The perfect car for a family

Financial cutbacks, rising fuel prices, CO2-related motoring taxes – it’s hardly surprising that many car buyers are running for cover from large, thirsty models and opting for something smaller and easier on the pocket.

Wednesday, 16th May 2012, 11:04 am

The trouble is small cars often have small interiors that are just not suitable for families or those with an active lifestyle.

Not the Kia Venga.

Despite occupying only a fraction over four metres of road, this stylish and different kind of small car has all the space, versatility and practicality a family could ask for.

It succeeds not through size but by lateral thinking.

Venga is not a conventional mini-MPV but a B-segment car with genuine space.

The 4068mm long Venga has an unusually long 2615mm wheelbase, a high roofline and class best width so that it is able to offer interior space comparable to that found in C-segment cars – but within a footprint typical of a B-segment vehicle. Clever packaging – the art of turning every possible millimetre into passenger and luggage space – ensures Venga has class-best interior measurements in many key areas, including front and rear leg and hip room, as well as luggage space.

To fully appreciate the spaciousness of Kia’s newB-segment family car you need only settle into one of its five seats – it doesn’t matter which – and feel how roomy it is. Split rear seats that slide fore and aft by up to 130mm allow the passenger accommodation to be further stretched when maximum luggage capacity is not needed.

Alternatively, a two-tier boot means that owners who occasionally need more than the standard 444 litres of cargo space can expand the luggage area simply by lowering the floor.

The luggage compartment thus becomes 163mm taller, extending total volume to 570 litres.

If more space is required, the rear seats have ‘Fold & Dive’ functionality, which makes them seem to disappear into the floor, creates a completely flat deck in the load area and expands the total space to a cavernous 1486 litres.

Venga offers a choice of three torquey and fuel-efficient engines and manual or automatic transmissions. Diesel versions feature EcoDynamics, Kia’s fuel-saving, CO2-cutting technologies that include Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG). This switches off the engine when the car comes to rest and the gear lever is put into neutral, and restarts it the instant the clutch pedal is depressed. All three engines meet EU5 emissions standards.

The two petrol engines in Venga are 1.4-litre 89bhp (90PS) and 1.6-litre 124bhp (125PS) units from Kia’s Gamma family.

The 1.4 is familiar from the Kia cee’d. In Venga it is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The 1.6 is the same engine used in the Kia Soul, but in Venga it comes with a four-speed automatic transmission.

A 1.4-litre 89bhp U2 diesel engine designed in Germany makes its debut in Venga. It is clean, quiet and fuel-efficient, while ensuring no loss of response or performance.

Thanks to a standard six-speed manual gearbox and Eco Dynamics technologies, including Intelligent Stop and Go that cuts out the engine when the car is stationary at traffic lights, it can cover 65.7 miles on a single gallon of diesel in the official combined cycle, and emits just 114g/km of CO2. This is sufficient to give it significant tax advantages for both private and fleet users.

Benefit-in-kind taxation for company drivers is only 13 per cent, while the annual Vehicle Excise Duty is £30 in year two. Eight variants of the Venga are available.

Venga prices start from £10,595 on the road. You can experience the Venga and, of course, the full Kia range, at, Newbarn Kia, 65 Aldwick Road, Bognor Regis. Call 01243 841200.