The Hyundai Venue is a brand new model for 2020. Perhaps an answer to the popular Kia Soul. A vehicle recently transformed and looking better than ever. At five whole inches shorter than the already undersized Hyundai Kona, calling the new Venue an SUV requires real imagination. It technically seats five though, and this is the SUV crazed world we live in now. Crossover would maybe be a more appropriate title. However, the Venue handles itself almost like a hatchback. Steering is energetic and responsive. The Venue is surprisingly light on its feet and ready to change directions quickly.
The pint-sized SUV is powered by a 1.6L DOHC 4-cylinder engine. Horsepower is a mere 121. As you’d expect, it takes a little time and patience to get up to speed, and getting there is an engine soundtrack that whines and strains its way up to a decent rpm range. Thankfully, a Sport mode will help you access those higher rpms and uncork the much needed extra power higher up. On the inside, you’ll find plenty of legroom and headroom up front. With the front seats scooted back, rear seating will be a pinch. Cargo space is surprisingly abundant for a vehicle of this size as well.
The interior aesthetic follows a good trick for these lower-priced, value packed models. The trick is simple, layer black on black on black. This dark motif visually tricks us into thinking things are more upscale than they actually are. It works well, and made me half forget I was surrounded by mainly plastic. Texture variety and different finishes mix things up so it doesn’t all just blend together. Aluminum colored trim on the door handles and around the air vents add a nice touch as well.
Impressive tech and driving aides can be found throughout the new Hyundai Venue. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard. Everything culminates to create undeniable value. The base SE offers a number of nice features at a great price, but I’d recommend the mid-level Venue SEL for just a little bit more. You’ll get features like automatic climate control and a better sounding audio system. An impressive Premium package will take it a step further with LED headlights, taillights and runners. 17” alloy wheels, an 8” touchscreen with navigation and heated front seats and side mirrors.
Not spending a fortune on a quality, reliable vehicle shouldn’t have to mean buying used. Hyundai has come close to perfecting the art of packing in tons of value for the price. The Venue stays true to this formula, delivering a small crossover SUV that will prove a great option in most driving scenarios. With a sporty chassis, comfortable cabin and generous cargo space. Plus Hyundais famously nerve-calming warranty.
Price as tested: $23,445.00