First Drive: 2020 Hyundai Venue Crossover Prime for Urban Driving

March 02, 2020 by Chris Teague

Hyundai used to be known best for its sedan lineup but as U.S. consumer preferences switched to crossovers and SUVs it has had to adjust. Its latest move in that direction is the Venue, a small crossover aimed at entry-level buyers.

About 70 percent of new auto sales are now pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers. Hyundai also plans to launch its first pickup truck in the U.S. soon, the Santa Cruz.

The Venue recently hit dealers’ lots as a 2020 model. The company says that the Venue targets young, urban professionals that are shopping on a budget, and to that end the vehicle has a long list of standard technology and safety features. drove the Venue around Miami recently to get a feel for its performance and design in both a busy urban environment and on the highway, thanks to a quick trip down to the Keys.

Here are five things to know about the 2020 Hyundai Venue:


2020-Hyundai-Venue grilleThe Hyundai Venue is a subcompact crossover and is marketed to young, urban professionals, but the company did not want to create a vehicle that felt “cheap” or budget oriented. To achieve those goals, Hyundai designed the Venue to mirror the looks of its larger utility vehicles, the Santa Fe and Palisade. The Venue’s upright profile, large grille and model name spelled out on the rear liftgate all give the crossover a more upscale and “grown-up” appearance. The cabin follows suit and is uncluttered with a mix of hard- and soft-touch materials.


All Venue models come with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for the SE trim and a continuously variable transmission is standard for the SEL and Denim models. The engine’s power output is well-suited for urban driving, as the Venue feels lively at low speeds. Reaching highway speeds takes some effort from the powertrain and passing requires planning.


2020-Hyundai-Venue techThe Venue comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Denim model comes standard with navigation, but map features are available to all Venue owners with a smartphone through the Apple or Android interfaces. Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car services are also available as part of a Premium options package for the Venue. Among other things, it allows owners to lock, unlock or start the vehicle remotely from a smartphone. Blue Link can set climate controls and turn the Venue’s lights on and off. Buyers of compatible models will receive a three-year complimentary subscription to the service.


Advanced driver assistance systems are standard for all Venue models, and include forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, lane keeping assist and a driver attention warning system. The $1,150 Convenience package adds blind spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic collision warning system for the SEL trim. Government and insurance industry safety agencies have not yet released crash test data for the Venue.

2020-Hyundai-Venue interiorVALUE

The Venue’s starting price is $17,350 and Hyundai is already offering bonus cash and rebates for the crossover, despite the fact that it’s a brand-new model. Discounts aside, the base SE model includes many standard entertainment and safety features that were reserved for many high-end vehicles until recent years. Choosing the Denim trim and adding every accessory in the Hyundai catalog still only brings the price to $23,810, and that includes the $1,120 freight/destination charge.

Jerry Hirsch November 13, 2019
Hyundai will invest $410 million to reconfigure its Montgomery, Ala., factory to build the Santa Cruz compact pickup truck.

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