The Venue is 13 centimetres shorter than the next-up Kona, although passenger room is similar. Where the Venue makes its sacrifice is total cargo room, lack of powertrain choice and it doesn’t offer all-wheel-drive. The Kona does. Photo: Hyundai

A look into the new 2020 Hyundai Venue

A stylish and tiny utility vehicle for frugal buyers

You might think that Hyundai had plugged every possible niche in its utility-vehicle lineup. The new 2020 Venue clearly shows that wasn’t the case.

After introducing the range-topping eight-passenger Palisade for the 2019 model year, Hyundai is addressing the small end of the lineup with the sub-compact Venue. It slots below the Kona — another relative newbie — and joins what becomes an eight-model lineup of wagons and hatchbacks that also includes the Tucson, Santa Fe, Veloster, Elantra GT and Nexo Fuel Cell.

The made-in-Korea Venue is currently sold in other countries, which likely explains why it has a distinctively international appearance. Many other Hyundai models are styled in the United States. Still, the tall roofline and generously sized windshield and side and rear glass play to the Venue’s practical nature.

The body lines are crisp and the front and rear overhangs are minimal, which suggests that the Venue is ready to play beyond where the pavement ends. That territory remains outside the little Hyundai’s comfort zone since all-wheel-drive is not available. Not that it should be of great concern for buyers of more basic transportation since other competing models, most notably the similarly sized and shaped Nissan Kicks, are also strictly front-wheel-drive.

The Venue provides a decent amount of space despite being 13 centimetres shorter than the Kona. The Venue is only about 2.5 centimetres narrower, but it’s slightly taller and has nearly the same amount of stowage room behind the rear seat (with the height-adjustable cargo floor in the lowered position).

Where the Venue ultimately falls short is in maximum roominess with the back seat folded forward. The Kona has an advantage of nearly 45 per cent. The Venue is, however, spacious enough to comfortably seat four adults, and five in a pinch.

The dashboard is a paragon of simplicity with easy-to-use knobs and switches for the audio and climate controls. The standard 20-centimetre touch-screen is propped up between twin air vents. The speedometer and tachometer, separated by a small info screen, are clearly marked and easy to read. Instead of an electronic parking brake, note the old-school manual handle.

The Venue has just one engine choice: The 1.6-litre four-cylinder is rated at 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. Although not particularly potent, the output is typical of other category members. It also only has about 1,180-kilograms of curb weight to move around.

A six-speed manual transmission comes with the base trim, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional.

Fuel consumption with the CVT is rated at 8.0 l/100 km in the city, 7.0 on the highway and 7.5 combined.

Along with saving money at the pumps, the Venue has an economical base price of $19,200, (including destination fees) for the base Essential trim with a manual transmission. The CVT adds $1,300. Content includes air conditioning, heated front seats and a four-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The Preferred trim level adds a number of active safety-technologies (including forward collision warning and lane-keeping assist), plus climate control, roof rails and 15-inch alloy wheels instead of steel. The Trend gets you a power sunroof, heated steering wheel and 17-inch wheels.

The Ultimate comes with rear disc brakes (instead of drums), climate control, navigation system and front and rear LED lighting.

In addition, Preferred, Trend and Ultimate models have a Snow Mode Select setting that provides added front-wheel traction that’s specifically modulated for winter driving conditions.

Although the Venue doesn’t qualify for family duty, as a short-haul commuter/grocery getter, it checks off most boxes and might be your kind of niche.

What you should know: 2020 Hyundai Venue

Type: Front-wheel-drive subcompact utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.): 1.6-litre DOHC four-cylinder (121)

Transmission: Six-speed manual; continuously variable (opt.)

Market position: Like many of its competitors, the Venue has the appeal of an off-roader, but it doesn’t have the all-terrain capability to back up the image. For most buyers, style comes first, along with price and economy of operation.

Points: The Venue will appeal to the hearts and wallets of buyers. • Modest interior appointments are far from luxurious, but the controls are simple. • The four-cylinder engine is more about operating economy than performance; a small-displacement turbo-engine option would likely do well. • The base Venue is decently equipped and attractively priced.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); forward-collision alert; pedestrian detection (opt.);

distracted driver alert (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 8.0/7.0 (CVT); Base price (incl. destination) $19,200

BY COMPARISON

Nissan Kicks

Base price: $20,100

Budget-based FWD wagon is similar to the Venue in style and price.

Ford EcoSport

Base price: $27,100

Tiny utility vehicle comes with a turbo I-3 or a non-turbo I-4. AWD is optional.

Chevrolet Trailblazer

Base price: $23,000 (est.)

New-for-2021, it has three- and four-cylinder engine choices. AWD is optional.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

City of Port Alberni applies for grant funding for Quay to Quay pathway

Pathway connecting Harbour Quay and Victoria Quay could come with a $7 million price tag

Food trucks find space at Clutesi Haven Marina in Port Alberni

‘Food truck pod’ is a partnership between city, port authority and Tseshaht First Nation

Guest choreographer takes the ice with Mount Arrowsmith skaters

Mount Arrowsmith skating season is underway, with COVID-19 protocols in place

RCMP investigating after tires slashed in Port Alberni neighbourhood

RCMP are looking for anyone with information or video surveillance

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read