The 2021 Hyundai Venue courts bargain shoppers with department-store space and quality. The Venue is a five-passenger hatchback that’s sometimes marketed as a crossover SUV. Without all-wheel drive on its options list, we keep it in the car column, though it’s blessed with the interior space and flexibility of some of our favorite small crossovers.
Sold in SE and SEL versions, the 2021 Venue compares to the Nissan Kicks, the Ford EcoSport, and the Honda HR-V. It’s styled better and has a finer interior than those vehicles, and gets longer, better warranty coverage, too. It’s a good car and a great value. It’s not plush or quick, but it hits the bullseye for pricing and convenience features.
For 2021 the 6-speed manual is no longer available, and 15-inch wheels are standard on the SE while 17-inchers come with the SEL. Blind-spot monitors now come standard on the SEL, and the Convenience Package has become standard on the SEL.
The Venue owes some of its eager shape to bigger Hyundais. The square jaw and big, bright grille are easily recognizable as members of the Hyundai/Kia family. It’s a perky piece in bright paint colors and chunky 17-inch wheels. Inside, it’s straightforward and touchscreen-focused, with well-chosen trims and textures to pad its doors and its dash.
Hyundai taps the Accent’s 1.6-liter inline-4 for power, and that too is relative. With a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) simulating gear changes through a slurry of pulley ratios, the Venue accelerates, without many adjectives. There’s no all-wheel drive, and only about 6.7 inches of ground clearance. It is a friendly, right-sized city driver with a decent ride and good point-and-dart moves for urban traffic. Tight parking spots and short trips are its wheelhouse; fuel economy’s decent at 32 mpg combined.
The Venue carves out space for four adults from its curt 99.2-inch wheelbase, and the front passengers have the well-shaped, comfortable seats. Space is OK in back, too, but most drivers will fold those back seats down to reveal 31.9 cubic feet of dog-slobbering space. It’s a good thing the Venue’s cloth upholstery seems to wash and wear well.
Base Venue hatchbacks cost less than $20,000 and come with automatic emergency braking and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard: a swell 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. Spend a grand more and the Venue adds blind-spot monitors, 17-inch wheels, navigation, and keyless start.
The 2021 Hyundai Venue is an attractive, economical and flexible vehicle whether you’re commuting or running errands. Our recommendation would be to stick to the middle of the line-up SEL like our tester, that adds bigger wheels and active safety features. Regardless you get Hyundai’s impressive 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty which is just icing on the cake.