The Venue fits under the slightly larger Kona in the line-up of the brand and indirectly replaces the outdated Accent hatchback as Hyundai’s entry-level offering, starting at a (relatively) sharp $ 19.999 plus on-road costs.
Hyundai says it has seen a sharp drop in the Australian light car class since 2014, by 37 percent, while small SUV sales have risen by no less than 58 percent in the same period.
Although it is several thousand dollars more expensive than the previous entry point, the location promises to be a “best of both worlds” proposition, combining the cheap operating costs and maneuverability of a light hatchback with the high driving position and robust styling of a SUV.
Hyundai hopes to attract a range of buyers, including young single people and couples, along with empty middle-aged nesters who may want to contract.
Anyway, the Venue contains a lot of kit for a relatively reasonable price.
From the entry level Go specification, all models are equipped with camera-based autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane assistant, high-beam assistant, driver’s attention control, tire pressure monitoring, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, a reversing camera with dynamic guidelines, a multifunction display of the 3.5-inch TFT driver, six airbags and daytime running lights.
On the way to the mid range Active (from $ 21,490) brings 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights (upgraded from halogen), LED indicators mounted in the side mirrors, a leather steering wheel and gear shift, rear parking sensors, audio with six speakers (maximum of four speakers) and static cornering lighting.
Finally, the Elite top shelf (from $ 25,490) gets 17-inch alloys, a chrome front grille, LED tail lights, two-tone roof finishes and contrasting side mirrors, rear privacy glass, ‘premium finish’ leather look seat upholstery, built-in satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates, DAB + digital radio, climate control with one zone, a USB charging connection, blind spot monitoring and cross tail light alarm.
MORE: 2020 Hyundai Venue prices and specifications
Although there is a good amount of standard safety sets installed in the range, Hyundai only predicts a 4-star ANCAP safety rating for the location after the expected local audit test – it is not offered in Europe and therefore needs to be tested locally for crash tests.
Hyundai says that the differences in Isofix specifications for child seats between Australia and Europe can lead to the Venue’s child safety score being influenced in such a way that it does not meet the five-star requirement, and therefore a ‘fusion’ AEB system does not have a camera and radar with cyclist detection because this would not change the final assessment.
With that in mind, a four-star rating against the 2019 criteria can be considered equivalent to a five-star rating a few years ago, meaning there is little evidence that the location is considered “unsafe” compared to a used car or vehicle currently on the market with an older ANCAP safety rating.
All versions are powered by a proven 1.6-liter ‘MPi’ multi-point injection four-cylinder petrol engine with a power output of 90 kW at 6300 rpm and 151 Nm at 4850 rpm.
Drive is standard sent to the front wheels via a manual six-speed gearbox in Go and Active trims, while a six-stage torque converter is automatically optional on basic versions and standard on the top spec. Elite.
The manual claims to use 7.0 l / 100 km in the combined cycle, while the automatic raises that to 7.2 l / 100 km – we’ll drive a little more in a bit.
At first glance, the location differs somewhat from the current series of exterior crossings in terms of exterior design. It is quite compact with a long and boxy aesthetic and is demonstrably less ‘edgy’ than the dimensionally larger Kona.
The tiny 15-inch wheels of Go and Active versions look almost stupid and cartoon-like on the square body, but in flagship Elite trim with the larger wheels and eccentric two-color color options, the location looks pretty chic and handsome – though this is completely subjective.
With a length of 4040 mm, a width of 1770 mm and a length of 1592 mm, the location is generally shorter than the now-terminated Accent, although it is approximately 30 mm longer than a Kona. In the metal the boxy ratios and the high height look more substantial for the small Hyundai crossover than should be measured on paper.
It is a similar story inside, where there is enough space on both roads for four adults. There is plenty of headroom for everyone, while an impressive amount of legroom in the second row means you can ride around taller passengers without worrying about them fighting for the front seat.
At the front, the design is clean and simplistic, with the dashboard dominated by the 8.0-inch touchscreen flanked by vents, sitting above three round dials that are manual air conditioning controls on models with lower specifications and climate controls on the Elite.
Don’t expect an abundance of premium materials – it is undeniable that this is a budget vehicle at the end of the day – although everything is well put together and there is a mix of textures to add some visual excitement. Choose the Elite Elite with top specifications and one of the three interior colors and you have a different degree of personalization for the cabin.
For the driver, the dials are clean and uncluttered, with the 3.5-inch multi-function display with a range of information and menus, including an on-board computer, security systems and vehicle settings. These functions are accessible via the multifunction steering wheel, which also contains buttons and switches for cruise control and the media system – no real surprises there.
Going further back, we said before that there is good space for two adults. However, there is no folding center armrest on any Venue variant in Australia, nor are there rear vents. There are Isofix attachments on each outer rear seat and card compartments on the back of the front seat, but there is little else in the way of passenger facilities in the second row, something to consider if you often transport people in the back.
