position that made us believe we were actually seating on a dental chair, and a lousy engine which seems more appropriate for agricultural machinery. These were the two things we noticed in a minute.
A few adjustments to the driving seat plus a bunch of more miles driving the car changed our perception entirely. Kia Venga is actually fun to drive inside a city and the main thing that gives you this feeling is the steering wheel. The four-spoke steering wheel, which is becoming some kind of trademark for Kia, comes with great handling, so you won't even make a difference between a tight turn and straight lines. OK, not that good, but still...
Visibility is, as we said, impressive. From the driver's seat, the view is just like you're enjoying a 360 degrees panorama, so no chance to use the same old "I've hit it because I couldn't see the other car" excuse. Still, we had some trouble with the front ground clearance, as it seemed impossible to get over road kerbs without damaging the front end.
And now, the interesting part: fuel consumption. Although we had to deal with a diesel, we experienced two types of behaviour. First of all, the diesel configuration, although it develops only 90 horsepower, could be just as fast as Usain Bolt. OK, not that fast, but faster than a regular diesel that outputs such a small amount of power. Basically, the only way to get a more performance-oriented engine is to push the throttle up to 3,000 or even 3,500 rpm, which means you should actually close your eyes (figuratively) and imagine that you’re dealing with a gasoline unit.
On the other hand, feathering the pedal could return pretty impressive fuel consumption figures, at least when talking about urban driving. Still, don’t expect to see your Venga almost as efficient as a hybrid, as efficiency figures remained in the 8.5 – 9.0 l/100km (27.6 – 26.1 mpg) range, but keep in mind that we experienced heavy traffic conditions when we finally got the chance to solve our test driver’s Rubik cube before arriving to our destination.
One of the aspects that forced us listen to several hours of trance music was the engine noise. Since our test car was equipped with a diesel engine, we’ve expected a pretty lousy experience but, to be honest, the 1.4-liter common rail unit could make any tractor-owner peasant out there envious in a minute. Soundproofing isn’t actually a positive thing about the Venga, and the best way to see this is to turn off the music and push the acceleration harder.
In the end, Kia Venga proved a pretty practical car, as it provides sufficient space in both the cabin and the trunk, while the engine can be easily included in the „Decent” category from the point of view of power and fuel consumption.Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
My heart goes shalalala, shalala in the morning, shalalala, shalala in the sunshine... What? Isn’t this the car the guys over at Kia have built for Vengaboys? I though this is the way Koreans are paying a tribute to Vengaboys’ success... You do know that I’m one of their biggest fans, don’t you? I even have a tattoo with Kim Sasabone’s face in one of the private parts but only a few lucky girls had the chance to see it.
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