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2021 Hyundai Venue is a nimble, affordable crossover for commuters

Posted On Thursday, 24 June 2021 23:21 Written by
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The 2021 Hyundai Venue is a small, nimble and affordable crossover. The 2021 Hyundai Venue is a small, nimble and affordable crossover. Photo courtesy of Hyundai

Compact, nimble and affordable.

Those are the three words that best describe the 2021 Hyundai Venue, a relatively new subcompact SUV offering (it debuted in 2020) that’s a strong fit for city dwellers and those who don’t want or need a larger vehicle.

I recently spent time in a Venue and I’m back with a full report on how it stacks up to the growing number of mini-SUVs on the market right now.


The Venue is a subcompact crossover featuring strong exterior and interior design.

The exterior features a distinctive grille and generally pleasing look. Not a contender for best in segment, but still stands out compared to much of the subcompact competition. It’s eye-catching and what some might call cute.

Inside is where the vehicle really shines, especially in the Denim special edition that I tested. 

The front seats of the Venue feature decent head room and leg room, but the rear seats are a bit tight, which is to be expected with a subcompact. Still, it’s a bit more roomy than some of the competition in terms of rear seating comfort.

Trunk space is also very limited, meaning this vehicle is not well-suited for longer family trips. Instead, it will function very well as a vehicle to get around town or for commuting.

The best features of the interior design are the well-placed controls, and decent quality materials for the low price point. 

Some exterior features include: 17-inch alloy wheels, roof side rails, heated body-colored side mirrors, body color door handles, LED projector headlights with daytime running lights, and the option of a contrasting roof color.

Interior features include a sliding armrest storage box (with very little space, though), heated front seats, leather steering wheel, leather shift knob, and tilt and telescopic steering wheel. There is also a 6-way adjustable driver seat, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat to increase storage options.


The 2021 Hyundai Venue features a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, paired with an automatic transmission. For manual lovers, the bad news is the manual transmission that was offered in 2020 is no longer available.

The output from this engine is 121 horsepower and 113 lb.-ft. of torque, and the vehicle is only available in front-wheel drive, with no AWD option. 

In terms of the driving experience, the Venue’s low numbers mean it is not great at getting up to speed, and there’s a somewhat whiny engine noise. Translation: It’s not the choice for you if you want lots of power. Acceleration to get onto the highway, and pass other vehicles, is quite lacking and requires significant effort.

On the positive side, the Venue features hill start assist, and is very nimble due to its smaller size. It’s quite responsive to driver input and offers an overall quite comfortable driving experience.

There are also adjustable drive modes, including Sport, Normal and Snow modes.


The technology/infotainment setup on the Venue does not have a modern or fancy design, but it is very functional and easy to master. Voice commands worked well, and there is a nice-size 8-inch touchscreen and physical buttons.

Connecting a phone via Bluetooth connection was easy, and you get 2 USB ports up front. It features a 6-speaker audio system, steering wheel-mounted controls, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for phone mirroring, SiriusXM satellite radio (with 90-day trial), push-button start, and Blue Link connected services included for 3 years.

Overall government safety rating on the Venue is 4 out of 5 stars. Side crash ratings are 5 stars, while rollover and front crash ratings are 4 stars.

It also features a good number of safety features for a smaller crossover with a lower price tag. These include: 

— Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
— Lane Keeping Assist and Driver Attention Warning 
— Blind-Spot Collision Warning 
— Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning  
— Rearview camera  
— Tire Pressure Monitoring System 
— Electronic Stability Control with traction control 


The official fuel mileage numbers on the 2021 Venue are 30 city/33 highway/31 combined. These are very good numbers for the segment, but my real-life numbers driving the Venue did not live up to the listed numbers, reaching only the mid-20s, which was a bit disappointing. 


The Venue is one of the most affordable SUVs available. My test vehicle was just over $23,000, and the base price starts about $19K. Few vehicles will beat those numbers.

It also comes with Hyundai’s strong warranty, which includes:

— 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle warranty
— 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty
— 7-year/unlimited mile anti-perforation warranty
— 3-year/36,000 mile complimentary maintenance


The 2021 Hyundai Venue is a small but affordable subcompact SUV that is nimble and best-suited for urban settings and commuting, but not longer family trips. If you’re looking for this type of vehicle and want something more than a sedan, it’s a strong option.

===== 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: 2021 Hyundai Venue (Denim Edition)  
  • Price as tested: $23,380 (starts at $19K)
  • Best feature: Affordable, somewhat roomy for the segment, nimble
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars    
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Folks looking for an affordable, fuel-efficient, smaller vehicle who want something a bit larger than a sedan. 
Matt M. Myftiu

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

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