By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – Whoa!
That’s what we thought when we looked at the price of Hyundai’s 2020 Venue. This small crossover had all the comfort of a larger and more expensive vehicle.
When we got inside, it occurred to us that we might be seeing the last days of old-fashioned keys. The Venue had push button lock and unlock. And of course, along with that feature, push button start and stop is normal.
The next thing we noticed was the drive mode button on the center console. The Venue had three modes: normal, sport and snow. And we did notice the moonroof too.
We thought the use of plastic was nicely camouflaged with the grainy texture they used on the dash. The infotainment touch screen was embedded on the face of the dash with a climate control vent on each side.
The instrument layout was simple. Two large circles holding the analogue odometer and speedometer. There was a smallish TFT screen between them. The instruments were black with white numerals reversed out. And the numerals were large and, thus, easy to see. We appreciated it.
Our Venue SEL had heated front seats and voice controls. It also had a two-tone interior, black and gray cloth. There was some stitching that went around the seats, the steering wheel, and the sleeve for the gear shift.
The front seats were comfortable, though we thought they could have been a little wider. It seems that with a twist here or a turn there and we sort of overflowed out of them on the sides. Then again, we have picked up weight.
We got into the back seat and found plenty of headroom. Leg room was a little snug but that was with the front seats extended rearward. We thought three people could sit in the back seats, but it would definitely be uncomfortable for whoever caught the hump.
We checked the cargo area; it was not bad for a vehicle this size. There was 18.7 Cu. ft. of cargo space with the back seats up. That expanded to 31.9 cu. ft. with the back seats down.
The 2020 Venue had a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that made 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to what Hyundai called an intelligent variable transmission or CVT.
This combination got 30 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg combined. The engine had a bit of oomph, the Venue mustered some speed. Handling was particularly good and the ride smooth, especially for a small vehicle.
The Venue’s design was comprised of small body forms, mostly squares. But it looked measurable better than that sounds. Its side profile featured solid and full volume wheel arches, strong character lines, while the front cascading grille included Hyundai’s the new signature face.
The design included composite LED lights and cube-shaped headlamps. This character line continued through the LED tail lamps. Our test vehicle had 17-inch alloy wheels.
And what’s more, it was well equipped with forward avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, a robust lane keeping system, rearview camera, and driver attention warning.
There were voice controls, satellite radio, and a navigation system. This 2020 Hyundai Venue had Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, blind spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning.
For $23,405, the 2020 Hyundai Venue stuffed a lot of car into a relatively small package.