Hyundai Venue

Mechanically, all versions of the Hyundai Venue are pretty similar. All versions are powered by a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine making 121 horsepower with that power being sent to the front wheels via Hyundai's IVT. The IVT, like other continuously variable transmissions on the market, doesn't have set gears and is instead able to adjust the transmission ratios on the fly for maximum efficiency. Though the Venue makes only modest power, it's light enough that the vehicle doesn't feel too sluggish and the upshot is about 33 mpg on the highway, excellent for a crossover vehicle.

There are only three trim levels for the Venue starting with the base SE version. Standard features include an 8-inch color touchscreen in the dash housing both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a USB input and auxiliary input jacks for smartphone and device connectivity, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, Hyundai's Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection systems and power adjustable mirrors.

The SEL comes standard with better rear brakes, roof rails, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, automatic headlights, a drive mode selector with an included snow mode, automatic temperature control for the HVAC system, dual USB ports, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a nicer stereo.

The top of the line version of the Venue is dubbed the Limited trim. which gets heated front seats, LED headlights and taillights, LED daytime running lights, a blind spot warning system, a rear collision warning system, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors and a chrome grille.

Editors' Review

There really aren't any bad brand-new cars anymore. Even the cheapest, smallest new cars are all pretty good.

Not nearly enough new cars have a distinct personality and character, though, especially on the smaller, cheaper end of the spectrum. In that regard the Hyundai Venue -- and especially this Denim edition -- is a much-needed breath of fresh air. 

Singing the blues

The Denim version of Hyundai's littlest crossover is, you guessed it, inspired by denim jeans. It only comes in one color, a nice blue called -- wait for it -- Denim. The white roof is actually hand-painted, which means you can't get the Denim with a sunroof (it's an option on the Venue SEL). There are a number of other white accents on the exterior, too, including the rear badges, some trim pieces on the bumpers and the wheel arches.

But the real star of the show is the interior. Yes, the denim-inspired leatherette and fabric seats have a lovely texture and a cool striped pattern, but that's the most boring part. Everything inside the Denim is blue, except for the portions of the dashboard and door cards that are a nice cream accent color, which is echoed in things like the contrast stitching.

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The Good ~ Standout all-blue interior design ~ Tons of standard features ~ Zippy powertrain and well-tuned chassis ~ Lots of personality for the price

The Bad ~ So-so fuel economy ~ Can't get a sunroof or manual on the Denim

The Bottom Line The Hyundai Venue is a tiny design-forward crossover that shows what small affordable cars should aspire to be.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Design 9
  • Media 8

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