Hyundai Venue is right for shoppers wanting an affordable small SUV

Hyundai introduces the all-new Venue for 2020, which represents the Korean automaker's smallest crossover.
Hyundai introduces the all-new Venue for 2020, which represents the Korean automaker’s smallest crossover.

So, you’re looking for excellent value, surprising passenger space, and a nice range of driver assists to get you around town? You found it – the 2020 Hyundai Venue is affordable and agile urban transportation.

Combined with smart packaging that produces good cargo capacity, Hyundai has managed to successfully combine crossover styling with the stance and handling abilities of a traditional hatchback. In the process, they’ve taken the subcompact SUV to new dimensions — tinier dimensions, that is. But it still technically seats up to five passengers.

An ideal car for “urban entrepreneurs” Hyundai loads up the Venue with features that young first-time car buyers want – like standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and advanced safety aids including frontal collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, and driver attention monitoring.

The 2020 Venue is the cheapest crossover in America, starting with the SE version at $18,470 – with a standard manual transmission and few fancy features. I got to test the mid-level SEL, base priced at $20,370. And then there’s the Denim, which is loaded with desirable equipment, upwards of $23,000.

Under the hood, every 2020 Venue is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder offering 121 hp – sufficient motivation around town. Base-model Venues come with a six-speed manual transmission standard, a rare offering in this class of vehicle. All Venues are front-wheel-drive with no option for all-wheel drive.

Inside, despite its small dimensions, the Venue has a roomy cabin for its size. Its boxy greenhouse shape affords generous amounts of front and rear headroom, improves visibility, and maximizes cargo space. Cushions in both rows are nice and comfortable, too.

Every 2020 Venue comes with a user-friendly 8.0-inch touchscreen that anchors the symmetrical center stack – which seems to have a surprisingly profound effect on the cabin’s appearance. The infotainment system also has decent resolution and is responsive, adding to the feeling of quality.

I was glad to see built-in navigation with real-time traffic updates on my SEL (standard as well in the Denim trim). Otherwise, the base SE has an audio system with four speakers, while the SEL and Denim offer six.

MSRP base price is $19,150 but tops out at $23,280 with the addition of the Convenience Package for $1,150 that offers such items as a power sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel/shifter knob, and rear cross-traffic collision warning – and with the Premium Package for $1,750 that comes with heated front seats, LED headlights and tail lights, and 8-inch navigation screen among other treats.

With an EPA mileage of 30 city and 34 highway, the 2020 Hyundai Venue is quite practical on this front, too.

I wish it had a little more engine power, but the Venue is otherwise is one of the best subcompact SUVs on the market. A home run for shoppers wanting an affordable small crossover SUV or hatchback.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at


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