The Kia Venga is based on the Kia Soul crossover, with the wheelbase stretched by 65mm. It is this modification that defines the Venga’s main selling point. Its length is some 20cm shorter than a Kia Cee’d, yet it has almost the same wheelbase, meaning generous interior space for the overall footprint.
The Venga is the first production Kia to be designed from scratch by Kia’s new design director, Peter Schreyer (ex-Audi), and closely follows the No3 Concept, the only significant difference being the replacement of the concept’s combined panoramic windscreen and roof. However, a conventional panoramic roof is available on the top-spec Venga 3. In 2015 saw Kia give the Venga a minor facelift, with the changes to the exterior limited to a bigger front grille and sharper looking bumpers, while inside a tyre pressure monitoring system and Bluetooth connectivity are now all standard.
As a result of the elongated wheelbase, the front and rear overhangs are relatively short. This, along with the broad track, gives the Venga a relatively squat stance, helping to hide the height. At 1.6m it is taller than a conventional hatchback.
The A-pillars are not particularly thick, but the front three-quarter windows (unusually large for such a small car), help boost visibility at junctions.
Large, swept-back headlamps give the Venga a mini Ford S-Max look but there is no option of xenon technology, although front foglights are included on trim level 3. Meanwhile, the cheese grater grille is becoming a Kia styling trait. Although the Venga’s is not identical (in outline or shape of the grille) to that of the Soul or the recently facelifted Cee’d, the design follows the same theme.
At the back, the cut-out in rear bumper looks a little contrived, even if it does help break up the bulk of the rear hatch. A small thing, but the shutline for the rear door is echoed by the angle of the tailgate and the join line of the rear bumper, which is a neat bit of styling.
Whether the styling appeals is, of course, subjective, but to our eyes at least it is entirely inoffensive but disappointingly bland.