Review

Kia Venga mini MPV

Price  £11,995 - £18,570

Kia Venga mini MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Very spacious
  • Great value for money
  • Long seven-year warranty
Cons
  • Dull styling
  • Interior feels cheap
  • Limited engine range

At a glance

"The Kia Venga offers loads of space, low running costs, a great-value price tag and a seven-year warranty."

The Kia Venga is a bit like the Tardis: small on the outside but big on the inside. It was mildly facelifted at the beginning of 2015, when it gained some styling tweaks, new alloy wheel designs and an enhanced specification. This was badly needed, since the Venga is one of Kia's oldest models.

It competes with cars such as the Skoda Roomster, Nissan Note, Ford B-MAX and Citroen Picasso. The Venga would suit a busy, growing family, or a couple with an active lifestyle who place reliability, practicality and value for money over image and driving pleasure.

There's just one five-door version, powered by a choice of 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines. None is especially quick, with the fastest, the 1.6-litre ISG petrol, taking 10.6 seconds to go from 0-62mph. The slowest (the 1.4-litre CRDI diesel) takes a full 14 seconds.

They're reasonably economical, with the 1.4-litre petrol posting 50.4mpg, but road tax is £110. The most frugal engine, the 1.6-litre diesel, does 64.2mpg and costs £30 a year to tax. Rivals' newer engines are more efficient as well as more powerful.

The roomy cabin will easily seat four adults with plenty of leg and headroom to spare. The back seats can recline, allowing their occupants to really stretch out. The seats can slide, too, making the already-large boot bigger still, and they fold flat to create a furniture-swallowing load area. Cabin materials improved a little with the facelift and the model scores well for reliability, a fact underscored by Kia's seven-year warranty.

You sit high up in the Venga, so visibility is good. However, the body leans quite a lot in corners, the suspension is a little too firm and the steering is light and lacks feel, so don't expect driving one to be much fun. Fortunately, the Venga comes generously equipped. There are five trim levels – 1, 1 Air, 2, 3, and 4 – but even the basic 1 comes with power-folding heated mirrors and electric front windows.

From the next trim upwards, things get better, with 1 Air having air-conditioning and 2 getting alloy wheels, reversing sensors and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Sat nav and a seven-inch touchscreen appear on 3 upwards. The top-spec 4 pushes the boat out with a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and part-leather seats. Our pick is 2 for its attractive blend of essential features and sensible pricing.

If you decide to buy a Venga, we'd recommend the 1.6-litre CRDi diesel model in '3' trim as it's the best blend of economy, performance, equipment and value-for-money.

The Venga was awarded the full five stars by Euro NCAP, so you can be confident it's a safe car. Regardless of trim level, all versions have a full complement of airbags, electronic stability control and hill-start assistance.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

Far from class-leading, but the Kia Venga diesel engines offer decent fuel economy

Engines, drive & performance

2.4 / 5

The engine range is weak and the Kia Venga isn't much fun to drive

Interior & comfort

2.4 / 5

The inside of the Kia Venga isn’t as high quality as rivals, but it comes well equipped

Practicality & boot space

4 / 5

There’s no shortage of space to get comfortable inside the Kia Venga

Reliability & safety

4.1 / 5

The Kia Venga boasts five-star safety and reliability guaranteed by a seven-year warranty

What the others say

3 / 5
based on 3 reviews
3 / 5
It's the amount of room on offer that really impresses, though. Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the Venga rivals cars from the class above for space. You get bags of headroom, while the sliding rear bench lets owners choose between extra legroom or increased carrying capacity.
3 / 5
Kia's Venga is roomy inside and the touches designed to make it versatile work reasonably well. Value for money usually forms an enormous part of a Kia's appeal, but the Venga isn't especially cheap. It's too early to say how it'll perform on resale values, but Kias aren't usually too strong on that front.
3 / 5
With its high roofline and short body it offers an alternative to the likes of the Renault Grand Modus and Citroen C3 Picasso. As well as being just as practical as the French manufacturers' efforts, it is reasonable to drive and it makes perfect sense as a city runabout.
What owners say 
4.2477966179282
4.2 /5 based on 59 reviews
51%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
12 May 2015
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