What is it?
The entry-level petrol version of Kia's new practicality-specialist supermini, the Venga mini-MPV. In £11,500 trim, it comes with manual air conditioning, but without alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel or proper iPod connectivity.
Kia's entry-level engine in the Venga is a petrol 1.4 with 89bhp. Continuously variable valve timing makes it capable of producing a useful 101lb ft of torque at 4000rpm without the aid of a turbo. Although in Europe the engine can be equipped with a fuel-saving stop-start system, in the UK the car will produce 147g/km of CO2 and return 45.5mpg without such assistance.
What's it like?
Quiet, refined and responsive. Which, on the whole, is more than can be said for the 1.4-litre turbodiesel we tested.
The little petrol engine pulls very willingly from 3000rpm, and remains smooth and relatively hushed all the way to 6000rpm. It's shy one gear ratio relative to the diesel, offering only five forward ratios to the diesel's six, but the engine's fatter-than-average torque curve makes up for that, as, in part, does a gear lever that's slick and pleasant to use.
The rest of this Venga's package is the same as the diesel's; it's compact, and quite contemporary and attractive looking. It's also got reasonably impressive, if not quite class-leading, levels of interior accommodation, good all-round visibility and decent cabin quality to match.