TodayOctober 21, 2021

2020 Hyundai Venue new car review

An entry-level SUV

Hyundai is known for its quality at a fair price. Hyundai offers an entry-level sedan starting at $16,395. Like the majority of buyers, entry-level customers are switching to SUVs. Today, Hyundai is bringing out an entry-level SUV packed full of safety and technology starting at $17,350. Yes, $17,350.

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=89]

My young friend, Jim, just graduated from college, and he is $100,000 in debt. He lives in his parent’s basement. He has a good job, but he also has a $1,500 monthly student loan bill before he steps out the door. Buying a new SUV was out of the question, until now.

A quick search on the internet shows that the average price of a used car in 2019 was $20,200, according to That is right in line with the 2020 Hyundai Venue SEL I drove that has an MSRP of $19,180. Mike O’Brien, vice president Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America ran the numbers for me, and there is only about a $30 a month difference between the most popular Accent sedan and Venue SUV.

Mike O’Brien said that forty-one million used cars were sold last year but, “the technology that most young people want in a car is not offered in used cars at this time.”

“Those used cars don’t offer as standard forward-collision or emergency braking. Older cars don’t have a big screen with mirroring capabilities, and they don’t have a ten-year or 100,000 warranty.”

This little SUV is bringing a new option to people that are on a budget but still want to connect to their world with technology. Jim loves his connected life. He talks to his friends on the phone. He texts them, tik-toks with them and shares his whereabouts on find my iPhone. All of these connections come through his smartphone. Many of these connections are now available in the Venue.

The technology is what will be noticed instantly, but the safety features that are standard on this SUV are just as impressive.

The Advanced Safety Technologies that are standard are;

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW)
Driver Attention Warning (DAW)
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning (RCCW)

I love the nightlife.

It’s time to party, and the Venue sits four happy adults that are done with finals. There is ample room for cargo, so grab the munchies and go. The versatility of the Venue is reminiscent of a Mini, and just like a MIni, there is lots of headroom for tall people. I would describe the size of the Venue as a Mini with an infusion of DNA from the Hyundai Palisade, a sprig of bright accents, texture, and color.

Hit the gas college graduates

If you want the manual transmission, you can buy the 2020 Hyundai Venue SE. The other trim levels are created with the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). Each model includes the all-new Smartstream 1.6-liter Dual-Port Injection four-cylinder front-wheel-drive engine. All-wheel-drive is not an option, but there is a snow mode that acts like traction control on steroids.

The key to all fuel economy is the feathering of the throttle, or so my colleague Mike told me after he mastered a 39.1 mpg to my withering 31.9 mpg. The EPA rating on the Venue IVT automatic is 30 city/34 highway and 32 combined.

Hyundai has another hit on its hands. The Venue fits right into the urban lifestyle at an affordable price.

SPECIFICATIONS for the 2020 Hyundai Venue SEL

VEHICLE TYPE_________________ entry level small SUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $19,150 (as tested: $23,280)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ Gamma Gen 2, 1598cc

DISPLACEMENT_________________ 1.6-liter
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 121 at 6300 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 415 at 4500 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 159.1 in.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 2,612 –2,738 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 11.9 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 30 mpg city, 34 mpg highway 32 mpg combined

Extra thoughts from my second drive

I got 37.7 combined mpg over a week of driving in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The Hyundai Venue is a fabulous value for the money and a very practical first new car.

The second car I drove is under $24,000 and contains a full complement of safety & convenience features.

Most of your college or high school students are not going to care (or be able to afford) an all-wheel-drive, which is why Hyundai didn’t bring out an all-wheel-drive. It is a great predecessor to the Hyundai Accent. It’s a great value for the money with all the safety and connectivity including remote start.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.