The B-segment SUV is a busy playing ground and in the last 12 months, Hyundai was able to gain traction on the back on fully-loaded Venue. Electrically-adjustable sunroof, 8-inch infotainment system with BlueLink connectivity, cruise control and a bundle of feel-good features helped Venue to cement its place. Venue was also offered with manual, automatic and DCT gearboxes. Riding on the success, Hyundai has roped in an iMT (intelligent manual transmission), which can be considered a semi-automatic transmission.
04:27Hyundai Venue iMT first drive review
The silhouette of the sub-compact SUV remains intact, however, the Sport trim features funky red touches on the grille, brake calipers, roof rails and a few other places. The particular trim is either available with 1-litre turbo petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine option. Inside, there is an all-new steering wheel with red stitching, similar to the one in the Creta. The interior witnesses minor retouches in the form of dark grey upholstery with red piping, and loads of red accents around the cabin.
How is IMT to drive?
Initially, you fumble a little, especially mistaking it with an automatic. The biggest change in the cabin the absence of a clutch pedal. You may consider it as a semi-automatic as the operation of rowing through the gear is simple and the process of dabbing the clutch is completely done away with. Unlike an automatic, the driver has complete control over the gear shifts.
IN PICS | HYUNDAI VENUE IMT GALLERY
Mechanically, the transmission control unit, hydraulic actuator and concentric slave cylinder work in sync to enable seamless shifting of gears without the need to physically operate the clutch.
The gear shifts are smooth, however, they aren’t as light and slick as you would see in most Hyundai manual offerings. Surprisingly, the iMT acts so precise that the driver needn’t apply brakes or slow the car down to shift. And it’s good to see, the new gearbox doesn’t alter the performance of the engine. To top it off, the 120PS and 172 Nm-rated turbo-engine is an exciting testing bed for the all-new iMT.
The 1-litre turbo petrol we drove is punchy beyond the 2,000-rpm while initially, the turbo lag is something visible. The meaty mid-range coupled with a responsive new steering wheel makes the Venue is brisk commute in the urban jungle.
The biggest positive I found in IMT over is a manual is the way it operates. In case, you are in a gear or two high you should be, the engine doesn’t come to a standstill, instead, the sensors inform the driver through constant beeping. Stop the car at any gear without changing the gear, and the ignition doesn’t cut off. That’s the biggest takeaway of iMT especially in the initial phase of getting used to the transmission.
The iMT scores high on fun-to-drive factor with a dash on convenience. In fact, the iMT stands as a worthy alternative to the DCT gearbox. The iMT equipped Hyundai Venue is priced between Rs 9.99 lakh and Rs 11.08 lakh (ex-showroom), available in SX and SX (O) trim options. Venue’s Sport trim is also a visual delight with the well-thought add-ons the skin.
In days to come, what would be exciting to see in the deployment of iMT in the range of Hyundai cars. I’m already visualizing speeding the Verna turbo paired with an iMT!
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