Sunday, July 12, 2020

2020 Hyundai Venue SEL: The Korean Brand Newest Subcompact Crossover

Highlight: Depending upon trim, the entry-level crossover is available with a manual or an automatic transmission.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $23,280 (Base SE Model: $18,490)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; an electronic stability control system; a traction control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; a forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection; a lane keep assist system; a driver attention warning system; and a compact spare tire  

Standard Equipment (SE): 15-inch wheels; a manual transmission; automatic headlights; a black grille; tinted glass; cloth seating cushions; seatback pocket (passenger side); split folding rear seat back; air condition; exterior temperature display; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; power windows; cruise control system; and a remote keyless entry system with panic alert alarm

Standard Equipment (SEL): chrome grille; driver’s armrest with storage console box; a 6-speaker audio system; a dual USB charging system; and an automatic temperature control system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: power sunroof; front center sliding armrest with storage box; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a leather wrapped shift knob; a blind spot collision warning system with a rear cross traffic collision warning system; heated front seats; heated exterior mirrors; LED and daytime running lights; LED taillights; 17-inch alloy wheels; a keyless entry system; a push button ignition starter system; an 8-inch infotainment screen; a navigation system; and SiriusXM

Other Trims:

Denim (top of the line)

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: 4-speakers AM/FM/HD

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto: Yes

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Depending On Trim   

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder/121-hp         

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 27-city/35-hwy

What’s New: The Venue is an all-new model for the Hyundai brand. The Venue is slotted below the Kona crossover, making it an entry-level crossover for Hyundai.

Why: Hyundai’s newest entry-level subcompact crossover is available in three trims: SE, SEL and Denim. The subcompact crossover is available in a manual or an automatic transmission, depending on trim.

While the vehicle is powered by a quiet sounding 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder fuel-efficient engine, because of the Venue’s weight, the 121-horsepower engine was more than adequate.

Moreover, Kia’s most economical vehicle has a starting price under $19,000. The bargain value Venue was outfitted with such standard features as Bluetooth, a ventilation system, supportive cloth seats, a lane keep assistance and a forward collision pedestrian system.

The layout of the gauges and the infotainment center is simple and easy-to-use. The vehicle includes an iPad-like computer, which houses the navigation, audio and backup camera.

Furthermore, when one steps up to the midlevel SEL trim like the one we reviewed, the vehicle adds such features as an automatic temperature control system, a 6-speaker audio system, a front center console and a chrome grille all for a hare over $20,000. What a deal!

In addition to an affordable price, due to its boxy design, the Venue offered great visibility, great road manners and a car-like ride when outfitted with the automatic transmission. The vehicle is also easy to enter and exit. Our SEL was also available in a variety of driving modes, ranging from sport to snow. Unlike most vehicles offering driving modes, we were able to tell the difference in the steering.

Added to that, for buyers seeking to accessorize their Venue, this pint sized Hyundai can be outfitted with a number of must-have features. Our review vehicle was outfitted with a push button ignition starter system, to an easy to use iPad-like infotainment screen, SiriusXM and heated seats.

Because of its price point, this is a great vehicle for high school students, college students, first time buyers, empty nesters and/or those looking for a great vehicle to navigate all the traffic issues that city dwellers contend with.

Lastly, the vehicle is available with the latest safety aids too from an optional blind spot monitor to a pedestrian detection system.

But: Its difficult to squeeze two adults in the rear seat, if front row is occupied. With this being a subcompact cargo, the cargo is limited. Ironically, because of the pint size, even with the rear second row seats folded flat, there was no was we could place our bicycle in the rear. 

And the vehicle is not outfitted with an in-vehicle wireless charging system.

Lastly, the exterior of this boxy-like vehicle is subjective. Kia’s design team could have added a little more flair to the short wheelbase.

Verdict: Hyundai’s most economical crossover has come to the aid of the Korean automaker, helping to broaden out the brand’s crossover line up.  The automaker is no longer just depended upon two crossovers – the Tucson and the Santa Fe. This subcompact crossover is about the same size as the first generation Tucson and the Kia Sportage. It’s a great value-oriented vehicle.

To our surprise, we were expecting a choppy firm ride coupled with a underpowered transmission. The Venue proved us wrong. The all-new Venue is a smart buy for first time buyers, empty nesters, city dwellers and seniors. It’s a fan favorite because of its nimbleness, its car-like ride and offers the utility of a SUV, but in a smaller package.

Competition: Chevy Trax; Ford Ecosport; Honda HR-V; Mazda CX-3; and Nissan Kicks


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