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

    More small automobiles ought to be just like the Hyundai Venue.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    There actually are not any dangerous brand-new automobiles anymore. Even the most cost effective, smallest new automobiles are all fairly good.Not almost sufficient new automobiles have a definite persona and character, although, particularly on the smaller, cheaper finish of the spectrum. In that regard the Hyundai Venue — and particularly this Denim version — is a much-needed breath of recent air. 

    LikeStandout all-blue inside designTons of normal featuresZippy powertrain and well-tuned chassisLots of persona for the worth

    Don’t LikeSo-so gas economyCan’t get a sunroof or guide on the Denim

    Singing the bluesThe Denim model of Hyundai’s littlest crossover is, you guessed it, impressed by denim denims. It solely is available in one colour, a pleasant blue known as — watch for it — Denim. The white roof is definitely hand-painted, which suggests you’ll be able to’t get the Denim with a sunroof (it is an choice on the Venue SEL). There are a lot of different white accents on the outside, too, together with the rear badges, some trim items on the bumpers and the wheel arches.But the actual star of the present is the inside. Yes, the denim-inspired leatherette and material seats have a beautiful texture and a cool striped sample, however that is essentially the most boring half. Everything contained in the Denim is blue, aside from the parts of the dashboard and door playing cards which are a pleasant cream accent colour, which is echoed in issues just like the distinction stitching.

    What actually makes the Denim distinctive is that all the plastic items are blue, even components which are normally by no means color-matched in different automobiles. Most different automobiles, even ones with half a dozen inside colour choices, solely use boring black or beige plastics. But within the Venue Denim, the window switches are blue, the seatbelt shops are blue, the carpets are blue, the plastic surrounding the cargo space and door sills is blue — I may go on. It makes the Denim really feel particular, like one massive cohesive design as an alternative of an “oh, let’s give it blue seats or something” afterthought. Pretty a lot solely the highest-end manufacturers like Rolls-Royce and Bentley do colour matching to this degree, which makes it particularly stunning to search out in a automobile as cheap because the Venue. I chatted with senior design supervisor Elizabeth Curran from Hyundai’s colour and supplies division to study extra in regards to the Denim inside and what’s developing sooner or later, which you’ll be able to learn right here.None of this tough plastic feels low-quality, both. The door panels, as an illustration, appear to be molded from one large piece of plastic, however they’ve a pleasant grain and the armrest is padded with stitched leatherette. All the bits that you just contact essentially the most have a pleasant tactile really feel, and knobs and switches transfer and click on with satisfying actions. The Denim additionally provides a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, in addition to a middle armrest that slides fore and aft.

    It’s exhausting to withstand making Eiffel 65 jokes.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    Peppy, not highly effectiveLike the Venue’s different trims, the Denim is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter inline-four making 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. Sure, the Venue may do with extra energy, however it’s mild and sufficiently small that it nonetheless feels zippy round city and by no means too gradual when merging onto the freeway. Although in the event you’re studying this, Hyundai, I would not say no to a turbocharged N mannequin with round 200 horsepower.

    The solely transmission selection for the Denim is a constantly variable automated, because the Venue’s six-speed guide is reserved for the bottom SE mannequin. It’s a testomony to the CVT’s competency that I did not understand it was a CVT till I’d already been driving the automobile for a number of days. The transmission matches gear ratios with engine pace, nearly at all times retaining revs down low to scale back engine drone and enhance effectivity. Like all Venues, the Denim is front-wheel-drive solely.
    Direct steering motion and a well-tuned suspension make the Venue fairly enjoyable to wheel round, and it rides surprisingly effectively over rougher roads, even with its 17-inch wheels and brief wheelbase. It’ll get blown round by sturdy winds at freeway speeds and there is not plenty of sound deadening, however the Denim’s six-speaker sound system is definitely fairly bangin’ to make up for highway and tire noise. Over the course of my week with the Venue I averaged a bit over 28 miles per gallon in principally metropolis driving, falling wanting the EPA’s 30-mpg metropolis estimate.On a number of slushy Michigan days I did get to benefit from the Venue’s Snow driving mode, which adjusts traction between the entrance wheels for higher grip on slick surfaces. It actually does appear to make a noticeable distinction, particularly with my Venue being shod with Nexen N Priz AH8 all-season tires and never devoted snow tires.Lots to likeThe Denim would not simply convey the distinctive colour scheme, both. As the range-topping trim degree, it additionally provides quite a few options, a few of which you’d solely anticipate on higher-end automobiles. LED head- and taillights, heated entrance seats, navigation, proximity key, push-button begin, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are all commonplace tools on the Denim. (Most of that stuff can be optionally available on the SEL by means of a few packages.) So a lot blue.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    Even the bottom $18,470 Venue comes with a ton of stuff. There’s an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automated headlights, energy home windows and mirrors, lane-keeping help, a driver-attention monitor and automatic emergency braking. The midrange SEL is $20,370 and provides two USB ports, automated local weather management, an auto-up driver’s window, and Bluetooth with voice recognition.The Denim begins at $23,170, almost $5,000 greater than the bottom SE, which could look like lots for a automobile as tiny because the Venue. Sure, you can simply purchase a Honda Civic hatchback for $22,705, like plenty of my mates advised once I introduced up the Venue. Or you can get Hyundai’s personal (and really nice) Kona crossover, the Venue’s bigger brother, which is $21,420 in its base type and is accessible with all-wheel drive.But there is not any different small automobile that has made me smile just like the Venue Denim. It’s actually extra characterful than direct opponents such because the Nissan Kicks or the Ford EcoSport. It additionally comes with a ton of options, and it has genuinely recent design particulars discovered nearly nowhere else within the business. The Hyundai Venue Denim is the type of reasonably priced small automobile that the world deserves extra of.

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