18 June 2020

Hyundai Venue 2020 Car Review

Small SUVs are becoming more and more popular on our roads. They tend to offer the practicality of larger cars, whilst maintaining the fun of driving a smaller vehicle.

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Hyundai Venue 2020
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Hyundai Venue 2020
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Hyundai Venue 2020
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Hyundai Venue 2020
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Hyundai Venue 2020
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Hyundai Venue 2020

The curiously-named Venue is Hyundai’s latest attempt in this segment, and it comes very well-equipped considering the price.

The Venue is now Hyundai’s entry-level SUV and the second cheapest car in their current fleet, with the Accent (a small hatch) coming in at $1,000 cheaper.

Available in two trim levels, the Venue Elite we tested is $4,000 more expensive then the base model, but for that cost you certainly get some bang for your buck; 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a part-leather trim, a heated steering wheel and more.

The Venue stands out from the crowd, in particular the Elite model due to the two-tone colour scheme. The car we tested had a ‘Cosmic Grey’ body with the nice contrasts of an ‘Acid Yellow’ roof and accents, but it was a bit of a shame getting inside the car for the first time to see that the colours didn’t translate too much into the interior.

Both variants are front-wheel drive and are powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 90kW and 151Nm of torque. There Venue also offers three different traction modes - ‘Snow’, ‘Sand’ and ‘Mud’ – if you ever find yourself needing that extra traction. There are also three drive modes – ‘Comfort’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Sport. These are all easily selectable via a dial just below the gear selector.

Both the entry level and Elite also use the same six-speed automatic gearbox with sportshift. Marketed as an urban or ‘semi-urban’ car, unsurprisingly, it performed great around the streets of Auckland in stop-start traffic, but it did lack a bit of oomph once we ventured out of the city. Once you work your way up the gears, Hyundai claim a fuel economy rating of 7.2l/100km.

For those long journeys, rear occupants should find the Venue pleasant enough to be in thanks to ample leg and headroom, but you’d be pushed to fit three adult passengers in the back seats comfortably.

The cabin is clean and minimalistic, with an impressive, easy-to-use eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system being the centre of attention. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes as standard, as does a rear park assist and a reversing camera. A few of the finishes do feel on the cheaper-side, which is expected due to the price point, but the Elite fixes this by improving the quality of the parts you spend the most contact with – the steering wheel and gear knob come with a nice leather finish.

Disappointingly the Venue only scored a four-star ANCAP rating, mainly due to its poor performance in the ‘Vulnerable Road User Protection’ and ‘Safety Assist’ parts of the test. Both models feature Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Drive Attention Warning (DAW) and six airbags, but you’ll have to pay the extra cash for the Elite model to benefit from Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW). A couple of understated safety features in the Elite model are the Electro Chromatic rear-view Mirror (ECM), which prevents glare from bright headlights from the car behind you, and static bending lights, which helps your vision around corners at night.

The Venue is a great choice if you’re after a new car, and want the best of both worlds when it comes to hatches and SUVs. For the price, it’s very well equipped with many of the mod cons that we’ve become accustomed to when driving more premium SUVs. Safety-wise, some may say that Hyundai dropped the ball on this one, especially considering that one of its main rivals – the Kia Seltos – scored a five star ANCAP score.

At a glance


Hyundai Venue 1.6 Entry, 1.6 Elite


1.6-litre 16-valve four-stroke petrol


$29,990 Entry, $33,990 Elite

ANCAP safety rating


Power and Torque

90kW at 6300rpm, 151Nm at 4850rpm


Six-speed auto

Fuel economy


Towing capacity



2WD front wheels

Seating capacity

5 (but best suited to 4)

Luggage capacity/payload

355 litres

Safety systems

  • Forward Collision Avoidance Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Auto headlights
  • Reversing camera with rear park assist
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone
  • Cruise control
  • Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning (Elite only)
  • Blind Spot Warning (Elite only)
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