2020 Hyundai Venue First Look: Right tech, right price
- All-new Venue is Hyundai’s lowest-priced SUV
- Rivals include other sub-$20,000 SUVs like Ford EcoSport, Nissan Kicks
- Smallest SUV on the market, shorter than a Kia Soul
- Compelling choice for teen drivers with advanced safety tech standard
- Hyundai Venue pricing could start around $17,000
- Set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2019
The 2020 Hyundai Venue is the automaker’s newest, smallest and most affordable SUV. It’s now the smallest, most affordable SUV on the market, in fact.
It also has some big shoes to fill. Hyundai is three-for-three so far on its recent SUV overhaul, with the newly redesigned Santa Fe, all-new Kona and forthcoming Palisade already collecting plenty of praise and awards from across the industry.
But the Hyundai Venue subcompact SUV is pretty impressive in its own right, offering a compelling combination of style, features and value. If there are enough buyers for whom the tiny Venue is big enough, Hyundai might extend its SUV streak to four in a row.
How much does the Hyundai Venue cost?
Official pricing has yet to be announced, but we expect 2020 Hyundai Venue pricing to start around $17,000. For reference, the larger Hyundai Kona starts at $19,990, while the Nissan Kicks starts at $18,540.
When does the Hyundai Venue come out?
The 2020 Hyundai Venue is set to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2019. We expect to start seeing it around October, as new and redesigned models are often among the first models to roll out for the next model year.
Hyundai Venue engine
The 2020 Hyundai Venue is powered by an updated version of the automaker’s 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine making 121 horsepower. It’s matched with a 6-speed manual transmission in the Venue SE or a continuously variable automatic transmission in the Venue SEL.
Hyundai Venue fuel economy
Official EPA figures have yet to be announced, but Hyundai says internal testing suggests city/highway combined fuel economy of 33 mpg. That’s right in line with the Nissan Kicks.
Does the Hyundai Venue have all-wheel drive?
No, the Hyundai Venue is front-wheel drive only. Especially at the entry end of the market, we’re seeing more and more SUVs forego all-wheel drive. The Nissan Kicks and Toyota C-HR are two examples.
For what it’s worth, the Venue’s driving programs include a snow mode that promises to deliver smoother and more confident acceleration in slippery conditions. If you’re liking the Venue but must have all-wheel drive, keep in mind the Hyundai Kona snagged our Subcompact SUV Best Buy Award this year.
Hyundai Venue interior
Hyundai continues to produce some of our favorite interiors across the segments in which they compete. The Venue’s cabin features the relative simplicity typical of a sub-$20,000 interior, but with touches of the rugged personality established by the exterior.
Though the Hyundai Venue is one of the smallest SUVs on the market, even the tiniest SUVs can provide outsized cargo flexibility by virtue of the wide-opening rear hatch and fold-down rear seats. In addition to a 60/40-split, flat-folding rear seat, the Venue offers a convenient dual-level cargo floor.
Small? Yes. But compared to a subcompact sedan the Venue is cavernous.
How many people does the Venue seat?
The two-row Hyundai Venue offers seating for five, consistent with its key competitors. We’re glad the 4-passenger fad has largely faded, but we won’t be signing up to ride in this sub-subcompact SUVs center seat for anything longer than a lunch run.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
As part of the standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the Hyundai Venue supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easy and familiar voice control of music, navigation and more. Built-in navigation is also available, with real-time traffic info and free map updates for three years.
Amazon Echo and Google Home
“Hey Google, start my car.” Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system includes integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, providing a variety of cool capabilities. Most remote features are also available via Hyundai’s Blue Link mobile app and MyHyundai.com.
Hyundai Venue warranty
The Venue is covered by Hyundai's exceptional 5-year/60,000-mile limited and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties. The limited warranty is fully transferable to subsequent owners and includes complimentary roadside assistance.
Hyundai Venue colors
In addition to the required white, black, silver and gray, Hyundai Venue color choices include Scarlet Red, Intense Blue, Green Apple and Denim. And trends being trends, you might have guessed the Venue would also be available with a contrasting roof, mirror and trim color.
Impressive safety suite
Entry-priced vehicles continue to offer an increasing amount of advanced safety tech, but those features aren’t always standard. A base-level 2020 Hyundai Venue, however, offers a couple of features we consider especially valuable for inexperienced and/or distracted drivers: forward collision avoidance and lane keeping assist. Combined with a backup camera plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, we’re not sure you can get more of our favorite teen-driver tech for less money.
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (standard) Uses a front-facing camera to help detect and avoid or minimize a collision.
Lane Keeping Assist (standard) Can steer a car back into the lane if it senses unintentional drifting.
