The Hyundai Venue is all-new for the 2020 model year, and while there are some familiar themes, much of the little crossover’s appearance and engineering mirror other new vehicles from the Korean automaker. Hyundai says the Venue is designed to be a “right-sized” SUV for city living, which translates to a small but spacious vehicle.
The Hyundai Venue is packed with tech, despite its budget starting price of just over $17,000. (Photo: Hyundai)
The Venue come standard with forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and driver attention warnings. This is all in a vehicle that starts at just over $17,000. The range-topping Denim trim comes with blind spot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts, which are optional for the SEL trim. All-in, the Venue tops out at just over $22,000, which includes 17-inch wheels, navigation, leatherette upholstery, LED daytime running lights, and a neat two-tone color scheme.
Remember when BMW charged an annual fee for Apple CarPlay? As in most cars, it’s free in the Hyundai Venue. (Photo: Hyundai)
2. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto used to be a luxury reserved for the highest end vehicles on the market, but now the tech has trickled down to models of all prices and trim levels. Every Venue model comes standard with the ability to run Apple or Android smartphone interfaces, which brings navigation, voice controls, and several hands-free smartphone functions to even the base model. The system runs on an eight-inch touchscreen display that also supports HD radio. On higher trim levels, the unit comes with navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car service allows you to control all sorts of functions in the Venue from your smart phone. (Photo: Hyundai)
3. Blue Link
Have a smartphone? The Venue is equipped with Hyundai’s Blue Link technology, which includes several convenience and assistance options, all of which can be controlled from a smartphone. The Blue Link app brings remote start with climate controls, a remote car finder, the ability to send navigation directions to the vehicle, and on-demand diagnostics to all Venue models.
If your Venue is stolen or lost, Blue Link can help law enforcement find it by providing the vehicle’s exact location and will even immobilize the vehicle until it’s recovered. The technology can also summon roadside assistance if your Venue breaks down. Your teen driver is also not immune to Blue Link, as the service can notify you if they drive the Venue outside of certain areas and can alert you when they’re on the move.
With no all-wheel-drive option, the Venue makes do with “Snow Mode,” an advanced traction control system. (Photo: Hyundai)
4. Snow Mode
Lots of vehicles offer driving modes that optimize traction in various conditions and the Venue is no exception. What’s special here is the fact that the tiny crossover is not offered with all-wheel drive, which many people consider a necessity in places like New England and other areas that receive “generous” snowfall. The Venue’s available Snow Mode is a form of advanced traction control that helps manage slippery conditions. Because the crossover is only available with front-wheel drive, the system uses braking to control wheel speed and maximize traction to the wheel that needs it. The result is a two-wheel drive vehicle that accelerates and grips almost as confidently as an all-wheel drive vehicle.
A continuously variable transmission and efficient engine allow the Venue to deliver hybrid-like fuel economy. (Photo: Hyundai)
5. Powertrain Trickery
The Venue is not available in hybrid or plug-in hybrid formats, yet it’s still able to achieve respectable fuel economy numbers or 30/34/32 mpg city/highway/combined. Part of this is due to the fact that both the vehicle and its engine are tiny, but a lot more of the efficiency is due to the engine’s innovative fuel injection management, which decreases cylinder-wall-wetting to improve fuel economy and decrease emissions. Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) also helps by adjusting to changing driving conditions. Since it’s essential a continuously variable transmission, there aren’t traditional gears, but Hyundai has tuned the gearbox to adjust its “shift” points depending on the situation.