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2020 Hyundai Venue looks small, but scores big in debut Featured

Posted On Tuesday, 15 September 2020 05:25 Written by
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The 2020 Venue is the smallest crossover offered by Hyundai. The 2020 Venue is the smallest crossover offered by Hyundai. Photo courtesy of Hyundai

Despite a healthy lineup of SUVs already in their arsenal, including the tiny but lauded Hyundai Kona, Hyundai decided that another, even smaller, subcompact was needed.

Aimed at city dwellers who need a compact ride for small parking spaces and strong fuel mileage, but want more than a subcompact sedan, the Hyundai Venue debuted for the 2020 model year.

I recently spent some time driving a 2020 Venue, and here’s a full report on my experience and where this vehicle fits in the growing SUV/crossover landscape.

LOOKS
Measuring several inches shorter than the already diminutive Kona, the Venue is not meant for people who regularly transport passengers who are not small children or tiny adults. It’s also not meant for road trips due to its lack of power and lack of storage space. It’s a commuter car through and through, so my advice is to use the rear seating as a storage area.

The exterior design of the Venue is one of the nicer-looking in the segment, combining the looks of a hatchback with crossover styling.


The quality of the materials used inside the Venue is respectable, considering the introductory price of the vehicle. Nothing luxurious of course, but you still feel comfortable in the cloth seating, and no parts look or feel cheap. The design is also impressive on the infotainment system and steering wheel controls.

The Venue features 15-inch alloy wheels, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 6-way adjustable driver seat including height adjustment, 60/40 split folding rear seat (which increases storage options), a small armrest storage box and a compact spare tire.

The Convenience package adds an attractive power sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, blind-spot collision warning, and rear cross traffic collision warning.

The Premium package adds heated front seats, LED headlights and taillights, and a jump to 17-inch wheels, as well as push-button start, and an 8-inch navigation touch screen.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

The Venue is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine; paired with your choice of automatic or manual transmission (the manual option is rare to find in this segment, FYI, so that’s a bonus for fans of the “save the manuals” mantra; But it’s only offered on the base model, which will limit interest).

Numbers on the Venue are 121 horsepower and 113 lb.-ft. of torque. The vehicle features hill-start assist control, and a Drive Mode Select that allows you to choose either Snow mode (good for winter climates) or Sport mode for a bit more engaging ride. All Venue models come in Front-Wheel Drive, with none offering All-Wheel Drive.

This is not a fast vehicle, and based on the stats you should expect that. Going 0-to-60 will not be quick (close to 9 seconds), though using sport mode makes the overall driving experience a bit more enjoyable.

But it's not about the speed or power with this vehicle: it's about handling and strong responsiveness to driver input. Being a lightweight vehicle, it is easy to command and drives very smoothly and comfortably, and also brakes effectively. Just don't expect that it will offer you a lot of power and the experience should match your expectations. 

Also, please note that the engine can also be quite noisy as you're getting to higher speeds, and you may need to plan ahead for maneuvers like highway entry.
 
TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

First let’s talk about infotainment, a system which was a big success on the Venue.

Voice recognition technology in the Hyundai Venue works tremendously well. Everything I tried to do by voice went off without a hitch. Specific Points of Interest (POI) requests came up accurately every time, Navigation commands were understood and the system worked exactly as it should, and changing radio stations or making phone calls by voice also did not disappoint. If you are a fan of avoiding the touch buttons and instead using your voice in the vehicle, the Venue is a tremendous fit for you.

There’s also a healthy amount of helpful, advanced safety features in the Venue, especially for a smaller, affordable vehicle.

My test vehicle featured: Forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, electronic stability control and traction control, a full array of airbags, a rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring system, and even a driver attention warning which keeps you on your toes, a nice touch for this class of vehicle. For example, you’ll get a warning if you’re stopped at the light and the vehicle ahead of you starts to drive away.

The Venue features a simple but effective, four-speaker stereo system. An 8-inch color touchscreen sits at the center of infotainment system, you get smartphone, USB and auxiliary input jacks, the aforementioned Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility for smartphone mirroring, automatic temperature control, and remote keyless entry with panic alert

MPG
The Venue’s official numbers are 30 city/34 highway/32 combined. I averaged about 30 miles per gallon while driving the vehicle. This is good but not best in class, as some competitors are up to a handful of mpg more efficient.

PRICE
My test vehicle came in at $23,405; base price starts about $19K for the Venue. When it comes to buying a crossover, even the small ones, that’s a very solid price, especially when considering all that it overs.

Warranties are best in the business, and include: 

  • 5-year/60K mile new vehicle warranty
  • 10-year/100K mile powertrain warranty
  • 7-year/unlimited miles anti-perforation warranty
  • 5-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance

BOTTOM LINE
If you’re primarily a city traveler who needs a smaller, affordable ride, the 2020 Hyundai Venue is an attractive and agile little vehicle that will suit your purposes very well, and is a much better option that the subcompact offerings you might find in the sedan side of things. 

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Hyundai Venue  
  • Price as tested: $23,405 (starts around $19K) 
  • Best feature: One of the most affordable small crossover SUVs available; tech and safety features
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: City dwellers who want a small, agile ride with solid tech and safety features
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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