2020 Hyundai Venue



Brand new for the 2020 model year is the Hyundai Venue, a totally fresh small SUV. Rather surprising is the starting price of only $17,350. For that price you receive a reasonably tall four door SUV with short overall stance. Admittedly, the base model comes with a rarely available 6-speed manual transmission tied to a 1.6-liter four cylinder engine producing 121 horsepower. Most, however, will choose the automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the same engine. Interestingly, the CVT generally provides better fuel economy than the classic six-speed manual with an average of 32 mpg. Added to the equation, Hyundai has a strong warranty with a 5 years/60,000 mile basic warranty and 10 years/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

On the styling front, the very large interesting shaped Hyundai grille dominates the front. The grille is flanked with very narrow and long headlights with running lights below them. The sides have some action around the wheel wells and some side sculpturing. Fifteen inch alloy wheels helps the overall image. On the roof are some chrome rails with large windows below. Overall, the look is an interesting take for this class of vehicle.

Inside, there is a rather surprising high tech look for an inexpensive vehicle. The eight-inch video screen has an iPad look (admittedly mounted sideways) in the center of the dash. It is handled by touch to handle various functions. Smart phones can be tied into the screen, if desired. Below the screen are dials and buttons to take care of the radio and automatic climate system. Two USB ports are available. The dashpod has a relatively small video screen (as in 3 ½ inches) that provides data like fuel mileage and such. The cloth upholstery has some interesting light colorful strips at various locations.

Even though the Venue is relatively short, there is plenty of headroom in the back compartment. Depending on the size of the back seat occupants, the front seat passengers may have to move forward a little to provide enough legroom. The keiki are easily handled. Storage of items can be placed in back of the passenger front seat. Under the liftgate, there is a medium sized storage area with an additional cargo space below the floor. A removable cover can block the view into that area.

On the road, the small powerplant is reasonably quiet in general operation, but can be heard when in the big thrust mode. And with the CVT transmission there are simply no gear changes felt. But with the gear lever, it can be used to create artificial gear changes. Interestingly for such an inexpensive vehicle, there are three driving modes, which change the transmission patterns. They are normal, sport, and snow. Acceleration from the small engine is not rocket like with a zero to sixty time of 10.2 seconds. Steering, however, is light and direct. Generally, the ride is reasonably comfortable, but on certain roads the short wheelbase has trouble absorbing odd pavement configurations. Safety systems are available such as blind spot collision, rear traffic collision, and forward collision warnings.

With this truly inexpensive small SUV, Hyundai has provided a useful city traveler. Gas fuel mileage is good and parking is easy.


Model: Small 5 passenger SUV.
Price: $17,350, as tested $19,150.
Powertrain: 1.6 liter, four cylinder, 121 horsepower, 6 speed manual, optional CVT automatic transmission, FWD.
Fuel mileage: (CVT) 32 average mpg, 30 mpg city, 34 mpg highway.
Performance: 0-60 10.2 seconds
High Beams: Low price. Great warranty. Good city vehicle… short and tall.
Low Beam: Not exactly a rocket ship.

SUV courtesy of Tony Hyundai