Kia Venga 1.4 TDi

| November 14, 2012 | 0 Comments
Kia models such as the  Sportage & c’eed are selling well, both in the retail and fleet sectors, and this success has been backed at the supermini end with the Picanto. In addition, for a business looking for a solus supplier fleet deal, and wondering if Kia has all the bases covered, there is a B-sector model to consider, the Venga.
However, it has to be said that this is probably the least well-known of all the options – and that’s what this article is trying to put right, particularly as more small fleets and user-chooser customers are down-sizing. Now is the Venga’s time!
The first thing you notice about the Venga is its size. It has genuine space, putting many C-sector cars to shame. The boot is impressive, with 444 litres of space which can be increased by lowering the floor to 570 litres. Fold the rear seats flat and this capacity rises to a whopping 1,486 litres – astonishing for this class of vehicle. It also boasts class-leading front and rear leg and hip room as well as luggage space.
My test model came with a 1.4-litre 89 bhp diesel engine, which is by far the most logical option for any company lease. Two petrol units are also available, a 1.4 producing 89 bhp and a 1.6 offering 124 bhp. With a standard six-speed manual gearbox, perhaps not required in such a small engine, it was surprisingly good on the motorway, although I found the gear changes around town a little ponderous and the car quite “heavy” to manoeuvre.
In addition, it didn’t lend itself that well to bumpy roads, particularly in the back, where the bench-like seats aren’t the most comfortable. The driving position is quite high, the front seats quite firm and the Venga is definitely built for practicality rather than comfort.
On the plus side, fuel economy is impressive. 65.7 mpg on the combined, with only 114g/km Co2, and a BIK bill of 13 per cent. Standard equipment for a B-sector car is excellent: PAS, EBD, even ESC, (electronic stability control), traction control, brake assist and hill assist.
There are eight models in the range, badged Venga 1, 2 and 3, with all diesel models badged with EcoDynamics. In car entertainment is taken care of across the range with six speakers, RDS radio, CD player, MP3 compatibility, AUX & USB ports. Venga 1 offers air con, driver’s seat height adjustment, tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, electric front windows, remote central locking and tinted windows. All models offer six airbags, active front head restraints, two ISOFIX points, while with Venga 2 the inventory adds 16-inch alloys, body-coloured adjustable heated door mirrors, an iPod cable and steering wheel-mounted controls. Venga 3 goes further still with the addition of climate control, rear electric windows, fog lamps, a panoramic electric sunroof and rear privacy glass.
When you sit in the Venga, its most impressive feature is its dash. In the centre of the dash is a control stack set at the right height to use, a real bonus and certainly better than most cars I have driven recently. The circular radio/CD and heating controls take a little getting used to, as I continually mixed the fan up with the temperature, but I liked them.
As I mentioned at the start, the Venga is a family car in a B-sector package. It offers great practicality and a load of goodies compared to its European opposition, for a great price. It certainly had more room in it than my Golf Mk 6, for example. Quality inside is also very good and the Venga looks good inside and out.
The 1.4 diesel engine is certainly frugal, but it’s not the greatest car to drive when compared to its larger siblings the c’eed and the Sportage, which offer 1.6 and 1.7 diesel units. Having said that, it grew on me as the week progressed, particularly when I looked at the fuel gauge. I don’t know what the other engines are like to drive, but on sheer fuel economy, the seven-year warranty and other benefits to fleet, the 1.4 is the one to go for, although I would take a serious look at the c’eed 1.6 diesel if you want a car with both a smoother ride, albeit with slightly less practicality.

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Category: KIA

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