2020 Hyundai Venue review: A breath of small-car fresh air


More little vehicles really should be like the Hyundai Venue.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

There definitely aren’t any terrible brand name-new vehicles any longer. Even the lowest priced, smallest new vehicles are all really superior.

Not nearly ample new vehicles have a distinctive individuality and character, even though, specifically on the scaled-down, less expensive close of the spectrum. In that regard the Hyundai Venue — and specifically this Denim edition — is a considerably-wanted breath of fresh new air. 


  • Standout all-blue interior structure
  • Tons of standard capabilities
  • Zippy powertrain and well-tuned chassis
  • Lots of individuality for the price tag

Don’t Like

  • So-so gasoline financial system
  • Are unable to get a sunroof or manual on the Denim

Singing the blues

The Denim version of Hyundai’s littlest crossover is, you guessed it, influenced by denim denims. It only will come in one coloration, a awesome blue identified as — wait around for it — Denim. The white roof is basically hand-painted, which suggests you can not get the Denim with a sunroof (it truly is an option on the Venue SEL). There are a quantity of other white accents on the exterior, far too, like the rear badges, some trim items on the bumpers and the wheel arches.

But the authentic star of the show is the interior. Sure, the denim-influenced leatherette and material seats have a beautiful texture and a neat striped sample, but which is the most monotonous component. Almost everything inside of the Denim is blue, other than for the portions of the dashboard and door playing cards that are a awesome cream accent coloration, which is echoed in points like the distinction stitching.

What definitely would make the Denim exclusive is that all of the plastic items are blue, even components that are normally in no way coloration-matched in other vehicles. Most other cars, even kinds with half a dozen interior coloration choices, only use monotonous black or beige plastics. But in the Venue Denim, the window switches are blue, the seatbelt retailers are blue, the carpets are blue, the plastic encompassing the cargo space and door sills is blue — I could go on. It would make the Denim sense specific, like one huge cohesive structure as an alternative of an “oh, let us give it blue seats or something” afterthought. Pretty considerably only the greatest-close makes like Rolls-Royce and Bentley do coloration matching to this amount, which would make it specifically surprising to obtain in a automobile as reasonably priced as the Venue. I chatted with senior structure supervisor Elizabeth Curran from Hyundai’s coloration and elements department to find out far more about the Denim interior and what’s coming up in the upcoming, which you can examine here.

None of this tricky plastic feels minimal-high-quality, either. The door panels, for occasion, feel to be molded from one huge piece of plastic, but they have a awesome grain and the armrest is padded with stitched leatherette. All the bits that you touch the most have a awesome tactile sense, and knobs and switches go and simply click with gratifying actions. The Denim also provides a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, as well as a centre armrest that slides fore and aft.


It truly is tricky to resist producing Eiffel sixty five jokes.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Peppy, not powerful

Like the Venue’s other trims, the Denim is powered by a obviously aspirated 1.six-liter inline-four producing 121 horsepower and 113 pound-toes of torque. Certain, the Venue could do with far more power, but it truly is light and little ample that it even now feels zippy close to town and in no way far too gradual when merging onto the freeway. Although if you’re studying this, Hyundai, I would not say no to a turbocharged N product with close to 200 horsepower.

The only transmission decision for the Denim is a constantly variable computerized, as the Venue’s 6-pace manual is reserved for the foundation SE product. It truly is a testomony to the CVT’s competency that I failed to recognize it was a CVT until eventually I’d presently been driving the automobile for a handful of days. The transmission matches gear ratios with engine pace, pretty much generally keeping revs down minimal to lessen engine drone and improve effectiveness. Like all Venues, the Denim is entrance-wheel-travel only.

Direct steering action and a well-tuned suspension make the Venue really fun to wheel close to, and it rides surprisingly well over rougher roads, even with its seventeen-inch wheels and shorter wheelbase. It’ll get blown close to by robust winds at freeway speeds and there just isn’t a large amount of sound deadening, but the Denim’s 6-speaker sound technique is basically really bangin’ to make up for street and tire noise. About the study course of my 7 days with the Venue I averaged a little bit over 28 miles for every gallon in generally town driving, slipping shorter of the EPA’s 30-mpg town estimate.

On a handful of slushy Michigan days I did get to take edge of the Venue’s Snow driving manner, which adjusts traction in between the entrance wheels for better grip on slick surfaces. It definitely does feel to make a obvious variation, specifically with my Venue becoming shod with Nexen N Priz AH8 all-time tires and not dedicated snow tires.

Lots to like

The Denim isn’t going to just bring the exclusive coloration scheme, either. As the vary-topping trim amount, it also provides several capabilities, some of which you would only hope on higher-close cars. LED head- and taillights, heated entrance seats, navigation, proximity key, push-button get started, blind-place checking and rear cross-targeted visitors warn are all standard products on the Denim. (Most of that stuff is also optional on the SEL through a couple of deals.) 


So considerably blue.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Even the foundation $eighteen,470 Venue will come with a ton of stuff. There’s an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle, computerized headlights, power home windows and mirrors, lane-keeping guide, a driver-notice watch and automated emergency braking. The midrange SEL is $20,370 and provides two USB ports, computerized local weather handle, an vehicle-up driver’s window, and Bluetooth with voice recognition.

The Denim starts at $23,a hundred and seventy, nearly $five,000 far more than the foundation SE, which could feel like a large amount for a automobile as small as the Venue. Certain, you could just obtain a Honda Civic hatchback for $22,705, like a large amount of my good friends suggested when I introduced up the Venue. Or you could get Hyundai’s very own (and really excellent) Kona crossover, the Venue’s more substantial brother, which is $21,420 in its foundation type and is available with all-wheel travel.

But there is certainly no other little automobile that has made me smile like the Venue Denim. It truly is certainly far more characterful than immediate opponents this kind of as the Nissan Kicks or the Ford EcoSport. It also will come with a ton of capabilities, and it has truly fresh new structure details located pretty much nowhere else in the marketplace. The Hyundai Venue Denim is the variety of very affordable little automobile that the planet deserves far more of.