Diminutive SUV: Hyundai Venue


When you think of a small SUV, several models that come to mind. The Ford EcoSport, Honda HR-V, and Fiat 500X are fitting examples.

Hyundai has a small SUV too, the Kona, which has successfully carved out a niche for itself in a fast-growing segment. Although the Kona is currently Hyundai’s smallest SUV, it will soon lose that position to the Venue, which debuts this fall. As of publication, we have only limited information from Hyundai to report, like pricing, weights, towing capacity, and fuel mileage details are pending. We’ll update these details once we know it.

Here’s what we know about the 2020 Hyundai Venue:

1. An Accent-derived model.

This diminutive SUV shares its platform with the subcompact Accent, Hyundai’s smallest car. The two models ride on a platform measuring just under 100 inches. The Venue is approximately three inches shorter between the wheels than the Kona and five inches shorter overall. Like the Accent, the Venue is front-wheel-drive only. That’s the same arrangement two competitors take: the Toyota CH-R and the Nissan Kicks.

2. Room for five.

On paper, the Hyundai Venue seats five. We think four will be more like it as rear-seat hip and shoulder room will be tight. The rear seat’s legroom won’t please most adults, so look for that space to be more useful for youngsters.

3. Nominal storage space.

We’re thinking the typical Venue shopper will be a first-time car buyer, particularly a single individual desiring affordable transportation along with the utility that comes with it. The standard storage space measures 18.7 cubic feet and just 31.9 cubic feet overall. That’s not much of a storage area, but for the individual or couple enjoying a weekend getaway, the folded rear seat offers plenty of space.

4. One engine, two transmissions.

Every 2020 Venue comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine generating 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. Available in SE and SEL trims, the standard model has a six-speed manual gearbox. Also available and standard with the SEL is a continuously variable transmission. We expect the latter will help the Venue achieve 35 mpg on the highway.

5. Pleasing tech features.

With a starting price somewhere under $20,000, the Hyundai Venue is big on value. We also know it will be big on tech as it’ll come with an 8-inch touch-screen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, and have at least one USB port. Some type of audio system (four speakers, likely) will augment the tech offerings. Expect various package upgrades to include an additional USB port, connectivity apps, and perhaps an upgraded audio system.

6. Advanced safety features for a price.

Happily, the Hyundai Venue will offer an assortment of driver-assist technologies to improve safety. These features are marketed under the company’s “SmartSense” umbrella. According to Hyundai, the 2020 Venue will offer available rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision warning, and lane-keeping assist. No word about adaptive cruise control, however.

7. Available two-tone color scheme.

Most Venues will be available in a variety of colors, but in keeping with a current trend, a two-tone option is part of the package. This means you can get a Venue with a contrasting roof, mirror and trim color, a look that is very popular today.

Arriving This Fall

Expect the Hyundai Venue to arrive in showrooms no later than December. Once it is in place, it’ll join the Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Palisade, thereby expanding Hyundai’s utility vehicle offerings to five. That’s an impressive feat as this automaker had a dearth of SUVs to offer as recently as two years ago. Thus, Hyundai not only has a strong collection of utility vehicles, but also one of the most modern and affordable fleets in the industry.

2020 Hyundai Venue Specifications

Hyundai 2020 Venue
Segment Subcompact SUV
Price Range $18,000 (est.)
Destination Charge $930
Standard Engine 1.6-liter, I4
Horsepower 121 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 113 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual or CVT
Seating 5
Curb Weight (pounds) 2,557 to 2,732
Wheelbase (inches) 99.2
Length (inches) 159.0
Width (inches) 69.7
Height (inches) 61.6, 62.7
Headroom (f,r…inches) 39.4, 38.6
Legroom (f,r…inches) 41.3, 34.3
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 53.9, 53.7
Hip room (f,r…inches) NR
Storage (cubic feet) 18.7, 31.9
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) NR
Towing (pounds) NR
Payload (pounds) NR
Fuel regular
Fuel Tank (gallons) 11.9
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined) NR
Manufacturing Plant Ulsan, South Korea

Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.

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Matthew Keegan
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