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

Victoria D. Doty


A lot more tiny cars need to be like the Hyundai Location.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

There genuinely usually are not any undesirable brand-new cars any longer. Even the most affordable, smallest new cars are all fairly superior.

Not approximately sufficient new cars have a distinct personality and character, though, primarily on the more compact, more affordable stop of the spectrum. In that regard the Hyundai Location — and primarily this Denim version — is a significantly-necessary breath of clean air. 


  • Standout all-blue interior style and design
  • Tons of typical capabilities
  • Zippy powertrain and properly-tuned chassis
  • Heaps of personality for the rate

Will not Like

  • So-so gas financial state
  • Can’t get a sunroof or manual on the Denim

Singing the blues

The Denim version of Hyundai’s littlest crossover is, you guessed it, impressed by denim denims. It only will come in one particular coloration, a good blue referred to as — hold out for it — Denim. The white roof is essentially hand-painted, which usually means you won’t be able to get the Denim with a sunroof (it truly is an alternative on the Location SEL). There are a range of other white accents on the exterior, too, which includes the rear badges, some trim pieces on the bumpers and the wheel arches.

But the actual star of the exhibit is the interior. Sure, the denim-impressed leatherette and cloth seats have a beautiful texture and a interesting striped pattern, but that is the most unexciting aspect. Almost everything inside of the Denim is blue, besides for the portions of the dashboard and doorway playing cards that are a good product accent coloration, which is echoed in points like the contrast stitching.

What genuinely will make the Denim distinctive is that all of the plastic pieces are blue, even areas that are ordinarily never ever coloration-matched in other cars. Most other cars, even ones with half a dozen interior coloration solutions, only use unexciting black or beige plastics. But in the Location Denim, the window switches are blue, the seatbelt outlets are blue, the carpets are blue, the plastic surrounding the cargo spot and doorway sills is blue — I could go on. It will make the Denim sense specific, like one particular large cohesive style and design as an alternative of an “oh, let us give it blue seats or something” afterthought. Very significantly only the best-stop brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley do coloration matching to this stage, which will make it primarily stunning to uncover in a auto as affordable as the Location. I chatted with senior style and design supervisor Elizabeth Curran from Hyundai’s coloration and products department to understand much more about the Denim interior and what is actually coming up in the potential, which you can go through listed here.

None of this tough plastic feels lower-high-quality, possibly. The doorway panels, for instance, seem to be to be molded from one particular large piece of plastic, but they have a good grain and the armrest is padded with stitched leatherette. All the bits that you contact the most have a good tactile sense, and knobs and switches transfer and click on with gratifying actions. The Denim also provides a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, as properly as a middle armrest that slides fore and aft.


It’s tough to resist earning Eiffel 65 jokes.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Peppy, not effective

Like the Venue’s other trims, the Denim is run by a obviously aspirated one.six-liter inline-four earning 121 horsepower and 113 pound-ft of torque. Guaranteed, the Location could do with much more power, but it truly is mild and tiny sufficient that it continue to feels zippy all around city and never ever too sluggish when merging onto the freeway. While if you might be reading through this, Hyundai, I would not say no to a turbocharged N model with all around 200 horsepower.

The only transmission option for the Denim is a continually variable automated, as the Venue’s six-velocity manual is reserved for the base SE model. It’s a testomony to the CVT’s competency that I failed to notice it was a CVT until finally I would already been driving the auto for a several times. The transmission matches gear ratios with motor velocity, practically usually holding revs down lower to reduce motor drone and improve performance. Like all Venues, the Denim is front-wheel-drive only.

Immediate steering motion and a properly-tuned suspension make the Location fairly exciting to wheel all around, and it rides remarkably properly above rougher streets, even with its 17-inch wheels and quick wheelbase. It’s going to get blown all around by potent winds at freeway speeds and there isn’t a good deal of sound deadening, but the Denim’s six-speaker sound method is essentially fairly bangin’ to make up for street and tire sounds. Around the study course of my 7 days with the Location I averaged a little bit above 28 miles per gallon in generally metropolis driving, slipping quick of the EPA’s 30-mpg metropolis estimate.

On a several slushy Michigan times I did get to get gain of the Venue’s Snow driving mode, which adjusts traction concerning the front wheels for superior grip on slick surfaces. It genuinely does seem to be to make a noticeable variation, primarily with my Location currently being shod with Nexen N Priz AH8 all-period tires and not focused snow tires.

Heaps to like

The Denim won’t just deliver the distinctive coloration scheme, possibly. As the selection-topping trim stage, it also provides many capabilities, some of which you would only be expecting on greater-stop cars. LED head- and taillights, heated front seats, navigation, proximity critical, drive-button begin, blind-place monitoring and rear cross-traffic warn are all typical products on the Denim. (Most of that stuff is also optional on the SEL through a few of deals.) 


So significantly blue.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Even the base $eighteen,470 Location will come with a ton of stuff. There is an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Car, automated headlights, power home windows and mirrors, lane-holding guide, a driver-notice keep an eye on and automatic emergency braking. The midrange SEL is $twenty,370 and provides two USB ports, automated local weather command, an car-up driver’s window, and Bluetooth with voice recognition.

The Denim starts at $23,one hundred seventy, approximately $five,000 much more than the base SE, which could seem to be like a good deal for a auto as very small as the Location. Guaranteed, you could just buy a Honda Civic hatchback for $22,705, like a good deal of my buddies proposed when I brought up the Location. Or you could get Hyundai’s very own (and very fantastic) Kona crossover, the Venue’s larger brother, which is $21,420 in its base kind and is readily available with all-wheel drive.

But there is certainly no other tiny auto that has created me smile like the Location Denim. It’s absolutely much more characterful than direct competition such as the Nissan Kicks or the Ford EcoSport. It also will come with a ton of capabilities, and it has genuinely clean style and design information uncovered practically nowhere else in the marketplace. The Hyundai Location Denim is the kind of very affordable tiny auto that the environment justifies much more of.

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