The brand new Hyundai Venue is the smallest SUV within the Hyundai line up. It’s even smaller than the Kona, which I thought was already quite small. The Venue is really here to compete against the Nissan Kicks. Both are based on the brand’s subcompact vehicle, the Accent, and Versa, respectively, and they are only offered with Front-wheel drive.
Looks-wise, I think the Venue looks pretty neat. For some trims, you can even get yourself a white roof or Yellow roof with yellow accents all over. It makes the little Venue kinda cute and exciting. On the higher end trims, you get these funky LED headlamps built into these bezels that are surrounded by even more LEDs. On this top trim here, the front grille is chrome, which makes it look a bit like a big BBQ grill with the Hyundai badged slapped in the centre. As for the side, good looking wheels with creases that stretch out the overall shape. The weakest point I would say is the back, it lacks distinction, but there are still cool bits like the taillights on this trim are LED. They look expensive, and the badge across the trunk is not just chrome it’s actually white.
That same white Accent appears on the inside as well. But let’s check out the cargo capacity, at 19 cu ft with the seats up and 32 with them down it’s not the biggest in its class. The Kicks can hold a bit more, but the trade-off is more room for rear occupants. As sliding into the rear seats of the Venue actually isn’t bad. With the front seat adjusted to my 5’11 height, there’s plenty of space in the back for me to move around.
Moving to the front, even with the optional sunroof that does cut into headroom, there’s still plenty of space for me to feel comfortable in here without being claustrophobic. The seats themselves are spacious and offer a surprising amount of bolstering best yet, standard heated seats. Bonus for Canadians heated steering wheel
As for the rest of the interior, it’s nicely laid out and simple to use. Sure there may not be high-quality door cards in here, but the surfaces that your elbows and hands would naturally rest on are soft and squishy. The Cluster is clearly laid out with a small digital screen in the centre that can show fuel consumption and even a digital readout of your speed. Off to the right, we have a large 8″ infotainment display that has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For higher trims, there’s even navigation. Side note if you have OCD, this may bug you as the screen is not centred within the vehicle. If I draw a line down the centre of the car, the screen is off the passenger side. A little bit for your automotive trivia for you.
Moving down the auto climate control works well at first I thought the centre would be a dial, but it’s just a display. The dials are off to the side as there isn’t dual-zone climate control for the Venue. What some may find lacking is a wireless charger, but those are $10 all day on amazon, and there are USB ports right here in the centre.
Power comes in… well slowly but not as bad as you may think. The little 1.6L puts out 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque. Sure those numbers aren’t incredible, but what may surprise you is the Venue can reach 60mph in 8.5 seconds. Which is about a second quicker to than the Kicks and almost 2.5 seconds faster than the Toyota C-HR. And for those who like to row your own gears, the base Venue even comes with Manual! But for $1500 more, you can get Hyundai’s IVT. A fancy name for a continuously variable transmission.
On the road the Venue is as expected, it’s comfortable with no trills. Hammer the throttle, and the cabin gets boomy due to the lack of insulation. BUT there are a few things that may surprise you. First is the transmission. Yes, it’s a CVT, but Hyundai has slapped some intelligence in it, and it shows. Driving the Venue around regularly and it behaves well as it should. Slap it into manual shift mode, and it actually shifts like an automatic. Unlike older automatics, it actually shifts smooth and quick. Sure it’s not a vehicle designed to handle track days or anything like that, but it nippy enough to bring a smile to your face while driving through town.
Overall the Venue is a fun little car, and it’s attainable. It’s aimed for the younger buyers with colours like Acid Yellow, Fiery red and Intense blue. It’s something that younger buys can actually afford as the base venue is priced at 17k Canadian and tops out at 25k or if you’re in the US 17-22k. It’s quite an attractive little car. In a way, it kinda reminds me of the Mini Cooper with its quirks.