2020 Hyundai Venue is a super-small crossover that's big on style
Hyundai's newest crossover fits below the Kona in the brand's lineup.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Venue, which debuts at the 2019
New York Auto Show
this week and goes on sale later this year, is the brand's smallest, most affordable SUV. But don't think that's a bad thing, as the quirky-cute Venue still has an impressive list of features and a good amount of interior room.
Make no mistake, the Venue is a tiny, little thing, slotting below the already-subcompact
in Hyundai's lineup. The Venue is 5.1 inches shorter in length than the Kona, riding on a 3.2-inch shorter wheelbase. It's about an inch narrower in width, too, though it actually stands half an inch taller than the Kona.
The Venue will be offered with a number of interesting colors, including Intense Blue, Green Apple and Denim -- the latter can even be had with jeans-like fabric inside. Two-tone roof options and bursts of color on the wheel arches give the Venue a bit of curb appeal, too. It's not as aesthetically polarizing as the Kona -- and I mean that as a compliment -- and kind of looks like a less-dumpy
Inside, the 2020 Venue offers 110.6 cubic feet of total interior volume, which is 2.7 fewer than the Kona. (As I noted during my brief prototype drive, the Venue doesn't feel small from behind the wheel.) The Venue's seats-up cargo capacity is only a smidgen smaller than the Kona's: 18.7 cubic feet compared to 19.2. With the rear seats folded, however, the Venue offers 31.9 cubic feet of space, which is a 13.9-cubic-foot reduction compared to the Kona. The Venue offers substantially less cargo space than the
and Nissan Kicks crossovers, as well as Hyundai's older Accent Hatchback.
For front and rear passengers, the Venue offers pleasant accommodations, with an appealing design. The dashboard and center console use a clean, handsome design, with straightforward controls. Every 2020 Venue comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with
built in. Navigation is available, as are Bluetooth compatibility and Hyundai's BlueLink connected car services that offer Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration.
Every 2020 Venue will be powered by the same engine: a 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated inline-four from Hyundai's "Smartstream" engine family. This engine is estimated to produce 121 horsepower, and will be offered with either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. The Venue will only be available with front-wheel drive, though Hyundai says the Venue will offer a "snow" drive mode for improved traction in slippery conditions. Hyundai is targeting a combined fuel economy rating of 33 miles per gallon, though official EPA data won't be available until later this year.
As for advanced driver's aids, the Venue comes packed with an impressive roster. Forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention warning and rear cross-traffic warning are all on offer, in addition to the federally mandated back-up camera.
Official pricing information isn't available just yet, though if the Venue is going to serve as Hyundai's most affordable SUV, that means it'll undercut the Kona's $19,240 base price. That'll make the Venue one of the least-expensive vehicles available in the US. And with no shortage of style and features, that ought to make it attractive to a huge number of budget-minded shoppers.
Originally published April 17 at 10:45 a.m. ET. Update, 1:09 p.m.: Adds new photos from the show floor.