A low price with a ton of modern features.
The 2020 Hyundai Venue is currently the least expensive crossover in the Korean automaker's portfolio with a starting price of $17,350. Hyundai created the Venue to fill the role that used to be filled by the Accent Hatchback and to offer consumers an affordable means of transportation that is still loaded with technology. With these goals in mind, it makes sense that the Venue only comes with one engine, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 121 horsepower.
During a recent phone call with Hyundai, CarBuzz learned about some of the company's goals with the Venue and what we might expect from the subcompact crossover in the future. Since the Venue is mainly a value play for Hyundai, you should not expect to see all-wheel-drive or an N-Line version according to Mike Evanoff, the Venue's Senior Project Planning Manager.
Instead, Hyundai focused on making the Venue as technologically advanced as possible.
"We think that people are looking for a lot of technology in a car," said CJ Eckman, IOT Planning and Connected Car Manager for Hyundai. Eckman explained that the Venue was designed so that people looking for slightly used cars can have a brand-new alternative with better features. "Just like your phone, you don't want a three-year-old model because you are giving up a lot of technology. The same thing can happen with cars. With Venue, you are getting the latest technology at the price point of an entry-level SUV," he added.
Hyundai believes that millennials will form the biggest market for the Venue, which is why Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard on all trim levels.
"We think this is a must-have feature for a new car," Eckman said. "My parents had a Land Rover Discovery as a rental car and the sticker price was $51,000. My dad said it had this puny little screen. With the Venue, a much less expensive car, the screen is eight inches and that's standard."
While Hyundai only offers one engine option for the Venue, it does offer a rare six-speed manual transmission on the base SE model in addition to the IVT found on upper trim levels. Hyundai isn't the only automaker to offer a manual transmission only on the base trim level but there is a decent explanation for why this is the case.
"With the manual transmission, the price point is obviously a very important thing," Evanoff explained. "[The take-rate] is about three to four percent, so I think there is still a buyer out there, me included. I understand it can be frustrating that you can not get the manual with the higher equipment specifications and we struggle to fight to keep the manual alive. At the higher trim levels, a manual transmission becomes very difficult to justify in inventory."
A manual transmission may not be super appealing to a younger age demographic but Hyundai does at least believe the Venue has a market for some exciting color options. We often yawn at the sea of white, black, and silver cars sitting on dealer lots, but Evanoff is happy to see otherwise.
"The Denim is actually overperforming. It's about 10 to 15 percent overall," he said. "The other bright colors are around six to 12 percent. We can try to play around with the color palette throughout the life cycle to offer some other fun colors for future model years."