The subcompact Hyundai Venue is just the latest product of the utility vehicle segment’s indomitable ascent in popularity.

Hyundai already has a perfectly good subcompact crossover in its lineup – the relatively new Hyundai Kona – but the Venue is no replacement; they’ll be sold side-by-side in the North American market. The Venue is even smaller and more budget-friendly, suggesting that Hyundai, like many of its competitors, is prepared to continue subdividing the crossover segment again and again until every conceivable hole is plugged, and every would-be car buyer has a utility vehicle in their driveway.

Brand-new for 2020, the Hyundai Venue will be the brand’s most inexpensive utility vehicle. A naturally-aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder with an anticipated 130-or-so horsepower represents the sole available engine. It will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a continuously-variable automatic transmission. Alas, all-wheel drive will not be available; no matter the trim, this pint-sized utility vehicle will be offered in front-wheel-drive only.

If you can overlook that omission, the Hyundai Venue does have plenty to offer a crossover-obsessed market. The vehicle’s diminutive size should lend itself well to a very low price tag; we’re expecting it to start at around $18,000. Yet despite its small projected price, the Venue will offer a surprisingly rich set of standard features. The list includes a frontal collision prevention system, lane keep assist, and an 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to name just a few.

The brand-new, 2020 Hyundai Venue debuted at the 2019 New York Auto Show, and production of North American examples will take place in Ulsan, South Korea.

Hyundai Venue Fuel Economy

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is projected to get somewhere around 33 miles to a gallon on the combined EPA test cycle, if equipped with the available continuously-variable transmission. A slightly lower figure should be anticipated for the six-speed manual, which will be standard at the base SE trim level and not available on the higher-spec SEL.

That 33-mpg figure is slightly higher than the similarly-powered Hyundai Accent subcompact car, despite the Accent being a shorter, lower-slung vehicle.

Hyundai Venue Safety Rating

The Hyundai Venue has yet to be crash tested in the U.S., and the crash performance of the larger Kona tells us virtually nothing as the two are based on different platforms. Instead, the Venue will borrow the same platform as the Accent; unless significant revisions have been made to the crash structure, we might expect similar crash ratings.

The 2019 Hyundai Accent sedan was selected as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, receiving Good ratings in the small overlap front (drivers side), moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints/seats testing categories. Small overlap front crash testing on the passengers side yielded an Acceptable rating, and the available front crash prevention system garnered a score of Superior.

As IIHS testing goes, there isn’t much for the Hyundai Venue to improve upon; the only thing that disqualified the 2019 Accent from garnering top honors as a Top Safety Pick Plus is the headlamps.

Hyundai Venue Features

The Hyundai Venue will boast an impressive suite of standard and available features uncharacteristic of such a small, budget-minded vehicle. Standard equipment includes the aforementioned frontal collision prevention system, lane keep assist, and 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Optional active safety equipment includes a blind spot warning system, and rear-cross traffic monitoring, which watches for approaching cross-traffic behind the vehicle while it’s reversing.

There’s a number of additional available convenience and comfort features, too, like a proximity key with push button start, heated front seats, satellite navigation, and Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system. Blue Link includes features like remote start and lock/unlock from a smartphone, and integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Assistant.

Hyundai Venue Pricing

U.S.-market pricing for the 2020 Hyundai Venue has yet to be announced, but it’s projected to start thousands lower than the Hyundai Kona, which for 2020 carries a starting MSRP of $20,100 before destination. As a matter of fact, affordability is sort of its primary raison d’être; Hyundai is banking on the fact that there are plenty enough would-be crossover buyers who opt for cars or turn to the used market solely due to financial constraints. Many of these customers, Hyundai reasons, might opt to buy a brand-new crossover utility vehicle if only the price were right.

It’s the same sort of thinking that’s brought about vehicles such as the Nissan Kicks and Ford EcoSport, expanding the crossover segment down-market to capture a broader market share and bring budget-conscious consumers into the brand.

Hyundai Venue Competitors

We imagine that the brand-new, 2020 Hyundai Venue will most frequently be cross-shopped against the Kia Soul and Nissan Kicks. Both are fellow high-riding subcompact vehicles that also cannot be optioned with all-wheel drive, but which offer a bit more space at a marginally higher price. Within the same general price and size class are also vehicles like the Fiat 500X, Ford EcoSport, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3. All four of those are larger and still more expensive, and all offer all-wheel drive as an option.

The Hyundai Venue’s small volume and lack of available all-wheel drive could be enough to make it a non-starter for many shoppers. However, for those who can do without such things as AWD and copious passenger and storage space, the Venue ought to stack up rather well against its primary competitors, thanks to the value proposition. A sub-$20,000 crossover with standard frontal collision prevention, lane keep assist, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto? Sign us up.

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Detailed Specs

Engine / 1.6L 4-cyl
Horsepower / 130 (est.)
Torque / 119 lb-ft (est.)
Transmission / 6-speed manual / continuously-variable automatic
Drivetrain / Front-wheel-drive