Ever since the Hyundai Venue subcompact SUV debuted as a mid-2020 model, we at Consumer Guide have held this penny-pinching urban runabout in high regard. We added it to our Best Buy awards roster as a midyear addition for 2020, and kept it on the list for 2021 as well. Though it isn’t what you’d call quick, and it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive like most of its class rivals do, the Venue is an exceptionally likable vehicle.
For 2021, the Venue loses its available manual transmission—all models now come standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)—but otherwise sees only minor packaging changes, which amount to a higher level of standard equipment on SE and SEL models. You can check out our full road-test review of the top-line Hyundai Denim model here, and check out a few of our favorite Venue features below.
6 Cool Things about the Hyundai Venue
It’s kind of cute
At Consumer Guide, we’re much more focused on practical new-vehicle concerns such as fuel economy, ride quality, and passenger/cargo versatility, but let’s face it… looks count too. The Venue’s spunky styling gives it personality, especially for a budget-priced vehicle. It’s also available in fun, expressive colors—Green Apple (shown above right), Scarlet Red Pearl, and Intense Blue—in addition to the expected white, black, silver, and gray.
Test Drive: 2020 Hyundai Venue Denim
The base Venue SE starts at $18,750, and loaded models top out at less than $24K. The test vehicle in these pics is a midline SEL model, which was optioned up to the same level of content as the specially trimmed top-line Denim (which comes in only one color) via the addition of two packages. The Convenience Package ($1150) adds a power sunroof, sliding armrest storage box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. The Premium Package ($1750) adds heated front seats and sideview mirrors; LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights; 17-inch alloy wheels; proximity key with push-button starting; and an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, Sirius XM radio, and Hyundai’s Bluelink Connected Services. Throw in a set of carpeted floor mats ($135) and the $1120 destination fee, and the bottom-line price is $23,405—a very respectable value for this level of content.
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It’s got a pleasant interior ambiance for a low-buck vehicle
Nobody will mistake the Venue’s interior for that of a luxury vehicle, but the interior materials are quite nice for the price—nothing looks or feels unpleasantly cheap. The added features in the Convenience Package and Premium Package definitely do their part here.
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It’s got decent passenger and cargo room for such a small vehicle
The Venue has better space inside for both passengers and cargo than you might expect. Our big and tall editors fit OK in the front seats (as long as the seats were adjusted all the way back), and the rear seat is spacious enough for average-sized adults to have adequate space—not bad for a vehicle this small. Cargo space is similarly impressive—there’s 18.7 cubic feet of volume behind the rear seats (better than the trunk space of most midsize sedans) and 31.9 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.
It’s got this handy cargo-cover storage solution
Speaking of cargo volume… we love the clever functionality of the Venue’s hard cargo-area cover. If you’re carrying stuff that won’t fit underneath the cover, you can simply slide it forward so it tucks up against the rear seat—you don’t need to remove the cover entirely.
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It’s fuel efficient
Though we didn’t do quite as well fuel-economy-wise in our Venue SEL test vehicle as we did in our Denim model, we still managed to average 33.6 mpg in 444 miles of about 40-percent city driving. That’s right on par with the Venue’s EPA numbers: 30 mpg city/34 highway/32 combined.
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2020 Hyundai Venue Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)
Cool Things about the Hyundai Venue