Friday, November 12, 2021




At under $25,000 for the top trim, the Hyundai Venue is one of the best bargains available in the subcompact SUV segment today. It offers a full array of standard safety and convenience features at what is by today's standards is a very affordable price.

The 2021 Hyundai Venue comes in three trims: SE, an upgraded SEL, and top-of-the-line Denim Edition for this year with Limited scheduled to replace the latter on 2022 models. This review is based on the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim Edition, which will be the last to carry that trim designation.

One of the best things the Venue, which debuted as a 2020 model, has going for it is a long list of standard features. Even the base SE comes with keyless entry, an 8-inch touchscreen display, lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It also looks good on the outside and has lots of room for its class on the inside (though the rear legroom can get kind of tight depending on where the front seats are set). The cabin is not luxury class by any means, but neither does it have the kind of spartan, bare-bones look that many vehicles in this price range do.

Hard plastics? Sure, but the Denim upgrades the interior with a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, and distinct seating surfaces to give it a more upscale look.

A notable feature on the Denim trim is the inclusion of navigation in the 8-inch touchscreen. Sure, you can get turn-by-turn directions on your Smart phone, but do you really want to squint at your phone when you’re looking for a way out of rush-hour traffic or around an unexpected road block?

All Venues come with a 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Thus the emphasis is more on fuel economy (30 miles-per-gallon city, 33 highway, 31 combined) over performance. Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel is not offered.

With 113 pound-feet of torque, the Venue takes 8.6 seconds to get from zero to 60 mph, according to the website That’s not neck-snapping, course, but for most driving situations, especially in urban environments, the Venue gets around OK.

Like most smaller vehicles, it gives the impression of a much snappier performance when getting around town, and the smaller size (159.1 inches long, 69.7 wide) makes getting in and out of tight spaces a snap.

The drive mode selector is a knob on the console that lets you move in normal, sport, or snow  mode. You can feel a noticeable bump when turning it from normal to sport.

Cargo space behind the back row is about that of a trunk in a full-size sedan. Its 18.7 cubic feet is more than adequate for grocery store runs, and if it’s not, you can fold the second-row seats and get 31.9 cubic feet for your luggage or Home Depot runs.

Pricing for the 2021 Venue starts at $19,935 (including destination and delivery) for the SE trim. The SEL starts at $20,785, and the Denim Edition tops the list at $22,245. There are slight increases for 2022 models, but if that bothers you, there is little difference between 2021 and next year’s Venues as far as changes so you can go with the older version.

What I liked about the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim Edition:
The plentiful techno features are very user-friendly. There are knobs to adjust both the radio and A/C controls, which is nice. Driving in Sport mode ups the performance. Safety features like Blind Spot Warning and Forward Collision Avoidance are standard. It also has an alert for when a vehicle in front of you at and intersection pulls away as well as a audio warning about cameras at upcoming intersections.

What I didn’t like about the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim Edition: I would prefer a standard automatic over the CVT, though this is a fairly advanced CVT and has a Sport mode to increase performance. Road noise at higher speed infringes on audio volume.

Would I buy the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim Editiion? Subcompacts are not among my favorite crossovers, but this one comes packed with lots of features that make for an enjoyable ride. I would have to consider it. The Denim Edition actually offers a slightly less expensive price with many of the same features as the SEL trim when the SEL Premium Package, reviewed on this site last August, is included.

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