The Hyundai Accent hatchback is long gone, so what does Hyundai offer in its place? Say hello to the 2020 Hyundai Venue, a small lifted hatchback that’s dubbed as a small SUV. On paper the Venue represents a great value for first time car buyers and it’s even cheaper than its rivals, like the Kia Soul and Nissan Kicks. Does it deserve to be on your shopping list? Yes.
The Hyundai Venue now holds the title as the cheapest crossover you can buy in America, which is great news for buyers that refuse to look at a hatchback, like the Honda Fit or Kia Rio. The Venue is a boxy crossover, which may make you think about another boxy crossover, the Kia Soul. Well you wouldn’t be wrong here, since the Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue are based on the same platform.
Just like the Kia Soul, the Hyundai Venue is only offered with front-wheel drive, but the Venue is clearly going for a more budget conscious buyer here with a cheaper starting price than the Soul. The Venue is only offered with one engine option, unlike the Soul, which offers a sporty turbocharged version.
The 2020 Venue is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque that can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. Just as you would expect, the Venue is anything but sporty. The four-cylinder engine packs enough of a punch around town, but push the pedal to the floor and the Venue amps up the engine’s soundtrack, but without much speed.
With the six-speed manual transmission the Venue is rated at 27 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined, while the CVT is rated at 30/34/32. Those specs are slightly lower than the Nissan Kicks, which is rated at 31/36/33.
Around town the Venue is the perfect companion thanks to its tiny footprint. It easily fits in any parking spot, which makes it a breeze to parallel park, even for those that aren’t very good at it. That tiny footprint and light weight (2,669 pounds) does come at a disadvantage on the highway though.
On the highway the Venue bounces around and its steering is a bit too touchy. Around town though, the Venue feels like an agile companion, that just needs a bit more power under the hood. We definitely didn’t enjoy driving it on the highway as much as we did around town.
Even with its small exterior, the Venue’s interior is roomy with a good amount of space for passengers in both rows. The interior doesn’t really stand out, but everything is well designed. Our top spec Venue Denim also had a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats, but it’s missing some more lux items, like wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control or power seats. We also wish the Denim trim level was available with a sunroof.
With the rear seat up the Venue has 19 cubic feet of cargo space, which increases to 32 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-folding back seat folded.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen display sits in the center of the dashboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The system is similar to what we’ve experienced in other Hyundai models, so there were no surprises here.
On the safety front, the 2020 Venue comes standard with forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and a driver attention warning system. A blind-spot monitor is optional, but adaptive cruise control is missing from the options list. As of right now, the 2020 Venue hasn’t been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The 2020 Venue is the cheapest crossover you can buy in the United States with a price tag starting at $17,350. It’s offered in three trim levels: SE, SEL and Denim. The top spec Denim trim level starts at $22,050.
With its easy to swallow starting price, feature packed interior and around town performance, the 2020 Hyundai Venue is one of the best subcompact crossovers you can buy.