Hyundai is getting ready to move its littlest, most-affordable crossover into showrooms, as Venue joins an SUV/CUV stable that now numbers seven.
The sub-compact slots in below Kona at the bottom of Hyundai’s lineup, but features many of the same driver-safety and convenience features of its bigger siblings, including the recently introduced large Palisade.
“The Hyundai SUV lineup can be compared with the pieces on a chess board,” said SangYup Lee, Executive vice president of design, Hyundai Motor Group. “Our new Palisade is the King, but we are missing the smaller piece. And that’s where Venue comes in. It may be small, but its unique and bold design sets it apart from the rest of the pack.”
The Venue design is familiar to Hyundai utilities (cascading grille, composite LED lights and cube shaped headlights) but distinct to allow it to make its own style statement (evident in a strong character line stretching between full muscular wheel housings and around into the taillights).
Power comes from the 121-hp Gamma 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine, linked to either a 6-speed manual or CVT, which Hyundai calls Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). An advanced stability and traction control system includes driver selectable modes for Normal and Snow, enhancing the front-wheel drive vehicle’s all-around performance. It rides on 15-inch standard wheels, upgradable to 17-inch alloys.
Among the safety technologies are forward collision avoidance with autonomous braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, driver monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
Inside, Venue provided adequate space for the urban commuter, which is corporate speak that means it’s excessively roomy for one but quickly gets constrictive as you start adding bodies. It comes with a 60/40 split folding rear seat that folds flat to the dual-level cargo floor (the highest setting, which can then be lowered to accommodate taller cargo). The space can be sheltered under a cover that can be stowed along the rear seatback when not in use.
Connectivity and comfort technologies include a 3.5-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument cluster, dual USB ports, and an 8-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, navigation with real time traffic tracking, and monitor for the rearview camera. The system also allows voice control search.
Also on board, the Hyundai BlueLink mobile app, which has expanded features in addition to remote starting and climate control, now also including control over the rear defroster and heated side mirrors.
“The all-new Venue might be small in size, but it’s big on practicality and personality,” said Steve Flamand, Director of Product & Corporate Strategy for Hyundai Auto Canada at the vehicle’s introduction at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. “Its bold and unique character sets it apart from other SUVs on the market, offering a unique, entry-level vehicle for those consumers seeking savvy design with an abundance of standard safety, technology and connectivity features.”