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Kia Venga Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2010
      Body type
      MPV
      Fuel type
      Petrol, diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Spacious and practical, if dull

Best bits

  • Highly practical for a car this size
  • Efficient diesel engines
  • Good value for money

Not so great

  • No oil painting
  • Interior offers little appeal
  • Poor ride on badly-surfaced roads

Read by

Kia Venga (2010) frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Kia Venga (2010) front interior

On the inside

Kia Venga (2010) frontright exterior

Driving

Kia Venga (2010) backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Kia Venga (2010) back exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Venga is an exceptionally-sensible buy; there’s nothing frivolous about its design or execution, and it will likely be cheap to buy and cheap to run too. Even so, there are better options that provide a superior driving experience or are nicer to look at, so if these things matter to you then consider your options."

Kia Venga (2010) frontleft exterior


Few manufacturers have gone through the kind of revolution that Kia has over the last few years. Having started out selling lightly re-engineered cast-offs from other manufacturers that were big on value but low on everything else, the Korean brand has strong European links and some big names from the world of car design and engineering working on their products. The transformation has been remarkable.


The Venga is a product from the early days of this seachange, but shows the willingness to think outside the usual templates to create a car that offers something that rivals do not. 


First launched in 2010, the Venga was developed alongside a very similar product from sister brand Hyundai, although the ix20 that came from that brand was a slightly different machine in some important ways. Designed and sold as a mini-MPV, the Venga occupied roughly the same road space as a conventional small car, but thanks to the design it could offer far more interior space. 


A quick look at the Venga’s exterior shows how this extra room has been liberated. The high roofline runs almost the length of the car, while the steeply-raked, short bonnet and deep windscreen allow more of the area within the cabin to be utilised. It’s almost as if the centre of the car where the passengers are bulges out, with the nose shrunk to fit. The result is a car that won’t win your heart because of its good looks, but it might well win over your head in the process.


If you’ve got this far without walking away then the Venga may well be able to convince you. Step inside - which is exceptionally easy thanks to the big doors and high seating position - and it almost feels like you’re getting into a bigger car. The high roofline and generously-sized windows play the biggest part here, boosting the feeling of space, but even in the rear where passengers usually get the roughest deal, there’s ample head and legroom available.


On the mechanical side the Venga is more conventional, with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. At launch in 2010 it was available with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines alongside 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesels with a choice of power outputs. 


A five-speed manual gearbox was standard for most models, with a six-speed manual standard on the high-output 1.4-litre diesel and all 1.6-litre diesels. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional on the 1.6-litre petrol. 


The Venga offers a driving experience that is perfectly serviceable, but is not exceptional, nor is it quite as good as its ix20 sibling. Sensibly biased towards comfort and economy rather than performance, the petrol engines are adequate while the diesels offer both better acceleration and fuel consumption. The ride quality is acceptable on most surfaces, but struggles on particularly broken roads, while the handling is safe and predictable, even if there is a good deal of bodyroll.


On balance, the Venga is spacious, good value and well-equipped. It’s very sensible transport as there is little to excite the eyes or the heart, although the fact the near-identical ix20 is better in some respects means it may well be the better option.

Ready to get your top quality Kia Venga?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Kia Venga

1.6 ISG 4 5dr

  • 2017
  • 17,166 miles
  • Lookers Kia Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Northumberland, NE47AD
Price:£7,999
PCP: £142.64/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £142.64, Customer Deposit: £1,199.00, Total Deposit: £1,199.85, Optional Final Payment: £3,255.00, Total Charge For Credit: £1,448.25, Total Amount Payable: £9,447.25, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.42%, Excess Mileage Charge: 4ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Kia Venga right for you?

Generally speaking, if you need a lot of space in your car you buy one that’s big enough, but the Venga allows you the luxury of an interior closer to that of a car from the class above while still enjoying the running costs and physical road space of a smaller car. 


It doesn’t really have the appeal that new drivers will be seeking from a small car, although if they also have a family it does make a lot of sense. For the frugally-minded or those with some mobility issues, the ability of the Venga to swallow passengers and luggage with ease will be tempting.

What’s the best Venga model to choose?

A generous standard specification is almost a given when it comes to Kia cars, and the Venga is no different. As standard, all Venga models were fitted with front electric windows, USB and AUX inputs for the CD/radio system, audio controls mounted on the steering wheel and hill start assistance. The 1 Air trim adds air conditioning to the basic 1 model, and is the minimum specification that we would suggest looking at.


The best compromise of cost and equipment is the 2 model, which has alloy wheels, Bluetooth, reversing sensors, rear electric windows and an iPod connector - even if that tech is a bit old hat these days. The 3 trim adds a ton of other kit including a touchscreen with nav, but will likely cost a fair bit more than a 2 model.

What other cars are similar to the Venga?

No car is more similar to the Venga than the ix20 from partner company Hyundai. In many respects the ix20 is the superior machine - the ride quality is better and the interior design is better resolved too - we’d recommend the Hyundai over the Kia.


The Vauxhall Meriva and Ford B-MAX are two other models that are similar in execution and design as the Venga, both being spun off existing small car platforms but with a greater emphasis on space and practicality. Both also have an unusual rear door arrangement - rear opening on the Meriva and sliding doors on the B-MAX - to improve access.


Learn more

Kia Venga (2010) front interior

On the inside

Kia Venga (2010) frontright exterior

Driving

Kia Venga (2010) backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Kia Venga (2010) back exterior

Prices, versions and specification