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Hyundai revealed the updated Venue compact SUV to the Indian market back in June. Even as the new Hyundai Venue hit the streets, rumblings of an N-Line version of the compact Korean SUV started doing the rounds of enthusiast boards and water cooler chats around the country.
Now, just three months down the line since the new Venue's arrival, we have its much-talked-about 'performance' variant in our hands. So does the all-new Hyundai Venue N Line just pay lip service to N Line legacy or is it the real deal? We drove the Hyundai Venue N Line around a rather rainy Bangalore to find out...
Hyundai Venue N Line Exterior Design - A Slight Touch Up
Hyundai gave the Venue a proper makeover as part of its mid-life refresh giving it a new 'Parametric Jewel' grille, new bumpers and wheels and a set of connected taillights.
The Venue N Line highlights those changes with red highlights on the front and rear bumpers, wheelarches, side skirts and roof rails. Hyundai has slightly tweaked the Venue N Line's grille, front and rear bumpers and the faux skid plates that adorn them (now in a split guise). The rear bumper also sports the N Line badge and new dual exhaust tips. The final change comes in the form of the 16-inch alloy wheels that are specific to the Venue N Line and sport N logos.
Hyundai Venue Interior Design & Features - A Sporty Uplift
The Hyundai Venue N Line brings quite a few cosmetic changes to the insides of the sub-4-metre SUV. The red highlights from the exterior continue inside the Venue N Line's all-black cabin. There are red highlights on the seats, steering wheel, gear stick, HVAC control dials and air vents.
The red highlights on the new 3-spoke steering wheel with the N logo come in the form of contrast stitching. On the seats, there is red piping and a red checkered stripe along with an N logo in black. Adding to the sporty theme of the Venue N-Line's interior are aluminium pedals and red ambient lighting.
The Hyundai Venue N Line continues to sport the 8-inch infotainment display with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and the carmaker's Bluelink connected car suite.
Other features carried over include the digital driver's instrument cluster with its colourful driving mode themes, automatic climate control, wireless phone charging pad and the electrically operated sunroof.
The biggest feature upgrade on the Venue N Line comes in the form of a dashcam with dual cameras for those who want to record every journey in the new SUV. One camera points outward and keeps an eye on the traffic ahead while the other points inward into the cabin.
The Hyundai Venue N Line comes packed with safety features including a maximum of 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, disc brakes all around, ISOFIX child seat points and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Hyundai Venue N Line Specs - More Of The Same
The Hyundai Venue N line uses the same setup as the Turbo version of the SUV but is only offered with a single gearbox option - the 7-speed DCT automatic.
The 998cc, 3-cylinder, turbocharged petrol puts out 118.3bhp at 6,000rpm and 172Nm of peak torque between 1,500 and 4,000rpm all of which is sent to the front wheels.
The Venue N Line's dimensions are the same as the regular SUV. The Hyundai Venue N Line is 3,995mm long, 1,770mm wide and 1,617mm tall. The wheelbase of the Venue N Line is 2,500mm long and the sub-4-metre SUV has a 45-litre fuel tank.
Hyundai Venue N Line Driving Impressions - More Than Just An Extra Dose Of Colour
The Hyundai Venue N Line sits at the top rung of the South Korean sub-4-metre SUV's lineup in India. During our time behind the wheel on the rainy streets of Bengaluru, the Venue N Line set about proving itself worthy of that tag.
The output from the three-pot petrol engine is still peppy and the dual-clutch transmission is as slick as ever. However, the soundtrack from the powerplant is fruitier than ever thanks to what appears to be a more open setup with twin exhaust tips ensuring those who hear the sound know where it is coming from.
The three different driving modes - Eco, Normal and Sport - change the character of the Venue N Line. In Eco mode, the gearbox shifts up early and prefers to stay in a higher gear even at lower speeds while the throttle response is quite laid back.
Normal mode smoothens things up quite a bit as the gearbox holds onto gears for a bit longer and the response to pressing the throttle pedal is more noticeable. In Sport, the Venue N Line's gearbox allows you to rally rev the three pot up and the loud pedal's response is quick and more pronounced. For those looking for a bit more interaction with the Venue N Line, the ability to shift through the gears manually with the provided paddle shifters should provide enough entertainment.
Shifting through the driving modes also tweaks the way the steering wheel. In Eco mode, the steering wheel feels very light, which is quite helpful in traffic. Sport mode results in a heavier steering feel, which while not really good for start-stop traffic, gives those gripping onto it the confidence to tug it around at higher speeds as it weighs up quite nicely.
The suspension setup of the Venue N Line is where Hyundai has put in quite a bit of work. Put simply - the Hyundai Venue N Line is the best-handling SUV in the segment. The suspension setup on the regular Venue was already on the stiffer side, but on the N-Line, Hyundai has taken it to a new level.
This stiffer setup ensures that body roll is kept to a minimum and gives the person behind the wheel the confidence to change directions in the Venue N Line. However, the stiffer setup means that when you ride over rougher roads at higher speeds (aka Banga-lored roads), the thuds are more noticeable as is the cursing that follows from the others inside.
To ensure that you don't find yourself in trouble when you bring the Venue N Line to a quick stop, Hyundai has fitted the go-faster SUV with disc brakes all around. The brakes offer good initial bite and are quite progressive while the pedal is easy to operate and does not have much travel.
Final Thoughts On The Hyundai Venue N Line - Not Just Lip Service
The Hyundai Venue N Line may look like the same SUV with a few red highlights to the snarky glass half-empty pessimist looking at the spec sheet. However, dig a bit deeper into the Venue N Line's personality and you'll find start enjoying the experience it offers from behind the wheel. If you're looking for a 'performance' sub-4-metre SUV, then the Hyundai Venue N Line is the one that'll draw you in and make you open your purse strings.