By Asian Journal Auto Editor

An all-new model for 2020, the Hyundai Venue slides under the Kona as the s smallest and least-expensive CUV in the Korean company’s lineup. It is based on the subcompact Accent hatch, but four -inches shorter. The stubby Venue is cleanly styled with a nice hexagonal grille, textured fascia surfaces, and cool split-element lighting up front to give it a unique look. The Venue features a tall greenhouse with available contrasting roof colors. Optional fancy looking 17 -inch alloy wheels and a cohesive, strong design give the Venue a premium
Interior – wise, Hyundai once again works its magic in making inexpensive vehicle interiors look smart and upscale. The Venue cabin does have a lot of textured black plastic on the doors, but it looks hardwearing and neat. Our tester came with contrasting white trim pieces around the air vents, center dash and gear lever surround, giving a little pizzazz to the cabin. White raised stitching and a funky graphic designs adorn the comfortable seats. The dash is a well -designed affair, with the Venue’s 8-inch infotainment touchscreen amongst the largest in this segment and standard on all four trim levels. Although aimed at a younger demographic, I think older buyers, retirees and empty nesters will appreciate the high hip- point that makes getting in and out easy. The high seating position also makes for great driving visibility.
The Venue is powered by a Smartstream G.6-litre four-cylinder engine, making 121 horsepower and 113 lb.-ft. of torque. The entry-level Essential trim starts at $17,099 with a six-speed manual transmission. Another $1,300 adds a CVT. The mid – range $21,499. Preferred trim is also feature rich, along with the Venue Trend with Urban Package at $23,099. The top-of-the-line Ultimate punches in at an excellently priced $24,899, with all the content you could ask
As usual Hyundai, just load up on the goodies. Even on the base -level models. The Venue offers heated seats, heated steering when and mirrors. The base Essential trim also includes: air conditioning, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Hyundai also offers offer’s an impressive suite of safety functions, including blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, forward collision avoidance and even lane-keeping and high-beam assist functions.
The Preferred, at $21,499, adds higher-tech safety items such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, forward collision avoidance, and automatic high-beam headlamps. The Ultimate adds more technology, GPS navigation, automatic climate control, LED headlamps, satellite radio, and a three-year subscription to Hyundai’s BlueLink, concierge remote services. There is upgraded sound system in the Ultimate, with satellite radio, power sunroof, and seats,
There is plenty of head, elbow, shoulder and legroom in the tall upright cabin, with just a small compromise in legroom in the rear. The rear cabin features a 60/40 split-folding seatbacks. Cargo volume is a respectable 18.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks up, expanding to 31.9 with the seats folded.
The 1.6-litre four-cylinder is shared with the Accent and is more than adequate to motivate the Venue. 121 horsepower and 113 ft-lb of torque make pootling about in urban areas just fine in the Venue. It is actually a joy to drive with steering and handling that is quick and agile, with a nice sporty feel. I like the thick-rimmed steering wheel. Despite the short wheelbase, the suspension is surprisingly compliant. Parking is easy thanks to the small footprint and as standard backup camera. Highways driving is good, with a bit more of s lead foot required to bring the Venue up to cruising speed where it finds its groove. Although there is no AWD version, the Venue does have a “Snow Mode” setting that modifies throttle response and brake control to improve traction in slippery conditions, best combined with snow tires if a hard winter rolls around I think. Fuel economy is rated at 7.5 L/100 km combined (7.0 city and 8.0 highway).
To sum up, the Hyundai Venue is a great, fun to drive with plenty of in- built features as standard. With its mid – sized sedan comfort and smooth riding ability the Venue is a pleasant surprise. Hi -tech interconnectivity, technology features and the cool interior are major assets here. I have to say, I immensely enjoyed my one week test period with the Venue – nothing much to complain about. The price point is right, the equipment levels, and fun to drive quotient is spot on. The Venue is a CUV I can see appealing to all demographics and being a great success for Hyundai. A must buy in this sector.

2020 Hyundai Venue priced from: $17,099 – $34,899
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