Driver Attention Warning (standard) Warns driver if it detects fatigue or carelessness.
Blind-Spot Collision Warning (optional) A light lets you know when there’s a car in your blind spot. If you don’t notice the indicator and try to change lanes anyway, the system gives you a stronger warning. Drivers who own a car with blind-spot warning never want to give it up.
Rear Collision Cross-Traffic Warning (optional) When backing out of a blind parking spot, for instance, this system alerts the driver if there’s a car coming down the aisle.
These advanced safety features are in addition to expected/mandated standard safety features including front, side and head curtain airbags, stability and traction controls, plus ABS, EBD and brake assist
2020 Hyundai Venue SE
Even at base price, the Hyundai Venue offers some impressive equipment. Features we might not expect to see at this price include an 8-inch color touchscreen, auto headlight control, body-color mirrors and door handles (not black plastic), steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, sliding sun visors with dual vanity mirrors and the aforementioned safety tech.
Expected features include Bluetooth and USB connectivity, rearview camera, cloth seating, air conditioning, projection headlights, four speakers, 15-inch covered steel wheels, remote keyless entry and a 6-way adjustable driver seat.
2020 Hyundai Venue SEL
Upgrading to the top-trim Hyundai Venue SEL nets the automatic transmission (CVT), 15-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, roof rails, six speakers, underfloor cargo storage, plus simulated front and rear skid plates. Not a lot of must-have features in that mix, really, but upgrading to SEL is the gateway to these compelling packages:
Convenience Package This is the package to pick if you’re only picking one. The Convenience Package includes a proximity key with push-button start (leave it in your pocket or purse), blind-spot and rear-traffic collision warning, two USB inputs, auto climate control, a sliding armrest and storage box, driver side auto-up window, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Premium Package The “feel warmer and look cooler” package adds heated front seats and side view mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, plus LED headlights, tail lights and daytime running lights.
Sunroof Package Power sunroof, contrasting roof color.
Connectivity Package Includes built-in navigation and Blue Link Connected Car systems. We prefer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for all our navigation needs, but the Blue Link system offers some intriguing capabilities including remote start, remote unlock and geofence, curfew and speed alerts.
Hyundai Venue key specs
1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine
121 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (est.)
113 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (est.)
6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission
Curb weight: 2,257 to 2,732 lbs.
Length: 158.9 inches
Wheelbase: 99.2 inches
Width: 69.7 inches
Height (with/without roof rails): 62.7/61.6 inches
Head room (front/rear): 39.4/38.6 inches
Leg room (f/r): 41.3/34.3 inches
Shoulder room (f/r): 53.9 / 53.7 inches
Total interior volume: 110.6 cu ft
Passenger volume: 91.9 cu ft
Cargo Volume (rear seats up/folded): 18.7/31.9 cu ft
Final assembly: Korea
About the name
Santa Fe, Tucson, Kona, Palisade, Venue. One of these things is not like the others. As you can see, Hyundai breaks from tradition a little bit with the Venue name. Given the target audience’s affinity for concerts and festivals, we’ll buy it.
Hyundai Venue vs. Nissan Kicks
With the arrival of the 2020 Hyundai Venue, we expect the Nissan Kicks to be relegated to second-most-affordable SUV on the market. But the Kicks is larger than the Venue -- closer in size to the Kona – and includes an automatic transmission at base price. Horsepower is similar and fuel economy should be, too. The 2020 Hyundai Venue gets the nod on (projected) price and overall features.
Hyundai Venue vs. Kia Soul
Kia calls the Soul an SUV, we call it a wagon. Either way, the Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue are sure to be cross-shopped. While the starting prices are similar, when you compare the entire lineups the Soul really sits half a class above the Venue. The Soul is larger, roomier, offers available turbo power and a longer list of available features and tech. Comparing just the base models, we see the Soul’s size and added power as its key advantages, while the Venue boasts forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist and the promise of slightly better fuel economy.
Hyundai Venue vs. Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona is a step above the Venue in size, and starts at nearly $20,000. Very often the challenge facing entry-level models is that you get a lot less (room, refinement, features) but you don’t pay a lot less. No doubt many shoppers will weigh Venue and Kona and come to the same conclusion, but the fact remains that for many buyers smaller is better.
Is the Hyundai Venue a good choice for you?
The new Hyundai Venue looks good. The price is right. It has an excellent mix of features including one of the best warranties in the business. Only two big questions remain: How does it drive, and is it big enough? We won’t get to drive it until later in the year, but given Hyundai’s recent track record we expect the Venue to drive at least as well as anything comparable. Whether it’s roomy enough for you, your passengers and your cargo needs? That’s a question only you can answer.