Kia have been making a lot of noise recently about exciting new products and projects, having Peter Schreyer on side definitely seems to have got the Korean brand excited about their concepts and for all the right reasons. Not only has he created a signature new grill, but he is also creating some beautiful new concepts and promising sneek peaks.
However, when it comes to launching into a whole new market, it seems Kia have the freedom to create from scratch. After the unfortunate styling of the Soul, Kia have returned with a funky an edgy car that sees them back on track. Introducing the new Kia Venga, a small MPV with the character of a compact supermini. Stylish, spacious and practical – perfect for a young family, or for just having that extra space.
On first impressions, the Venga looks very supermini, and you wouldn’t expect to get in and feel the roominess inside. The Deceptive ‘wedge-like’ styling makes the Venga a pleasant car to look at and definitely in keeping with the current trend in the motoring industry - bringing a large car feel to a compact solution. Deep cut-outs and flowing lines from front to back make this car funky as well as slick.
Step inside, and the Venga achieves mini MPV status exceptionally well. With enough headroom for even the biggest hat, the Venga is roomy and open for it’s size. The boot isn’t compromised either, and with the seats folded, you wouldn’t be caught in Ikea’s car park ordering a 7-seat taxi to fit your flat-pack in.
Moving onto performance, unfortunately the only thing that could be improved in the little run around. The 0-62mph times can be up to 14 seconds, so if you’re looking for something a little quicker, opt for the 1.6 petrol as this will get you there in just under 12 seconds. A character that isn’t so ‘supermini’ Kia, but the saving grace of this lack of power is the tight steering and the engaging drive around towns and cities. Weaving in and out of traffic is definitely something that the Venga invokes well and makes short trips and tarting about town enjoyable.
Finally, specification and the Venga comes in three guises, simply Venga 1, Venga 2 and Venga 3, the latter being the highest spec. One thing I can always count on from Kia is a fair amount of bells and whistles for the money you pay, and with the Venga beginning from just over £11,000 Kia don’t disappoint. The Venga 1 comes with tinted windows, Air con, Shift Indicator, USB & AUX ports and Low Rolling Resistance Tyres to name but a few. Moving up in the range through Venga 2 to Venga 3 and you get Heated Mirrors, iPod Cable, Body Coloured Handles and Mirrors, Privacy Glass, Climate Control and loads more. Kia definitely look after their customers when it comes to equipment and that has always given the ‘budget’ brand a great reputation.
Overall, the Venga successfully achieves the original purpose for being a compact MPV with supermini character. Unfortunately, the performance lets the nippy Kia down. I wouldn’t advise against it though, it’s tough to find an attractive small family car, and that is definitely a selling feature worth shouting about when looking at the Venga, if not the extensive equipment levels that Kia provide.