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Bear in mind Tart ‘n’ Tinys? Scarfed by the handful, they got here in a wide range of vibrant colours and punched effectively above their weight in taste. The brand new 2020 Hyundai Venue jogs my memory of these candies — small, colourful and surprisingly vibrant and enjoyable. In contrast to that traditional confectionery, although, an extended drive in Australia has satisfied me that this new small crossover SUV is definitely surprisingly healthful, too.

How tiny? Effectively, the brand new 2020 Hyundai Venue shares numerous its unseen bits with the for much longer Accent subcompact sedan, however at 159 inches total, it is 5 inches shorter total than the favored Kona (itself one of many smallest autos available on the market). The truth is, by my measurements, when the Venue arrives, it’s going to develop into the tiniest SUV on our market — shorter than presumed competitors just like the Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport, Kia Soul and Nissan Kicks.

I say “presumed” as a result of most of these fashions line up extra clearly size- and price-wise in opposition to the Venue’s Kona huge brother. I additionally say that as a result of given its front-wheel-only configuration, the Venue may safely be seen as extra of a tall hatchback than a utility car (in a lot the identical means the Soul and Kicks’s genres are debated). Lastly, the Venue is prone to be considerably cheaper than almost all of these autos. 

Proactively, Hyundai is doing what it could possibly to clear up any potential confusion by eliminating the five-door Accent from US showrooms, clearing a little bit of psychological flooring house. That is in all probability sensible, because the Venue is poised to be barely dearer than the departing hatchback.

What lies beneath

In order that’s Venue’s dimension, however what about its substance? Hyundai has not but launched full US specs and pricing for the US mannequin, however the automaker did fill in some necessary blanks forward of our early media drive on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. (After its residence market of Korea, Ouncess sellers are subsequent in line to start out getting the Venue. US sellers will not get the mannequin till December, so it was simpler to ship us to the Venue than the Venue to us.)

The Venue is powered by a 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder additionally discovered within the Accent, paired to both a six-speed guide (base SE solely) or a repeatedly variable transmission. Our Australia-spec testers truly got here with properly tuned typical six-speed torque-converter-equipped automatics, however Hyundai says US fashions will get a CVT for max effectivity. 

Venue spans simply 159 inches, making it almost 14 inches shorter than Hyundai’s Accent sedan.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Both means, the Smartstream G inline-four will generate 121 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 113 pound-feet of torque at four,500 rpm. These aren’t significantly spectacular numbers, however they’re inside a pony and a pound-foot of the Nissan Kicks, a surprisingly entertaining-to-drive car.

So far as gasoline effectivity goes, Hyundai is simply saying it is projecting a score of 32 miles per gallon on the mixed metropolis/freeway cycles. That is a tick beneath the aforementioned Kicks, however higher than the lackluster Trax and EcoSport. It is value noting that the Venue’s under-the-skin twin Accent does considerably higher: as much as 36 mpg mixed. As these two K2 platform-mates share comparable weights (roughly 2,500 to 2,700 kilos), that effectivity gulf seemingly comes right down to elements like gearing and the Venue’s boxier, much less aerodynamic profile. Such is the worth of SUV trend and utility.

Feisty design

Talking of trend, the 2020 Hyundai Venue’s look will not be for everybody, however that is by design. The mannequin’s stubby dimensions, substantial hexagonal grille and glowering split-element lighting give the nostril a much more pugnacious stance and angle than one would anticipate for one thing of this dimension. The Venue is over two inches shorter than a Honda Match, however its upright, blacked-out greenhouse (out there with contrasting roof colours) and robust shoulder line lend the general design modernity and sudden athleticism. 

It is exhausting to make such small dimensions look rugged or imposing, however to my eyes, the Venue is extra profitable at this than rivals. In up-level SEL spec like this Unique Inexperienced mannequin, the Venue additionally manages to look barely extra premium due to sensible floor texturing on its bumpers and chunky 17-inch alloy wheels.

Sadly, the Venue’s novel lenticular-lensed taillamps seen right here will not make it to the US market. We’ll nonetheless get the interior “Z” detailing, however the twinkling, virtually holographic interior impact of those lights is outwardly at odds with the buzzkills in Washington.

Like all current Hyundai SUVs, Venue’s daytime working lamps act as eyebrows for the principle headlights.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Enjoyable to drive?

A vibrant, distinctive look is one factor, however with none underlying substance, this little crossover utility could be a tricky promote. Fortuitously, the 2020 Venue is filled with virtues. That begins with the best way this Hyundai drives, which is concurrently extra enjoyable and extra mature than you’d anticipate. These descriptors might sound contradictory, however they’re actually not. 

No less than with the Aussie-spec six-speed computerized, efficiency is snappy off the road whether or not you are in Sport mode or not. It isn’t fast, thoughts — that is nonetheless an entry-level economic system automotive at coronary heart — however it’s loads highly effective each for city stop-and-go working and freeway merging. Carpet the accelerator and the Venue’s four-cylinder soundtrack is neither partaking nor grating.

Noise, vibration and harshness are surprisingly effectively managed in all features. Hyundai’s engineers have utilized acoustic countermeasures in all places, together with sound-deadening materials within the ordinary dashboard and door places, in addition to foam blocks within the A-pillars, rear fenders and body rails. 