Behind the rear seats there is a luggage space of 355 liters, which is only 6 liters less than the Kona and more than the Toyota Corolla (217L – 333L) and Mazda 3 hatchback (295L) in the larger small car class.
Hyundai does not quote a maximum load volume with the seats folded down, but an adjustable load floor means that you can turn the rear of the Venue into a flat loading bay. A space-saving spare wheel lives under the load floor of all variants.
Along the way, the location does not blow out your socks, but it certainly offers a driving experience that is attractive to the demographic target group.
The fairly uninspiring capabilities of the 1.6-liter petrol engine are translated into the character of the location on the road, and accelerate to city speeds with sufficient speed, but without real urge. Much of this comes down to the fact that the location does not reach its peak outputs to very high in the speed range – 6,000 rpm for all 90 kW and 4850 rpm for that 151 Nm.
Although those figures seem rather undervalued, the location compensates with its light empty weight, with the 1140 kg scale tilting for the lightest manual version and 1225 kg for the heaviest machine.
For reference, his larger and more powerful Kona brother or sister weighs between 250 kg and 300 kg, depending on the model.
We tested both transmissions during the local launch, with an extended stint behind the basic Go manual and a shorter ride in the auto-only Elite.
The six-speed manual gearbox is a great little gear lever that has a smooth and precise action in combination with a slightly resilient clutch pedal. It was nice to get full control over the location and get the most out of the rev-happy engine, and on the other hand the manual is quite comfortable to use in the city.
Meanwhile, the six-speed automatic transmission is definitely more geared towards calming driving and efficiency, sometimes a bit slow to respond to sudden gas inputs and to steer the revs high that transmit a thrashy and buzzing engine noise into the cabin. In the city, however, it is smooth, quiet and does a good job.
On the highway, the 1.6-liter petrol engine runs at around 2500 rpm in sixth gear, regardless of the chosen transmission, while 110 km / h sees the tacho around 2750 rpm.
You will find that the engine is a bit lively under load or at higher speeds, but the overall suppression of external noise is surprisingly good, which we have assessed over a mix of road surfaces, including urban streets, coarser country roads and rough gravel sections.
Hyundai spoke quickly about the NVH performance of the Venue during the press conference, and it certainly did a good job with the ‘N’ part of that acronym given the price and the segment of the vehicle.
In saying that, we discovered that there could be a little vibration through the wheelhouse and the cabin under hard acceleration, while sharper hits could produce an echoey boom from the arrangement of the torsion bar rear suspension.
Speaking of the suspension, the Venue is a pretty good balance between comfort and engagement, and offers a smooth and forgiving ride through the city (especially on the 15-inch wheels and the lean 185/65 rubber of Go and Active models) , while showing good bodywork, control and limited rollers.
Combine that with light yet direct steering, the Venue is really a bit of fun on a winding road, although you have to be proactive and keep your speed on slopes, because otherwise you will be reminded of the lack of pressure from the engine.
There are also selectable drive modes in automatic versions, not only for the powertrain but also for the traction control system to compensate for the lack of four-wheel drive.
There is Normal, Eco and Sport mode that adjusts the throttle response to each associated profile, while the Snow, Mud and Sand modes switch the intervention level of the traction control system for maximum grip on different unsealed surfaces.
We didn’t really get the chance to try out these modes, as we only drove the manual on gravel, but in its standard form, the location can compete competently on an unpaved road with little hassle, although this is definitely not meant to be a budget be off-roader.
Hyundai claims the location uses 7.0L / 100km as a manual and 7.2L / 100km as a car, both in the combined cycle. We reached mid to high six in the manual during our extensive launch ride that was skewed to hilly country roads and the highway, which is not bad for a small engine.
The location is perfectly satisfied with 91 lead-free lead-free plumbing, and the small 45L fuel tank means that you can expect about 600 km between fillings, according to our indicated real-world figure.
From a ownership perspective, the location is covered by a five-year, five-year, unlimited mileage warranty from Hyundai Australia, including breakdown assistance and navigation map updates (if applicable) for the life of the program as long as you maintain your vehicle at a Hyundai dealer.
Speaking of maintenance, scheduled maintenance is required every 12 months or 15,000 km, whichever occurs first. The first five visits are listed at $ 259, $ 259, $ 339, $ 459, and $ 259 respectively – representing a total of $ 1575 for the first 60 months / 75,000 km property.
All in all, the Hyundai Venue presents itself as a great car for singles and empty nesters who have an urban lifestyle but want the style and usability of an SUV – practically fulfilling their intended purpose.
It is easy to maneuver through the city, while inside it is surprisingly practical, can handle the odd highway hint and contains a healthy list of features for the price of most entry-level competitors.
However, if you are planning to ride small children in the back, it might be worthwhile to watch something bigger with a current 5-star rating, or at least wait for the location to be independently tested to see how it collides.
Non-inspiring powertrain and potential four-star safety rating aside, it does most things for most people, at a very competitive price.