The Venue is Hyundai's newest and smallest crossover, introduced last year as the little sibling to the subcompact Hyundai Kona. Unlike the Kona, the Venue is only offered with FWD. It moves forward this year with additional content on mid-level SEL trims and a now-standard CVT automatic. The Venue competes with other FWD crossovers like the Kia Soul, Nissan Kicks, and Toyota C-HR.
The Venue offers impressive value above all else; even with its modest base price, this little Hyundai includes a large standard touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring, plus strong safety scores and standard driver-assist features. Its four-cylinder engine is plenty efficient, too.
Despite the exceptional value though, the Venue feels cheap. The interior is full of hard plastic, and the second row and cargo area are on the smaller end of the segment. Efficiency aside, the powertrain is low on grunt and contributes to a noisy cabin at speed.
The Venue is a solid alternative to a used SUV at a similar price point with generous modern tech, but you'll never forget it's a small, inexpensive vehicle. There's a reason it finished third out of four cars in our recent subcompact crossover comparison test.
Every Venue is equipped with the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The powerplant's 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque are routed exclusively via a CVT automatic to the front wheels. AWD is not available. When we tested a Venue SEL with the CVT, it managed the run up to 60 mph in a relatively slow 8.8 seconds. Fuel economy measures 30/34 mpg city/highway.
The Venue is a strong performer in IIHS safety testing. It earns the highest possible ratings in all six crashworthiness tests plus Superior and Advanced ratings for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention. Although the halogen headlights equipped on SE and SEL trims without the Premium package receive a Marginal rating, the LEDs included in the Premium package and standard on Denim trims are rated as Acceptable, making LED-equipped Venues a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick.
The little Hyundai's performance isn't as impressive with the NHTSA. It receives a four-star (out of five) overall safety rating, with four-star frontal crash and rollover scores and a five-star side crash rating.
Hyundai includes a collection of driver-assist features as standard on its smallest crossover. Automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and driver attention warning are all included. SEL models and above add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Venue offers seating for five with a respectable 41.3 inches of legroom up front but with 34.3 inches in the back seat, it provides less rear seat space than the Kia Soul but more than the Nissan Kicks or Toyota C-HR. At 18.7 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seat (or 31.9 with the seats folded down), the Venue's cargo area trails those of the Soul (24.2 cubic feet), C-HR (19.1 cubic feet), and Kicks (25.3 cubic feet.)
Regardless of trim, every Venue includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Top-spec Denim models add integrated navigation. Four-speaker audio is standard on the Venue SE whereas higher trims provide a six-speaker system.
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