Little crossovers now have a big stage.
With the Venue, Hyundai not only has a smaller companion to the Kona crossover, but also a five-door hatchback that may fit in the shadow cast by the big Palisade.
The 2020 Hyundai Venue made its debut at the 2019 New York International Auto Show and will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2019. Hyundai hasn’t yet said how much the crossover will cost when it arrives. The Venue will be available in SE and SEL trim levels.
Review continues below
Style and performance
The 2020 Venue borrows some elements from the automaker’s larger crossovers, including split daytime running lights and headlights, but the smallest Hyundai ‘ute goes at it alone in its grille and high-contrast color scheme. The palette of colors includes Scarlet Red, Intense Blue, Green Apple, and Denim, the latter of which can be paired with a white roof and denim-colored interior—hardly subtle stuff.
The Venue typically rides atop 15-inch wheels but big 17-inchers can fill out wheel wells that are punctuated by creased flares in the fenders that belie the relatively small dimensions. The deeply sculpted body sides draw some inspiration from the Santa Fe, but it’s clear that Hyundai’s same-ness days of vehicle design are over.
Inside, the Venue makes use of what space it has for passengers and incorporates the big 8.0-inch touchscreen into the dash instead of plunking it on top, which is common in many subcompact cars.
Under the hood of all Venues is a 1.6-liter inline-4 that’s borrowed from the Accent, teamed to a 6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that drives the front wheels only. The small inline-4 makes 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque and aims for fuel efficiency.
Without all-wheel drive on the options list, the Venue stays relatively light and efficient—Hyundai says it expects a combined rating of 33 mpg from the EPA.
Comfort, safety, and features
The Venue rides atop a relatively small 99.2-inch wheelbase, shorter than the Accent by about 2 inches and shorter than the Kona by more than 3 inches. From tip to tail, the Venue measures 158.9 inches, which is more than 5 inches shorter than the Kona. As a result, the confines look cozy for four adults—five adults may require NDAs before attempting.
The rear seats in all Venues fold in a 60/40-split arrangement and bump up the standard 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space up to 31.9 cubes for zesty home improvement-store runs.
Hard-wearing, black or gray cloth upholstery is standard in all cars, but denim-colored models offer synthetic leather upholstery teamed to denim material for the set too young to remember what patchwork denim looked like in the 1990s.
Thankfully, the Venue’s standard automatic emergency braking on every model looks to the future for safety features. Blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and a driver-attention monitor are all available on select trims.
Hyundai hasn’t yet specified the trim levels for the Venue, but every car will ride atop 15-inch wheels and get an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, at least one USB port, and cloth upholstery. Top trims may offer navigation, heated front seats, and compatibility with Hyundai’s smartphone app that can remotely start the car.