Even since Kia came up with the enormously popular cee'd, the South Korean manufacturer has introduced several other products, but none of them managed to impress as much as the hatchback. Regardless if we're talking about the unconventional Soul or the Picanto, Magentis or Oprius, none of them actually reached the same standards the cee'd started back in December 2006.
This time, the chiefs over at Kia tried to take advantage of the cee'd's popularity and build a new contender for the B-segment, although there were voices that doubted the Koreans' ability to raise a serious threat.
The first step Kia made towards the B segment was the unveiling of the so-called No3 concept car at the 79th Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva in 2009. The concept was specifically designed for the European market by Chief Designer Gregory Guillaume from the Kia Design Centre in Frankfurt in collaboration with Kia's Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer. Kia was quickly to confirm a production version of the car, claiming that the future model, which will slot in between Picanto and Rio in the company's lineup, will offer a perfect mix of B-segment exterior features with the interior space and versatility of a C-segment model.
A few months later, at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Korean brought the all-new Venga, a model that was 100 percent created for the European buyers. It was actually designed, engineered and manufactured on the Old Continent, with the engine range including both diesel and gasoline configurations.
Although it sounds a little bit exotic, the car's name, Venga, is derived from Spanish and translates into "to arrive", a way to emphasize the fact that the model is a young and attention-worthy model that might have the "Power to Surprise", as Kia likes to say.
We were not sure that Kia's Venga is indeed such an excellent addition to the Korean brand's lineup, so we decided to take the model for a spin. The test car was equipped with an 1.4 DSL engine that developed 90 horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual transmission, coming in Fever configuration which is actually the top-of-the-range trim level.Continue reading