Watching a designer sketch the outline for a car is a terrific experience.

I once watched Laurens van den Acker rough out a motocycle in a bar in the United States. 

Minutes later The Netherlands designer excused himself to visit the men’s room — and never returned.

Van den Acker’s the guy who designed the Bugatti Chiron supercar.

The thing with sketches is that they rarely resemble the finished product, or we should say the finished product bears little resemblance to them.

Such is the case with the latest Hyundai Venue.

It was designed by Luc Donckerwolke, the same bloke who penned the confronting Kona.

Donckerwolke, who has a string of Lamborghinis to his name, replaced Peter Schreyer as chief designer late last year.

Early sketches of Venue are dynamic and promising, but the unfortunate design by committee process has managed to suck any dynamism out of the car.

The original proportions have been lost, leaving the car with a rather flat, blunt and frankly ugly rendition of the nose with its over and under lights.

The rear is generic but does look a bit like the early BMW 1 Series.

Priced from $19,990 the Venue slots under Kona and is due to go on sale this month in Australia.

There’s a three-grade line-up — Go, Active and Elite — all powered by the same 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine with 90kW of power and 151Nm of torque.

Drive is to the front wheels with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions.

It’s well equipped but offers nothing really new in terms of tech.

Opt for the top of te range Elite and you get the option of a two-tone roof.

Venue’s counterpart the Kia Seltos will also be launched here soon and is arguably a better looker.

CHECKOUT: Small Venue larger inside than it looks

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.