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2021 Hyundai Venue

Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
September 15, 2020

Buying tip

The Venue SE’s a bargain, but for blind-spot monitors you’ll need to spend up into the Venue SEL.

features & specs

Denim IVT
SE IVT
SEL IVT
MPG
30 city / 34 hwy
MPG
30 city / 34 hwy
MPG
30 city / 34 hwy
MSRP
$22,050
MSRP
$18,750
MSRP
$19,800

The 2021 Hyundai Venue courts bargain shoppers with department-store space and quality.

What kind of car is the 2021 Hyundai Venue? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Hyundai Venue is a five-passenger hatchback that’s sometimes marketed as a crossover SUV. Without all-wheel drive on its options list, we keep it in the car column, though it’s blessed with the interior space and flexibility of some of our favorite small crossovers.

Sold in SE and SEL versions, the 2021 Venue compares to the Nissan Kicks, the Ford Ecosport, and the Honda HR-V. It’s styled better and has a finer interior than those vehicles, and gets longer, better warranty coverage, too.

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Is the 2021 Hyundai Venue a good car?

It’s a good car and a great value. It’s not plush or quick, but it hits the bullseye for pricing and convenience features. We give it a TCC Rating of 6.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Hyundai Venue?

The 6-speed manual is no longer available, and 15-inch wheels are standard on the SE while 17-inchers come with the SEL. Blind-spot monitors now come standard on the SEL, and the Convenience Package has become standard on the SEL.

The Venue owes some of its eager shape to bigger Hyundais. The square jaw and big, bright grille are easily recognizable as members of the Hyundai/Kia family. It’s a perky piece in bright paint colors and chunky 17-inch wheels. Inside, it’s straightforward and touchscreen-focused, with well-chosen trims and textures to pad its doors and its dash.

Hyundai taps the Accent’s 1.6-liter inline-4 for power, and that too is relative. With a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) simulating gearchanges through a slurry of pulley ratios, the Venue accelerates, without many adjectives. There’s no all-wheel drive, and only about 6.7 inches of ground clearance, so no matter what you read in the ad, this is no crossover nor is it an SUV. It is a friendly, right-sized city driver with a decent ride and good point-and-dart moves for urban traffic, while highway drives get a little more vague. Tight parking spots and short trips are its wheelhouse; fuel economy’s OK at 32 mpg combined.

The Venue carves out space for four adults from its curt 99.2-inch wheelbase, and the front passengers have the well-shaped, comfortable seats. Space is OK in back, too, but most drivers will fold those back seats down to reveal 31.9 cubic feet of dog-slobbering space. It’s a good thing the Venue’s cloth upholstery seems to wash and wear well. 

How much does the 2021 Hyundai Venue cost?

Base Venue hatchbacks cost less than $20,000 and come with automatic emergency braking and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also standard: a swell 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. Spend a grand more and the Venue adds blind-spot monitors, 17-inch wheels, navigation, and keyless start.

Where is the Hyundai Venue made?

In Ulsan, South Korea.

6

2021 Hyundai Venue

Styling

The Venue fits just right, like a favorite baseball hat.

Is the Hyundai Venue a good-looking car?

We like its blunt but sporty hatchback shape, its details, and some of the bright colors on its options list. We give it a 6 for style.

The Venue has the tall-hatchback thing down pat. It’s clearly not an SUV, but it’s not a slippery, sporty hot hatch, either. The shape implies lots of interior room and delivers—but it also wears a stylish stretched and pinched grille and robo-tastic LED running lights. Bigger 17-inch wheels fill out its wells, but the 15s are fine too since the deeply sculpted body sides give the Venue a light look. We’d take it in Green Apple, Intense Blue, or Scarlet Red—if we could get past the kitschy Denim Blue, which reminds us of AMCs of the ‘70s.

The cabin takes its cue from the slightly larger Kona, with a big 8.0-inch touchscreen bolted to the dash. Big, round knobs for climate control are simple to understand and to operate. The Venue’s best asset is the finish of the interior; it’s inexpensive but hardly cheap-looking, from the tightly grained dash cap to the metallic-paint trim around its vents and shift lever.

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3

2021 Hyundai Venue

Performance

It’s space over pace in the 2021 Venue.

How fast is the Hyundai Venue?

We give the Venue a 3 for performance because it’s not fast—and it’s not meant to be. 

