The Venue is 13 centimetres shorter than the next-up Kona, although passenger room is similar. Where the Venue makes its sacrifice is total cargo room, lack of powertrain choice and it doesn’t offer all-wheel-drive. The Kona does. Photo: Hyundai

A look into the new 2020 Hyundai Venue

A stylish and tiny utility vehicle for frugal buyers

You might think that Hyundai had plugged every possible niche in its utility-vehicle lineup. The new 2020 Venue clearly shows that wasn’t the case.

After introducing the range-topping eight-passenger Palisade for the 2019 model year, Hyundai is addressing the small end of the lineup with the sub-compact Venue. It slots below the Kona — another relative newbie — and joins what becomes an eight-model lineup of wagons and hatchbacks that also includes the Tucson, Santa Fe, Veloster, Elantra GT and Nexo Fuel Cell.

The made-in-Korea Venue is currently sold in other countries, which likely explains why it has a distinctively international appearance. Many other Hyundai models are styled in the United States. Still, the tall roofline and generously sized windshield and side and rear glass play to the Venue’s practical nature.

The body lines are crisp and the front and rear overhangs are minimal, which suggests that the Venue is ready to play beyond where the pavement ends. That territory remains outside the little Hyundai’s comfort zone since all-wheel-drive is not available. Not that it should be of great concern for buyers of more basic transportation since other competing models, most notably the similarly sized and shaped Nissan Kicks, are also strictly front-wheel-drive.

The Venue provides a decent amount of space despite being 13 centimetres shorter than the Kona. The Venue is only about 2.5 centimetres narrower, but it’s slightly taller and has nearly the same amount of stowage room behind the rear seat (with the height-adjustable cargo floor in the lowered position).

Where the Venue ultimately falls short is in maximum roominess with the back seat folded forward. The Kona has an advantage of nearly 45 per cent. The Venue is, however, spacious enough to comfortably seat four adults, and five in a pinch.

The dashboard is a paragon of simplicity with easy-to-use knobs and switches for the audio and climate controls. The standard 20-centimetre touch-screen is propped up between twin air vents. The speedometer and tachometer, separated by a small info screen, are clearly marked and easy to read. Instead of an electronic parking brake, note the old-school manual handle.

The Venue has just one engine choice: The 1.6-litre four-cylinder is rated at 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. Although not particularly potent, the output is typical of other category members. It also only has about 1,180-kilograms of curb weight to move around.

A six-speed manual transmission comes with the base trim, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional.

Fuel consumption with the CVT is rated at 8.0 l/100 km in the city, 7.0 on the highway and 7.5 combined.

Along with saving money at the pumps, the Venue has an economical base price of $19,200, (including destination fees) for the base Essential trim with a manual transmission. The CVT adds $1,300. Content includes air conditioning, heated front seats and a four-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The Preferred trim level adds a number of active safety-technologies (including forward collision warning and lane-keeping assist), plus climate control, roof rails and 15-inch alloy wheels instead of steel. The Trend gets you a power sunroof, heated steering wheel and 17-inch wheels.

The Ultimate comes with rear disc brakes (instead of drums), climate control, navigation system and front and rear LED lighting.

In addition, Preferred, Trend and Ultimate models have a Snow Mode Select setting that provides added front-wheel traction that’s specifically modulated for winter driving conditions.

Although the Venue doesn’t qualify for family duty, as a short-haul commuter/grocery getter, it checks off most boxes and might be your kind of niche.

What you should know: 2020 Hyundai Venue

Type: Front-wheel-drive subcompact utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.): 1.6-litre DOHC four-cylinder (121)

Transmission: Six-speed manual; continuously variable (opt.)

Market position: Like many of its competitors, the Venue has the appeal of an off-roader, but it doesn’t have the all-terrain capability to back up the image. For most buyers, style comes first, along with price and economy of operation.

Points: The Venue will appeal to the hearts and wallets of buyers. • Modest interior appointments are far from luxurious, but the controls are simple. • The four-cylinder engine is more about operating economy than performance; a small-displacement turbo-engine option would likely do well. • The base Venue is decently equipped and attractively priced.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); forward-collision alert; pedestrian detection (opt.);

distracted driver alert (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 8.0/7.0 (CVT); Base price (incl. destination) $19,200

BY COMPARISON

Nissan Kicks

Base price: $20,100

Budget-based FWD wagon is similar to the Venue in style and price.

Ford EcoSport

Base price: $27,100

Tiny utility vehicle comes with a turbo I-3 or a non-turbo I-4. AWD is optional.

Chevrolet Trailblazer

Base price: $23,000 (est.)

New-for-2021, it has three- and four-cylinder engine choices. AWD is optional.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

Mainroad Communications warns of coming weather event.
Mainroad Communications notifies drivers of snowfall event over next 24 hours

It’s that time of year again. A weather event is heading to… Continue reading

Cranbrook's Casey Hanemayer reaches a rating of 1022, jumping up 17 points and becoming the highest ranked player in Canada. Paul Rodgers file.
Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer becomes Canada’s highest-rated disc golfer

Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer has become Canada’s highest ranked disc golfer, after the… Continue reading

Salvador delivers donated sand for Scout sandbag sales. Photo submitted
Support Kimberley Scouts; buy a sandbag

Salvador Ready Mix is delivering several loads of bedding sand to Resker… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read