Hyundai has bold plans for the SUV market, and with the flagship Palisade and the subcompact Kona CUV covering both ends of the spectrum, the Korean auto giant has decided to unleash an even smaller utility entry into the fray to try and steal precious sales from new rivals such as the Nissan Kicks, Ford EcoSport, and the Chevrolet Trax, the 2020 Hyundai Venue. When we last met the Venue, it was through several teaser images. However, Hyundai has finally pulled the veil off of its newest SUV offering.
When we say the Venue is small, we’re not exaggerating, with the new model being a full 5.1 inches shorter than the Kona. It’s also 1.2 inches narrower than its bigger counterpart, which could help the Venue standout when tasked with commuting in narrow alleys and tight parking spaces. Despite these figures, the Venue is actually taller than the Kona, which causes it to have a chunky apperance to go along with its chisled front fascia. The clean yet boxy side profile leads out to a cute rear end that is accented by attractive taillights. The Venue also comes with a youthful color pallet, and buyers can choose hues such as Green Apple, Scarlet Red, Galactic Grey, and even Denim. Two tone configuriations are avalible, as well as contrasting colors for the roof, mirrors, and select trim pieces.
The interior of the Venue loses 2.7 cubic feet of room to the Kona, but the remaining space is busting at the seams with personality and equipment. A bright 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system, while a 3.5 inch display screen is nestled in the instrument cluster. The overall look is clean yet highly functional, with Hyundai promising high quality fabrics and materials.
To drive home this particular point, buyers that opt for the Denim hue will be rewarded with an interior that is slathered with leatherette and actual denim cloth appointments. We like detailed touches like this, since it allows buyers to truly embrace certain colors and design themes when they have the chance to view colors on both the outside and the inside of the vehicle.
Performance for the Venue comes from the familiar 1.6 liter four cylinder engine that can be mated to either a CVT or a six speed manual gearbox. The latter is a welcome addition especially in an era where manual transmissions are fast becoming a rare species in the automotive marketplace. Hyundai chose to keep the bulk of performance data to itself, but did slip that it expects the four cylinder to achieve a combined 33 mpg when paired with the CVT. Venue buyers will also be rewarded with a whole host of safety equipment including forward collision alert, lane keep assist, blind spot alert, rear cross traffic alert, and even driver attention warning. Hyundai has made great strides in recent years when it comes to enhancing the levels of safety and value that its models can deliver to customers. The Venue is another example of this philosophy, and when compared to some of its rivals in this particular front, it manages to offer more safety features than rivals such as the Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks, Mazda CX-3, and the Toyota CH-R.
Look for the 2020 Hyundai Venue to make its way to Hyundai showrooms later this year, with final pricing and other select details being revealed closer to its official launch date. With the Venue being smaller than the Hyundai Kona, we suspect that pricing will be below the $21,035 base MSRP wielded by the bigger Kona, which would also put it within striking distance of the segment’s best in this compact segment. The lone question will be whether the Venue can effectively standout as a distinctive offering when it shares dealer lots with the Kona. With the impressive consumer following that the Kona has generated since its launch, the Venue will certainly have some hurdles to overcome in order for it to assert itself as a unique model in the corporate hierarchy.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.