If you’re looking for a supremely practical family car on a budget, a used Kia Venga should definitely be on your shopping list. With its diminutive exterior dimensions giving little clue as to its surprisingly capacious interior, the Venga is a mini-sized MPV that has ruffled the feathers of the Ford B-Max and Nissan Note.
The Kia Venga boasts smart, handsome looks, with its stretched wheelbase giving the car its main USP – namely that Tardis-like interior.
The Venga is taller than a standard hatchback. Its clever styling manages to hide this height, while its short front and rear overhangs combine with its overall width to give the Venga a pleasingly squat, purposeful stance on the road.
From 2015, facelifted models get a slightly more refined appearance thanks to a number of styling tweaks, including a larger front ‘cheese grater’ grille, deeper front air inlets, daytime running lights and newly designed alloy wheels.
The Kia Venga boasts smart, handsome looks.
What’s it like to drive?
From behind the wheel of the Kia Venga you get a good driving position and impressive visibility, thanks to a high driver’s seat, slim A-pillars and large front three-quarter windows. While handling suffers a little due to the car’s added height, the Venga boasts more grip than most in its class, making it surprisingly agile on twisting B-roads.
Don’t be under any illusions that this is a sports car – the Venga’s compact dimensions and soft suspension make it far more at home in the urban sprawl. Nipping around town in a Venga is a breeze, with its composed ride ironing out the cracked tarmac and potholes of city streets.
The Venga’s range of petrol and diesel engines provide enough power for everyday driving, but with every one of them taking longer than 10 seconds to get from 0-60mph, it would probably be unwise to take on a Lamborghini Urus at the lights.
The Venga boasts more grip than most in its class, making it surprisingly agile on twisting B-roads.
A height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel – with reach and rake adjustment – are standard across all trim levels, so getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Kia Venga shouldn’t be much of a problem. There’s a good view out from the helm as well, so you’ll be able to spy on rival commuters in traffic jams.
All models in the Venga range are relatively well-equipped, with every trim level offering steering wheel-mounted controls, split-folding rear seats, a stereo with MP3 compatibility and USB and auxiliary ports. Rear parking sensors come as standard, too. Higher trim levels boast a range of features including Bluetooth, heated part-leather front seats and a 7-inch touchscreen with built-in sat-nav and a reversing camera.
The cabin is well put together for a car in this class, with well-laid out buttons and controls and a decent level of fit and finish, although some of the interior’s cheap plastics lose points to the competition.
Considering the Venga is just over four-metres long and two-metres wide, interior space is impressive. It doesn’t look like a Venga bus from the outside, though has enough inside space to get the Venga party started.
There’s lots of room up front, while thanks to that high roofline there's plenty of rear head and legroom as well. There are enough cubby holes and door bins dotted around the cabin to hold phones, wallets and water bottles, and the boot will comfortably swallow a couple of carry-on-sized suitcases and some shopping bags.
If you need to increase either rear leg room or luggage space the rear seats can slide forwards or back, or they can be dropped down flat for carrying bigger loads. The lack of a large lip at the boot’s entrance makes getting stuff into the back a lot easier, while a false floor adds additional storage.
Running costs and reliability
If you’re looking for running costs as small as the Venga itself, then taking the diesel route is your best option. The top-of-the-line 1.6-litre CRDi model returns 64.2mpg with CO2 emissions in line with the competition, while the Venga’s 1.4-and 1.6-litre petrol models deliver 50.4mpg and 47.9mpg respectively.
What we love
While its footprint is supermini sized, the Venga’s interior is as big as a car from the class above. The cabin is well-made and hard wearing and boasts some nice touches as well – we especially love the reclining rear seats which let passengers stretch out on longer journeys.
Still looking for the one?
Use our comparison tool to find the car for you
If you like the Kia Venga...
Town and country drivers
The Kia Venga offers great value if you’re after a mini MPV. Like many of its rivals it’s good-looking, comfortable and cheap to run. And when it comes to interior space, the Venga is hard to beat. The Venga bus is coming!
This review was