A 1.6-liter I4 giving 121 hp is the Venue’s solely engine providing.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

It really works. Australia’s street community is over 50% gravel, and to their credit score, Hyundai’s route planners did not draw back from the tough stuff. Cheap vehicles can sound like low-cost tin cans when stones pop and ricochet in regards to the wheel wells and underbody, however the Venue stays surprisingly muted inside.

Equally, this Korea-built SUV is well-behaved on the free stuff. Steering is appropriately weighted and correct (significantly welcome for these not used to driving on the opposite facet of the street), and the suspension does its half to encourage confidence, too. The entrance McPherson strut, rear torsion beam setup is easy however efficient, providing predictable, degree cornering and good influence isolation. With an ultra-short 99.2-inch wheelbase (Three.2 inches briefer than the Kona), the Vue unsurprisingly is not resistant to a smidge of trip choppiness on undulating surfaces, however it’s higher than most. 

Observe: My tester’s dealing with was truly extra entertaining than anticipated, even when flung down the difficult, slender roads that wind over and round Queensland’s Glass Home Mountains. That is due partly to my mannequin being fitted with 205/55 17-inch Nexen summer time tires. Evidently, summers are a not-uncommon fitment in temperate Australia, even on cheap crossovers. US-bound mannequin will likely be fitted with (presumably less-grippy) all-seasons and have barely completely different shock tuning.

All Venues pack a segment-best Eight-inch touchscreen, plus customary Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Stable cabin

The Venue’s scrappy, fun-to-drive temperament is a vital advantage, however not almost as mission vital as a well-done inside. Hyundai has a superb observe report for creating funky, livable and high-value cabins as of late, and the Venue would not err from that system. There’s loads of elbow, head and legroom — this can be a car that does not really feel in the slightest degree claustrophobic up entrance. The rear seats supply sufficient headroom, however these with longer legs will wish to hold journeys shorter, and there is no heart armrest on the 60/40 split-folding seatbacks to help in consolation. Nonetheless, it is livable again there for shorter journeys.

Sure, you will discover exhausting plastics virtually solely all through the cabin, however they’re effectively textured they usually handle to not look low-cost. For an SUV prone to begin within the neighborhood of $17,000, there’s not a lot to object to relating to materials selections and match and end. in truth, there is a good quantity to like right here, too, with trendily patterned materials together with lime trim and stitching highlights to maintain issues youthful. 

Abroad markets will get extra coloration and trim selections inside and outside than the US — blame American shoppers’ tendencies to purchase off the lot as a substitute of inserting particular orders.

An adjustable flooring yields a deeper cargo maintain, however it’s nonetheless tight.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Cargo room is listed at a good 18.7 cubic toes with the rear seatbacks up, increasing to only 31.9 with them folded. Down almost 14 cubes on its Kona sibling, most cargo room is the realm the place the Venue’s tiny footprint turns into most obvious. A dual-level rear load flooring and a intelligent storage slot for the rear parcel shelf make the very best of an in any other case tight scenario.

It isn’t simply modern inside, there’s good substance, too. For starters, all Venues obtain an unusually giant Eight-inch touchscreen audio system. Navigation, Bluelink telematics and Sirius XM satellite tv for pc radio will likely be non-compulsory, however with customary Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, there’s virtually no want. A four-speaker audio system is customary, and a six-speaker setup is offered. Neither setup is prone to pique price range audiophiles’ pursuits the best way the Nissan Kicks’ out there Bose system does, however they’re straightforward to make use of and get the job accomplished.

Elective options embrace an influence sunroof, heated facet mirrors and seats, and computerized local weather management.  

Apparently, Hyundai is wanting past apparent cross-shops just like the aforementioned Kicks in addition to pricier fashions just like the Mazda CX-Three and Toyota C-HR and searching squarely at used vehicles. Based on the automaker, final 12 months, of the tens of millions of people that shopped for a brand new automotive, about one-third of them settled on a secondhand mannequin. With this mannequin poised to be so cheap, Hyundai views the Venue as a prepared different to the used-car market.

For my cash, past a full guarantee, one of many key causes to stretch to a new-vehicle buy over a used one — particularly with mother and father searching for their children — is the quickly mushrooming availability of superior driver help methods (ADAS). Options like ahead collision avoidance help, lane hold help and a driver consideration monitor have been unavailable on most fashions only a few years in the past, however they’re customary on the Venue. On larger SEL trims, a blind-spot monitor and rear-cross-traffic alert are non-compulsory, as are LED headlamps. Adaptive cruise management is unavailable.

Mighty small, but additionally small and mighty.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

The variables

Regardless of its diminutive dimensions, the 2020 Hyundai Venue makes a formidable first impression, each aesthetically and dynamically. Till Roadshow can get its mitts on a US-spec instance and take a gander at our pricing, nonetheless, it will not be clear simply how fascinating a mannequin that is, nor how good a price. Hyundai is clearly playing by going this small and providing one thing so shut in dimension and spirit to its already-successful Kona. Nonetheless, if Hyundai can put sufficient pricing daylight between the 2, the Venue may not simply be a smash hit in ready, it might be within the vanguard of a brand new class of smaller, extra reasonably priced SUVs. 

With all that in thoughts, perhaps the Venue is not a lot like yesterday’s Tart ‘n’ Tinys, as they’re one other, way more ubiquitous deal with: Bitter Patch Youngsters.

Editors’ notice: Journey prices associated to this function have been lined by the producer. That is widespread within the auto trade, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists. Whereas Roadshow accepts multiday car loans from producers in an effort to present scored editorial critiques, all scored car critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial staff are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material. 

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