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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue

      ... pint-sized perky little truckster...

    2020 Hyundai Venue-2.jpgArguably, one of the most important reveals at the New York Auto Show is the Hyundai Venue. The Venue is Hyundai’s smallest crossover slotting in just below the Kona.  With a price starting somewhere in the $17k - $18k range, it will also likely be the most prolific of the cars unveiled this week.   The Venue’s main competition is the Nissan Kicks, Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade, and Ford EcoSport.

    Outside, the Venue sits perky and upright, it will be the shortest length crossover on the market when it goes on sale in the fall.  In spite of its diminutive size, it manages to look more premium than it is. It’s about 5 inches shorter than the Hyundai Kona which sits just above it in Hyundai’s lineup.

    It has a deep set grill with a complex crosshatch pattern that gives an expensive look. The split light clusters add visual height to the front, making it look more truck-like.  There are a contrasting color roof and mirror covers. I like the looks of the alloy wheels too. In back, a good size hatch opens to 19 cubic feet of cargo room that expands to 32 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.  Hyundai even put some work into making the tail lamps display a unique Z pattern.

    2020 Hyundai Venue-3.jpgInside, the Venue really shines. The upright dash is covered in a soft rubberized material. The seats have a denim-like look to them and they offer a good seating position for the driver. There are options on the upper trim to have the front and rear seats heated.  Front legroom seemed a little tight, and I would need to move the seat back far enough that an adult probably couldn’t sit behind me.  Rear seat legroom is tight, and I struggled slightly to get in and out.  The rear seat is rather flat and park-bench-like. It is unlikely that if you are any taller than my 5’10” that you will be comfortable with the headroom.

    All of the controls are in easy reach. The primary HVAC controls are three large simple round dials. An 8-inch touch screen sits high on the center stack and only pops up about an inch over the dash.  My experience with Hyundai’s infotainment systems has been mixed, but the car was off when I visited, so I didn’t get the chance to try it. Either way, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, so as long as you’re happy with those, it should just work.

    Hyundai is offering the Venue in just two trims, SE and SEL, and a single engine option, a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. This engine will produce an estimated 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. Like the Soul and Kicks, there is no all-wheel-drive option offered.  Power is sent to the front wheels either via a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission.  Hyundai is hoping to get an EPA combined rating of 33 mpg. 

    2020 Hyundai Venue-1.jpgTiny crossovers have become the 1990's hatchback of the twenty-teens. The Venue, Kicks, Soul, Renegade, and others offer crossover versatility in a city-sized package. Unlike those old hatchbacks which could be penalty boxes, my overall impression is that the Venue isn’t a car you buy just because it is cheap, but because you actually like it. It is a handsome, perky little package that looks more premium than it really is and offers a host of standard and optional safety features that some lack in the segment. Given that the Venue is likely to take the title of the most affordable crossover and do it while looking this good puts Hyundai in a great position.

    Read our other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below:

    First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair

    First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape

     

     

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    I've been on board with a lot of what Hyundai has done recently but I do not like the grille on this along with those grey lower front fascia inserts. I also am not a fan of whatever situation is going on inside the headlight housing. 

    The rear looks really sharp, the interior looks "okay". That 1990's shifter area looks pretty rough but other than that it looks class competitive. I also really like the piping on the seats.

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    Have to look at these things with price in mind, it's an adjustment I have to make when I literally step out of a Corsair and then into a Venue.  Compared to the Kicks and Ecosport, this has a superior interior. The Soul and Renegade (which is meant to get muddy) are about on the same level.   The Renegade has some better engine choices and AWD available. The Ecosport... well... here's how a conversation with my Aunt who was renting one went: "I see you got an Ecosport as your rental. How do you like it?".... "Well.... I don't".

    Her daily is a '16 Outback. 

    The 90s shifter looks very Saab-like.

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    I have to say that I really like the looks of this on the outside. Inside is what I expect for the class of auto. I really like the dash on this one. Did a good job putting in that large screen with the dash. Agree with @ccap41 that Hyundai is really on board with nailing it with their auto's in the last couple years. Excited to see what else they bring out this year.

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    If they can get an N sport with the 1.6 turbo for under $25k they could have something going there.  I think it looks clever, people like crossovers and like cheap so it should sell.  I like the 2 tone interior and my guess is blue and tan plastic doesn’t cost any more than gray plastic.  So smart move to put some color in the interior rather than just a sea of gray and black.

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    For reference, the Soul with the 1.6T and 7-speed DCT is $28k.  So I don't see it showing up in a Venue for that price.

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    3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The Ecosport... well... here's how a conversation with my Aunt who was renting one went: "I see you got an Ecosport as your rental. How do you like it?".... "Well.... I don't".

    I had one for 2 days getting some evap system warranty work done on my MKC two weeks ago and it was pretty loaded. SES, AWD.. It was neat some of the features it had(which it should for being loaded) but everything about it just felt pretty cheap and chintzy. 2.0 engine had no balls, as expected and the steering feel was really weird. It just didn't feel right. It felt extremely artificial. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    For reference, the Soul with the 1.6T and 7-speed DCT is $28k.  So I don't see it showing up in a Venue for that price.

    If they don’t put unnecessary luxury equipment like rear heated seats in the N sport package then it shouldn’t be over $25k to add a turbo and brake upgrade and some suspension tuning to let’s say the base car plus an equipment group that costs $20k in regular guise.

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    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    If they don’t put unnecessary luxury equipment like rear heated seats in the N sport package then it shouldn’t be over $25k to add a turbo and brake upgrade and some suspension tuning to let’s say the base car plus an equipment group that costs $20k in regular guise.

    They probably need to do the transmission too.  All of the Souls except the Turbo get a CVT while the turbo gets a DCT. 

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    47 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    They probably need to do the transmission too.  All of the Souls except the Turbo get a CVT while the turbo gets a DCT. 

    True, but the Sonata has a 1.6T and automatic right?  They could use that 181 hp motor too.

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    3 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    True, but the Sonata has a 1.6T and automatic right?  They could use that 181 hp motor too.

    Is it just me, or is that Hyundai look like an overgrown Mini Cooper Clubman?

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    20 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Is it just me, or is that Hyundai look like an overgrown Mini Cooper Clubman?

    The white roof, white mirrors and similar proportions definitely give it a Mini feel..

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    I'm getting an XC40 vibe from it...

    CR-Cars-InlineHero-2019-Volvo-XC40-driving-3-18.jpg

    I have a feeling my mom will flip over this thing.  Interested in seeing pricing and equipment level for the base model.  IF they offer a decent lease deal, maybe I'll be able to help her get in one of these next time around.

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