With SUVs and crossovers storming the market, what does a buyer on a budget look at besides a small sedan? Hyundai brings the all-new Venue and it’s geared towards first-time buyers and offers subcompact shoppers an entry-level hatchback under $20,000. Add in its advanced safety aids and you have an urban commuter that is safe, offers utility, and gets good fuel mileage. It sounds like a good fit for urban commuters who don’t want to spend a lot and keep their payments low.
This week we drive the upper trim 2020 Hyundai Venue SEL.
What’s new for 2020?
The Hyundai Venue is an all-new model for the South Korean automaker. It slots under the Hyundai Kona, measuring 5 inches shorter in length, but it still seats up to five passengers although adults can only ride short distances at full capacity.
Features & Options
The top-trim 2020 Hyundai Venue SEL ($19,250) comes standard with many features young urban commuters are looking for. It features an 8-inch color touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, USB and auxiliary input jacks, automatic temperature control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and remote keyless entry.
Advanced safety aids include frontal collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, and driver attention monitoring. All are standard on the Venue.
This Venue tester came with a few optional goodies like a power sunroof, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, and side mirrors, LED headlights and taillights, push-button start, navigation, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Another cool option is Hyundai's Blue Link Connected car system allowing you to sync with Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices to remote-start your car or set the temperature via voice command. Total MSRP including destination: $23,405.
The upper trim SEL cabin offers the right touches for a new generation of car shoppers. It comes with extras you will be glad you have. The leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel are nice touches we think are worth the extra money. The SEL interior is also upgraded with extra color accents adding to the cabin's appeal.
The first thing you see is the 8-inch color touchscreen above the center stack and gives the cabin a quality feel. After you get connected to the large screen it offers up responsiveness and clarity you will appreciate. We give it high marks for this price point.
The back seat is ok for hauling your friends short distances but three will be cramped for anything longer than a quick ride to go shopping. When you do load your bags, the cargo area is big enough to hold your shopping bargains. When you have taller items to haul, the Venue comes with a smart cargo cover that can slide down a vertical track and stow behind the rear seats. You can also fold the rear seats flat to increase storage capacity to 18.7 cubic feet, which is a bit smaller than its stablemate Kona.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Venue is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. It comes paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, or what Hyundai calls its Intelligent Variable Transmission.
All Venues are front-wheel-drive with no option for all-wheel drive. The subcompact model features a Snow mode Hyundais says will help when the road is slick. EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 30/34 city/highway mpg and 32 combined mpg.
The Venue has a taller body style taking a page from its sister companies' Kia Soul. We like it because the first thing we noticed after getting into city traffic, is you can see well and visibility is better than many subcompact SUVs. This is especially helpful in busy urban driving.
The Venue doesn’t have a lot of extra power, but it does well enough on the highway and is the ideal size for narrow city streets. It’s easy to park, and the safety technology helps keep you on notice of when things could get dicey. We drove the Venue in the mountains west of Denver and slipped the CVT automatic transmission into Sport mode which keeps the engine running at higher revs for more immediate throttle response, which is helpful when climbing mountain grades.
Overall, The Venue is a good urban commuter and has the utility and flexibility to haul cargo on the weekends. The only thing missing is an all-wheel-drive option.
The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a good value and offers subcompact shoppers a vehicle that will fit your urban lifestyle. Its price point offers all the features you want and it won’t kill your budget. Hyundai's excellent warranty coverage offering a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of roadside assistance is a bonus.