NEWS

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2020 Hyundai Venue | Cars.com photo by Brian Normile

By Nick Kurczewski

March 30, 2020

Think of the 2020 Hyundai Venue as an economy car dressed as a pocket-sized SUV. While the Venue is attractive and comes packed with features, there are important things to consider for shoppers interested in SUV-like levels of cabin space and cargo room. To start, the Venue is pretty darn small, so don’t expect acres of space inside. It’s also very inexpensive. That’s great for your budget, though you’ll notice fancy cabin materials are in supply commensurate with the price.

Related: 2020 Hyundai Venue: A Pleasant Place to Be

Shop the 2020 Hyundai Venue near you

The Venue also comes only in front-wheel-drive format (a mark against its SUV self-image). Like two key rivals, the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Kicks, all-wheel drive isn’t an option on any trim level.

This alone could cause some people to consider alternatives with available AWD, like the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona. Yet despite its limitations, we found a lot to like about Hyundai’s smallest and least expensive new urban runabout.

Make certain you read our full review of the Venue by Cars.com’s Brian Normile by following the related link above. But for a quick overview of its strong spots — as well as some places the Venue should revisit — keep reading.

Here are six things we like, and four things we don’t, about the 2020 Hyundai Venue:

Things We Like

1. Cheap Price

The Hyundai Venue has a starting price of about $18,000, with fully loaded examples only reaching around $24,000. This makes the Venue one of the cheapest SUVs on sale today — though you wouldn’t know it to look at it. The Venue is an attractive little sport-ute available in three trim levels: SE, SEL and Denim. The base SE comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, though most shoppers will pay the extra $1,200 for the available continuously variable automatic transmission (the automatic is the only gearbox offered on the SEL and Denim trim).

2020 2020 Hyundai Venue | Cars.com photo by Fred Meier

2. Cheap to Refuel

Every Venue comes powered — and we use that term with some irony — by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Total output is a modest 121 horsepower, though Venue shoppers might be more interested to learn that fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 30/34/32 mpg city/highway/combined for examples equipped with the automatic transmission. With a fuel tank capacity of 11.9 gallons, the Venue is easy on your fuel budget, too.

3. Abundant Infotainment for the Money

The base version of many economy cars can be a pretty stingy value proposition. That’s especially true when it comes to tech touches and infotainment screens. With the Venue, however, every single example — even the base SE trim — comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Navigation with real-time traffic updates is available in the SEL and comes standard with Denim trim.

4. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

This is something Hyundai believes will hold tons of appeal for younger, first-time car buyers: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on every Venue. For people who rely on their phone for … well, everything except walking their dog, this is a huge perk in a car that costs so little.

17-hyundai-venue-2020-center-stack-display--front-row--interior. 2020 Hyundai Venue | Manufacturer images

5. Good Standard Safety Features

Standard safety items on the Venue include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and a driver drowsiness monitor. Extra items like blind spot warning monitors and rear cross-traffic alert are part of the available Convenience Package ($1,150) available on the SEL trim; both features come standard on the range-topping Denim.

6. Surprisingly Smooth Ride

We called the steering “good for the class,” but it was the Venue’s smooth ride that really impressed us. Even at highway speeds, we complimented how the “composed and balanced” suspension made the Venue a relaxing drive partner.

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Things We Don’t

1. You Need to Plan Your Passing Maneuvers

We hinted earlier at problems under the hood, so let’s get to them. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the Venue offers a scant 121 hp. During our time with it, we described acceleration as “a gradual process.” That’s a nice way of saying “slow.”

hyundai-venue-2020-34-interior--trunk.jpg 2020 Hyundai Venue | Cars.com photo by Brian Normile

2. Cozy Cargo Area

It might be a SUV in name, but the cargo hold of the Venue isn’t what you’d call cavernous. With just under 19.1 cubic feet of space behind the backseat and 37.0 cubic feet with the seats folded, there’s room for a modest grocery run and not much else if you have passengers. Many SUV competitors — not to mention more than a few small sedans and hatchbacks — deliver more space than what you get in the Venue.

3. Tall Occupants Could Pose a Problem

Having to accommodate a full crew of four tall adults will be a serious problem for a Venue owner. Rear legroom is fine only if the person seated up front is short or willing to scoot their seat toward the dashboard. Again, this SUV wannabe has its limitations when it comes to stretch-out space.

4. Leather and Wood Trim? Yeah, Nope 

While the interior of the Venue is a relatively bright and airy place, there’s no concealing the fact that the materials in it are built to a price. Hard plastic covers pretty much everything inside, though the Denim model does come with faux leather seating featuring, unironically, denim-look cloth inserts.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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