You’ve likely heard of the Hyundai Venue, and if the name doesn’t ring any bells, you've more than likely seen the model on the road. Well, there's a new Venue in town, and what's more, is that it now has an N Line version. We spent the holiday season with one,  getting to know what the N Line badge means and what you're getting as a consumer.

What is N line?

Gone are the days when German car brands exclusively owned the bragging rights to having a performance division. Names like AMG, M and S-line have long existed, but the rest of the automotive world has finally caught up. Brands like Toyota and Hyundai have since introduced their performance lines. Hyundai calls it the N Line and the N - the latter being more potent. The N Line package is derived from the N at Hyundai, with the single letter being exclusively reserved for its performance vehicles such as the Hyundai i30N and the Kona N. N Line gives you all styling components minus the sporty mechanical parts and the engines found in N branded vehicles. See it as the AMG package or M Performance package in none AMG or M cars.


What do you get in the Venue N Line?

You’re getting the full N Line package, giving the cross-over a sportier appearance than all other variants within the Venue range. It comes with a unique N Line grille, a different set of 16-inch alloys specific to the variant, a two-tone colour combination, and a sunroof. With these styling upgrades, we still felt like the crossover was lacking aggression in the styling department. Larger wheels would have made all the difference here, and usually, that's all it takes to give a variant a sportier and exclusive look. However, the inside does feel like the real deal.


As soon as you enter the cabin, it stirs up excitement within you. It exudes the aura of a more potent N model with its N Line steering wheel, gear selector, aluminium pedals and red-stitched leather seats with N Line embossing, and red accents on the temperature dials. The red theme flows throughout the cabin and even the ambient lighting beams in a rosy hue. With these interior upgrades, the Venue N Line feels like a true N variant.

Engine and road manners

Regrettably, the N-Line goodies end there. You don't get a tricked-out suspension and engine, instead, the Hyundai Venue N Line is fitted with a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo engine producing 88kW and 172Nm. That sounds underwhelming, doesn't it? But it isn't as awful as you might think. The 1.0-litre motor is punchy around town and has no trouble carrying its weight. Although once you start adding weight in the form of passengers, there is a noticeable change in performance – it reminds you of the displacement and engine capacity. 


With it being a small engine, the engineering boffins at Hyundai played around with the exhaust to make things more exciting. The traditional 3-cylinder rumble has been refined to emit a sportier growl in the Venue N Line. It's nearly satisfying and even more so when you hear the engine blip as the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox gears down. As with most DCT boxes, there's a significant delay in coupling the engine to the transmission on most pull-offs, causing you to occasionally roll backwards if you aren't switched on. 


There is a dark side to these small engines, and no one talks about it. It's fuel economy. Subconsciously, you take reduced engine capacity to mean better fuel consumption in a car,  but this couldn't be further from the truth with this new crop of small engines. Hyundai says the venue has an average fuel consumption of 6.9l/100km, however, we have proof that it's much more than that. Driving the Venue around town returns nothing less than 8l/100km, and on the open road, it settles at around 6.8l/100km, our average after a trip from Johannesburg to Durban. 

How much is the Hyundai Venue N Line?  

You’re looking at nearly R500 000 for the N Line cross-over, which isn't small change if we're being honest. Although at R449 900 it still undercuts the competition with the likes of VW's T-Cross R-Line costing R511 100.


Words: Gugu Masuku