From £11,145
The cheapest Venga is also the sweetest

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.

On the road, slightly sticky and anodyne-feeling steering is the only letdown. On UK-spec dampers, and with its longer-than-normal wheelbase, the Venga rides with comfort and handles competently, if not brilliantly. It's also got ample performance for a car of this size and type.

It doesn't have the funky style or space of the Citroen C3 Picasso, or the unexpectedly enjoyable drive of a Nissan Note, but in a cheaper-than-average compact people-mover you may expect neither.

Should I buy one?

If you're going to buy a Venga, this one makes the most persuasive case for itself. The Venga diesel is, after all, £1000 more expensive, less refined and, according to Kia's own performance figures, marginally slower than this car.


Find an Autocar review

Back to top

And although the diesel will go about 15 miles further on a gallon of fuel and has a starter-generator to bring its CO2 emissions down, it ends up no better on CO2 than a 1.5-litre dCi Nissan Note, which probably remains the value pick of the oil-burning offerings available in the mini-MPV segment right now.

No - if you're going to buy a Venga, make the most of the value for money it offers and stick with the cheapest you can get. Because the cheapest Venga is also the sweetest.

Join the debate


29 December 2009

It actually doesnt look that bad for what it is!

Appears to be good-value for a run about young family car...The Kia`s and Hyundai are looking more and more like worthy alternatives to traditional makes!!!

This versus say a base 1.2 Vauxhall Corsa 5dr or a C3 anyone? Similiar pricing...

29 December 2009

Looks very smart & respectable in black, I wouldnt be embarrassed to own one. Where does this leave the Soul though? I must admit I think Ive only ever seen one on the road!

29 December 2009

Rover this is like a Next Gen Rio Plus. Soul is a C'eed/Forte-ish thing.

Euro Lineup:

A Car-Picanto

B Car-Rio

B+ Car- Venga

B/C Car- Soul

C Car- C'eed

D Car-Magentis

A car that weighs 6 billion pounds with a 89bhp engine. How is that fun? You would get ran off the road during rush hour here with that crap, man. Exits on the Interstate, Passing Power, Big American Mountains in somewhere like Tennessee or something with Big American Lorries on your ass on an upslope+89 bhp=Very Unfun.

I still say give me the 1.6 version and ill show you some fun.

29 December 2009

wow this looks great I like the look of this Kia, its very dynamic and not dull at all. I would buy this over a corse, fiesta any day as its a little different and will turn heads more then the corsa and fords of this world.

Also think the name Venga is pretty cool as well l0l

good job Kia (never thought I would say that anytime soon l0l)

29 December 2009

Is good looking, but I wonder how Ford and Toyota feel about it looking like a cross of a Fiesta and an iQ...

29 December 2009

Surely KIA are missing out big time with a possible marketing boost for this car...

Am not a Arsenal fan, but surely there boss could be persuaded to market this car?

Wenger allways seems to need cash for new players doesnt he!

29 December 2009

Its a nice looking car...the front is a bit C-max ish, and the rear reminds me somewhat of a Q5..

29 December 2009

[quote Wanger]Am not a Arsenal fan, but surely there boss could be persuaded to market this car?[/quote]

Yes and they can get the Euro pap Venga boys to do the same in Euroland..

29 December 2009

theres lots of technology in south korea. uae has signed a 20billion dollar contract with doosan s.korea to build 4 nuclear power stations.

4 January 2010

KIA has demonstrated its 'power to surprise' when it said in a press release that Venga will be offered to European customers with a choice of two 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre gasoline and diesel engines, generating between 75 and 115 ps.

An underpowered diesel and a conservative petrol engine is going to impress only fleet buyers.

A 1.6 is in only way to go. If only they didn't ditch the 1.4 Alpha II engine with 98 ps...


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review