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


More little cars and trucks need to be like the Hyundai Location.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

There genuinely are not any poor manufacturer-new cars and trucks anymore. Even the most affordable, smallest new cars and trucks are all quite good.

Not virtually ample new cars and trucks have a unique personality and character, even though, particularly on the lesser, much less expensive finish of the spectrum. In that regard the Hyundai Location — and particularly this Denim edition — is a a great deal-wanted breath of new air. 


  • Standout all-blue interior design and style
  • Tons of common functions
  • Zippy powertrain and well-tuned chassis
  • A lot of personality for the selling price

Really don’t Like

  • So-so gas overall economy
  • Won’t be able to get a sunroof or manual on the Denim

Singing the blues

The Denim model of Hyundai’s littlest crossover is, you guessed it, influenced by denim denims. It only arrives in just one colour, a nice blue termed — wait around for it — Denim. The white roof is essentially hand-painted, which usually means you are unable to get the Denim with a sunroof (it is an selection on the Location SEL). There are a quantity of other white accents on the exterior, too, which includes the rear badges, some trim parts on the bumpers and the wheel arches.

But the genuine star of the demonstrate is the interior. Indeed, the denim-influenced leatherette and fabric seats have a charming texture and a interesting striped pattern, but that’s the most monotonous portion. Every thing within the Denim is blue, except for the portions of the dashboard and doorway playing cards that are a nice cream accent colour, which is echoed in factors like the contrast stitching.

What genuinely tends to make the Denim exceptional is that all of the plastic parts are blue, even parts that are normally by no means colour-matched in other cars and trucks. Most other autos, even types with half a dozen interior colour choices, only use monotonous black or beige plastics. But in the Location Denim, the window switches are blue, the seatbelt shops are blue, the carpets are blue, the plastic bordering the cargo location and doorway sills is blue — I could go on. It tends to make the Denim truly feel specific, like just one significant cohesive design and style instead of an “oh, let us give it blue seats or a thing” afterthought. Quite a great deal only the highest-finish brand names like Rolls-Royce and Bentley do colour matching to this degree, which tends to make it particularly shocking to find in a auto as low-cost as the Location. I chatted with senior design and style manager Elizabeth Curran from Hyundai’s colour and supplies department to study a lot more about the Denim interior and what’s coming up in the potential, which you can study in this article.

None of this really hard plastic feels low-high quality, either. The doorway panels, for occasion, feel to be molded from just one large piece of plastic, but they have a nice grain and the armrest is padded with stitched leatherette. All the bits that you touch the most have a nice tactile truly feel, and knobs and switches shift and click with gratifying steps. The Denim also adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, as well as a centre armrest that slides fore and aft.


It can be really hard to resist creating Eiffel 65 jokes.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Peppy, not powerful

Like the Venue’s other trims, the Denim is run by a by natural means aspirated 1.6-liter inline-four creating 121 horsepower and 113 pound-ft of torque. Guaranteed, the Location could do with a lot more energy, but it is light and little ample that it however feels zippy around town and by no means too sluggish when merging on to the highway. While if you are studying this, Hyundai, I wouldn’t say no to a turbocharged N model with around 200 horsepower.

The only transmission alternative for the Denim is a constantly variable automatic, as the Venue’s 6-velocity manual is reserved for the foundation SE model. It can be a testament to the CVT’s competency that I didn’t realize it was a CVT until finally I’d already been driving the auto for a several days. The transmission matches equipment ratios with motor velocity, virtually always maintaining revs down low to reduce motor drone and make improvements to effectiveness. Like all Venues, the Denim is entrance-wheel-drive only.

Direct steering motion and a well-tuned suspension make the Location quite fun to wheel around, and it rides remarkably well over rougher roads, even with its 17-inch wheels and brief wheelbase. It’s going to get blown around by robust winds at highway speeds and there just isn’t a good deal of sound deadening, but the Denim’s 6-speaker sound method is essentially quite bangin’ to make up for road and tire sounds. Over the course of my 7 days with the Location I averaged a bit over 28 miles for every gallon in typically city driving, slipping brief of the EPA’s 30-mpg city estimate.

On a several slushy Michigan days I did get to just take gain of the Venue’s Snow driving manner, which adjusts traction amongst the entrance wheels for much better grip on slick surfaces. It genuinely does feel to make a obvious difference, particularly with my Location staying shod with Nexen N Priz AH8 all-time tires and not committed snow tires.

A lot to like

The Denim would not just carry the exceptional colour plan, either. As the array-topping trim degree, it also adds quite a few functions, some of which you would only count on on greater-finish autos. LED head- and taillights, heated entrance seats, navigation, proximity essential, press-button start, blind-place checking and rear cross-visitors inform are all common machines on the Denim. (Most of that things is also optional on the SEL via a couple of packages.) 


So a great deal blue.

Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Even the foundation $18,470 Location arrives with a ton of things. There is certainly an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile, automatic headlights, energy home windows and mirrors, lane-maintaining help, a driver-focus check and automatic crisis braking. The midrange SEL is $20,370 and adds two USB ports, automatic climate control, an vehicle-up driver’s window, and Bluetooth with voice recognition.

The Denim commences at $23,170, virtually $5,000 a lot more than the foundation SE, which might feel like a good deal for a auto as tiny as the Location. Guaranteed, you could just invest in a Honda Civic hatchback for $22,705, like a good deal of my pals prompt when I introduced up the Location. Or you could get Hyundai’s personal (and very good) Kona crossover, the Venue’s bigger brother, which is $21,420 in its foundation form and is accessible with all-wheel drive.

But you will find no other little auto that has created me smile like the Location Denim. It can be surely a lot more characterful than immediate opponents such as the Nissan Kicks or the Ford EcoSport. It also arrives with a ton of functions, and it has truly new design and style aspects observed virtually nowhere else in the market. The Hyundai Location Denim is the kind of very affordable little auto that the world warrants a lot more of.

Maria J. Danford

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