The Kia Venga features running gear based on that devised for the Kia Soul, with a long wheelbase (2615mm) and wide track. The Suspension has been tuned for the car's characteristics and more notably, specifically tuned for UK roads.
Fully independent front suspension and a twist-beam rear axle help to provide the Kia Venga with accurate steering and the ability to put the car exactly where you want it on the road. A result of the tuned suspension is winding country roads don't pose any problems, however, around tighter bends, body roll is more apparent, with a boat-like sway. The car does not like potholes, taking the car over a pothole-ridden car park resulted in an extremely bumpy and unsettled experience.
The steering feels extremely light and Kia's speed-dependent steering didn't seem to have much effect. Taking the car onto country roads I found it easy to over steer, which can be slightly unnerving. This would become less of a problem as you get used to the car, but if you enjoy a bit of enthusiastic driving, it is worth bearing in mind.Ease of Use
As mentioned, the power-assisted steering is very light. It requires 2.77 turns of the steering wheel lock-to-lock, and whilst this light feel isn't ideal for enthusiastic driving, it is of real benefit for town driving, where the Kia Venga is most at home. Embarking on such activities as tight space parking and weaving between parked cars is simple, thanks to the light steering. The Kia Venga's turning radius is 5.21 metres (kerb-to-kerb).
All round visibility is excellent, with a wide front windscreen which, in conjunction with large quarter front windows, provides a very good view around the front of the car. Unfortunately, the design and shape of the bonnet and front bumper mean that it is extremely difficult to judge front distances for close quarter manoeuvres, due to not being able to see where the bonnet ends but you do get used to this.
The Kia Venga features an Eco-Shift indicator, a visual prompt in the centre of the instrument cluster for when the driver should change gear, its purpose is to improve fuel efficiency. Unfortunately we found the technology to be very eager to get up through the gears, often advising a gear which would leave the engine underpowered on hills.
Another technology that comes as standard on the Kia Venga, and is always welcome, is hill-assist control, which holds the car when pulling off preventing the car from rolling back - or forward - when pulling away on a hill.
The Kia Venga offers 440 litres of boot space, which is excellent, with a removable split-folding shelf, which when in position provides a completely flat entry, with no lip to lift luggage over. When the 60/40 split rear seats are folded flat, using their "Fold and Dive" functionality, there is no need to remove the rear headrests, and the seatbacks can fold down and lie level with the shelf, increasing the level load space whilst providing space of up to 1552mm in length and 1253 litres volume.
Below the split-folding shelf lives the spare wheel alongside a cargo stow net and more storage space - removing the shelf increases the boot space to 570 litres.
This is a 10-year+ news article, from our Kia archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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