When Hyundai first revealed that they were releasing another utility model in time for the 2019 New York Auto Show, we were curious to see what exactly the Korean car giant had in mind. We spent a fair amount of time on paved, unpaved and partially paved road sections, the latter revealing the limits to which the suspension is willing to absorb bumps. Unkempt city streets will probably be rough, too, if the U.S.-spec dampers are similar. The Venue’s ground clearance, like the Kona’s, is a modest 6.7 inches, which doesn’t allow for much suspension travel to soak up impacts. But it’s more than sufficient to keep its short overhangs from grazing driveways or aggressive speed humps.
Inside, the 8.0-inch touchscreen is nicely integrated into the dash with vents on either side. There are good old-fashioned knobs for volume and radio tuning as well as HVAC controls. The bin to store the phone sits below the USB and 12-volt power outlets. In the base model, there is only one USB outlet in the front instead of two, and the second row has no air vents or USB outlets. The Venue is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible and navigation is an option, as is satellite radio. Other options include push-button start, heated front seats and side mirrors, and a sunroof.
In designing the Venue Hyundai seems to have taken a balanced approach. So it does feature the rather traditional SUV shape with a flat bonnet and boxy lines but with nice rounded edges that give it an almost friendly appearance. And while the shape is conventional, the new setup adds a very nice factor to the design as well. The rear is also fairly conventional but the crystalline effect in the taillights and the shape and placement of the rear fog lamps and their square shape add just enough to keep things interesting.
The Venue will only be offered with front-wheel drive, just like the Nissan Kicks. Hyundai executives said they’re open to the idea of adding an all-wheel drive, but it isn’t a huge priority for a vehicle like a Venue. Instead, the tiny SUV comes with a “snow” drive mode that might help matters a bit in slippery conditions.
Also, the new Venue from Hyundai for 2020 is a Korean sports utility vehicle that is breaking with the past habits of this manufacturer by aiming for the top of the market, relying on a complete set of equipment, some powerful engines, and excellent handling to seduce motorists. This most recent version of the Venue from Hyundai is advanced enough to be noted, and this sports utility vehicle is not without its capabilities behind its style: it is also a model that offers plenty of great pieces of equipment either for the cabin or for its advanced motor. It must be said that many of the manufacturers of sports utility vehicles are beginning to compete for the favors of city dwellers who want to be fashionable.
Hyundai was very quick to point out that all the things you can see and touch are different between the two vehicles, from the styling to the interior materials and switches to the graphics in the multimedia screen and instrument panel. On the flip side, that suggests that the things you can’t see are similar. The two vehicles share a powertrain, an all-wheel-drive system (with a locking center differential), and the same basic body structure and wheelbase. Even the interior dimensions for the legroom in each of the three rows are identical.