Saturday, December 2, 2023
Reviews 2023 Hyundai Venue Review: Still Affordable

2023 Hyundai Venue Review: Still Affordable

  • The 2023 Hyundai Venue starts at $22,574 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Fuel efficient, easy-to-use infotainment system, budget-minded pricing.

  • Low on cargo space, cabin insulation could be better, some cheap interior materials here and there.

New vehicles priced below $20,000 are getting pretty rare in the United States and Canada. One of the most recent models to cross that psychological financial threshold is the 2023 Hyundai Venue, which now starts at $20,985 in the U.S. and at $22,574 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

2023 Hyundai Venue

Launched for the 2020 model year in replacement of the Hyundai Accent at the low end of the lineup, the Venue is the brand’s most affordable model in the U.S. It’s the second-most affordable in Canada, as the base Hyundai Elantra sedan undercuts is by only two hundred bucks. At least for now.

This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover competes against the Buick Envista, the Chevrolet Trax, the Kia Soul and the Nissan Kicks in a small, urban-minded model segment that doesn’t offer all-wheel drive. These vehicles have gradually supplanted small passenger cars, being more or less versatile and a higher price range.

Little changes have been made to the 2023 Hyundai Venue. There’s a new fully digital 4.2-inch driver instrument cluster, map lights and rear passenger presence alert, all standard. SE, SEL and Limited trims are available in the U.S. while the Canadian market gets Essential, Preferred and Ultimate. Equipment levels vary from one country to another, but the crossover is available with 15- and 17-inch wheels and a choice of two-tone paint schemes, along with either a black or chrome grille. Interestingly, the Canadian Ultimate variant gets a unique chrome-studded grille that the U.S. market doesn’t—which is one we tested. Subjectively, the Venue looks better with the 17-inch alloy wheels, as the 15-inchers seem lost too small compared to the vehicle’s tall stance.

Other standard or available features include cloth upholstery or Canada-only cloth with leatherette accenting, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a power sunroof, an eight-inch infotainment system touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, manual air conditioning or automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an intelligent key, and more. The U.S. market gets wireless phone charging and navigation that the Canadian market doesn’t get, but one can’t be had with the other. Meanwhile, Canada offers a heated steering wheel that isn’t available in the U.S. market. Standard active safety features include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, driver attention warning and automatic high beams, while blind spot monitoring is optional.

2023 Hyundai Venue

Under the hood, we find a naturally aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder engine matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission, good for 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. Nothing spectacular here, but it’s a powertrain that does its job without much complaint and becomes a little more energetic when we activate the Sport drive mode. The main reason why the 2023 Hyundai Venue is costlier this year in Canada is because the six-speed manual transmission was dropped—which very few buyers likely chose anyhow.

City/highway/combined fuel economy ratings stand at 29/33/31 mpg or 7.9/6.9/7.5 L/100 km. However, during our test, we managed an excellent average of 38 mpg or 6.2 L/100 km, and without much effort. On paper, the Venue is slightly more efficient than the Envista and Trax (30 mpg or 7.9 L/100 km combined) and the Soul (30 mpg or 7.9 L/100 km), a little less than the Kicks (33 mpg or 7.2 L/100 km).

The 2023 Hyundai Venue’s driving dynamics are pretty decent. The steering is light without being overassisted while the suspension soaks up road imperfections well, but as expected in a small budget-minded vehicle, there’s a fair amount of road and suspension noise.

The cabin presents a simplistic, yet modern design, while overall fit and finish is fairly good. Some dash and door panel plastics look and feel low-rent, but for a vehicle of that price, we’ll accept that. However, we’d like a cushier center console armrest. On the other hand, the climate controls are easy to use, as is the infotainment system with its big on-screen button zones, along with a row of hard buttons to quickly access the system’s main features.

As for passenger space, the Venue’s interior dimensions are average in the segment, although shoulder and hip room is slightly down compared to the wider Trax, Envista and Soul. Same goes for cargo space, with a volume of 18.7 or 528 litres with the rear seats in place, and 31.9 cubic feet or 902 litres with the seatbacks folded down. The Trax and Soul’s cargo areas are much more spacious. At least the Venue’s rigid cargo cover can be cleverly stored behind the seatbacks if we have to haul taller objects, but unfortunately, the backside angle of those seats aren’t adjustable.

As mentioned earlier, the 2023 Hyundai Venue starts at $20,985 in the U.S. and at $22,574 in Canada, while range-topping trims cost $24,235 (U.S.) and $26,874 (Canada). The Venue’s base price is the lowest in its segment.

It’s also one of the most affordable new vehicles on the market, while being fuel efficient and fairly well equipped for the asking price. However, it’s not the most spacious vehicle in its segment, its performance won’t send shivers down anyone’s spine and it its cabin could be better insulated to filter out road noise. In a nutshell, it’s a rationally good purchase, but really an emotional one.

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