Consumer Guide announces its annual roster of Best Buy award winners in November or December every year. That time frame works well 95 percent of the time, since most all-new or redesigned vehicles for a given model year have been introduced by late September or October. That’s not always the case, however—this year, a latecomer to the 2020 class of new passenger vehicles has impressed us enough that we are making it a mid-year addition to our 2020 Best Buys roster.
The 2020 Venue, Hyundai’s all-new budget-priced subcompact SUV, was introduced at the 2019 New York Auto Show and was originally scheduled to go on sale during the fourth quarter of 2019. However, its launch ended up being pushed back by a couple months or so, and the first press-preview drives didn’t happen until mid-January of this year. Now that we’ve had the chance to have the Venue through our office fleet and test it thoroughly, we’ve decided that it’s definitely Best Buy material—our Best Buy review follows below:
Hyundai Venue Best Buy
IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Venue is one of the smallest, most affordable vehicles in the subcompact SUV class, yet it offers more passenger and cargo room than you might expect, along with an impressive list of standard and available comfort/convenience and safety features.
All-wheel drive isn’t available, the ride quality is a bit clunky, and the engine can grow noisy when accelerating.
The top-line Denim model gets a number of unique trim features, including an exclusive (and mandatory) Denim interior-upholstery color and two-tone Denim/white body paint.
WHAT IS IT?
The Venue is Hyundai’s new-for-2020 subcompact crossover SUV. In both size and price, it’s the entry-level vehicle in Hyundai’s SUV lineup—it’s 5.1 inches shorter than the Kona and about $3000 cheaper to start. Due to its “urban runabout” mission, tall hatchback proportions, and lack of available all-wheel drive, the Venue leans toward the passenger-car side of the crossover-SUV category. The model lineup consists of SE, SEL, and Denim trim levels, all of which are powered by a 121-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or, on SE models, an available 6-speed manual. Standard safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and a driver-attention monitor. Blind-spot alert and rear cross-traffic alert are available. Other standard or available features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, keyless entry and starting, heated front seats, and dual USB charging ports.
The Hyundai Venue is an all-new vehicle for 2020.
The Venue is rated at 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway with the 6-speed manual transmission and 30/34 with the CVT automatic. During Consumer Guide® evaluation, a Denim model returned 35.7 mpg in a test that consisted of about 65 percent highway driving. The Venue uses regular-grade gas.
VALUE IN CLASS
In many ways, subcompact SUVs have supplanted subcompact cars as the entry-level vehicles of choice. Over the last few years, front-drive-only subcompact crossovers with a more car-like feel, such as the Nissan Kicks and Toyota C-HR, have been introduced to vie for those entry-level shoppers. The new Hyundai Venue takes aim at the penny-pinching end of this segment; it undercuts the starting price of the Kicks by about $1500. Though its ride quality, engine noise levels, and extra-tidy overall dimensions will remind you you’re in a bargain-priced vehicle, the Venue wins us over nonetheless with its spunky design personality, pleasant interior ambiance, fuel economy, and passenger/cargo versatility.
Hyundai Venue Best Buy