Hyundai fits the Venue with a 1.6-liter inline-4 that's shared with the Accent sedan. Coupled to a CVT, the engine churns out 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. It’s a reasonable combination that takes about 10 seconds to reach 60 mph and doesn’t leave stoplights in a scrabble for traction. The engine’s relatively muted, which means full-pedal passing maneuvers don’t sound painful. It weighs just 2,557 to 2,732 pounds, which doesn’t interfere with urban pep and helps gas mileage, too.

Is the Hyundai Venue 4WD?

No, it’s front-wheel-drive only. The Venue is pretty basic under its skin, with a simple strut front and torsion-beam rear axle, and 15-inch wheels that get an upgrade to 17-inch wheels on the SEL. 

Don’t spend more for the bigger tires alone. The Venue has simple economy-car moves that don’t improve with more tread. It zips and threads through traffic with light steering and decent ride quality over moderately sized potholes. On the interstate, it squirms around in its lane once the speeds top 80 mph and the wind tops 10 mph. It doesn’t shimmy or shake. It feels stable and solid, though higher-speed bumps will reverb through the steering wheel.

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7

2021 Hyundai Venue

Comfort & Quality

Two plus two equals more than four.

How comfortable is the 2021 Hyundai Venue?

We give it a 7 for comfort since it can seat two adults in front in good comfort, and swallow up to 31.9 cubic feet of stuff behind them.

The Venue does a better job of toting people and things than many small crossovers, even though it rides on a short 99.2-inch wheelbase. At just 159.1 inches long, it’s nearly half a foot shorter than Hyundai’s own Kona, so it’s cozy—but it’s also 61.6 inches tall, which means great head room. 

Front-seat comfort is very good for even 500-mile slogs up I-75. The Venue wears durable-looking gray or black cloth on most models, but a Denim edition covers the seats with synthetic leather and a denim-like material that evokes some of the side roads of ‘70s car marketing. 

The back seat can be a squeeze to reach since the Venue’s rear doors are somewhat slim, but with 34.3 inches of leg room and 39 inches of head room, it’s bigger than it seems.

Hyundai counts 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which opens to 31.9 cubic feet when the rear seats fold down. 

The Venue roundhouses rivals like the Ecosport and Kicks in its fit and finish. The amount of plastics is the same, but Hyundai’s are much nicer, and its modern fabrics and mesh-grained trim are well-chosen and carefully styled.

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7

2021 Hyundai Venue

Safety

The Venue’s crash test scores are mixed.

How safe is the Hyundai Venue?

According to the IIHS, the Venue’s very safe. The agency gives it a Top Safety Pick award when equipped with the SEL’s optional headlights, which earn an “Acceptable” rating. The standard headlights rate “Marginal.”

The NHTSA gives the Venue just four stars overall. Those points offset each other, but with good outward vision and standard automatic emergency braking, the Venue scores a 7 here.

The Venue also comes with standard active lane control and automatic high beams, while blind-spot monitors come with the SEL.

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9

2021 Hyundai Venue

Features

The 2021 Venue fills up on features.

This year the Venue drops its 6-speed manual, while the SEL gains standard 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitors, a power sunroof, and a sliding armrest.

In any trim, the 2021 Venue is a great bargain, with its sharp infotainment system, strong value, and a great 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. We give it a 9 for features.

Which Hyundai Venue should I buy?

For about $19,000 the Hyundai Venue SE has 15-inch wheels, power features, Bluetooth, cruise control, cloth upholstery, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. 

A thousand dollars more will get you the Venue SEL, which adds automatic climate control, keyless start, 17-inch wheels, and a sunroof. Options include satellite radio, navigation, and heated front seats. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Hyundai Venue?

A couple grand more gets the Venue Denim Edition, which comes mostly with different trim versus the SEL, including synthetic leather and cloth seats, a white roof, and blue paint.

The Venue can’t be ordered with leather upholstery, power seats, or adaptive cruise control at all.

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2021 Hyundai Venue

Fuel Economy

The Venue’s frugal, even without hybrid support.

Is the Hyundai Venue good on gas?

Yes. The EPA rates it at 30 mpg city, 34 highway, 32 combined. Those ratings put it slightly above cars like the Honda HR-V—and equal to Hyundai’s own mid-size Sonata sedan, which fares well thanks to a slippery aero body.

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$18,750
MSRP based on SE IVT
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6.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 3
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 7
Features 9
Fuel Economy 6
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