You will therefore have understood that this Venue is based on the same platform as the Accent, but adopts a stylistic language of its own. Clearly more North American in its utilitarian design, it features a combination of superimposed headlights and indicator lights and trapezoidal diodes to add a touch of originality in the angles. The proportions of the bodywork are still interesting, ensuring a well-built appearance allowed by its length of just over 4 m. Its almost flat hood adds a little bulk and its imposing windows reflect the SUV image on the side. At the rear, we notice a fairly high opening tailgate, supplemented by rather unique square brake lights separated from the reversing lights. Note the two-tone proposals to decorate the bodywork, ensuring a relevant eccentric side in this sea of ​​often undifferentiated vehicles.

The Venue barely hides its “cheap” positioning in the craftsmanship of its cabin. No soft material is in sight, except on the door and central armrests. We nevertheless like the simplicity of the perfectly symmetrical arrangement of the dashboard brightened up by nozzles with colored edges. The physical controls are placed naturally within reach and everything is placed rather low to avoid hindering forward visibility. The driving position is high, again ensuring an SUV feeling. The seats – heated as standard – are of acceptable quality, at most, but provide very decent legroom and headroom in the front. At the rear, the knees will be somewhat suffocated, the result of a wheelbase just 25 mm longer than that of a three-door Mini Cooper.

The enthusiasm – if you can call it that – comes from a slender 1.6L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine boasting a meager 121 hp and a maximum torque of 113 lb-ft. Rather well arranged with the continuously variable transmission, it seems adequate in an urban context. Its poor means become rather annoying on the highway where you have to telegraph each overtaking. The noise level of this small mill is also inversely proportional to its volume as the speed increases. However, it has the merit of limiting its vibrations. In terms of fuel consumption, the estimated average is 7.5 L/100 km, which is quite high for a vehicle only offered with front-wheel drive. The Accent averaged 6.7L/100km with this same powertrain.

This Venue may want to act like an SUV on the front, but it remains a featherweight under its weight at 1200 kg. This lightness is rather apparent and the rather lively reduction steering supports an impression of pleasant agility. That said, its strut suspension at the front and torsion beam at the rear presents a lack of refinement which results in constant body movements, both on the transverse and longitudinal axis. The short wheelbase also doesn’t help with stability at higher speeds and the handling is often buffeted by side winds. In short, this Venue does not transcend its $20,000 bill in terms of road handling and reminds us to what extent compact SUVs are quite a bit more refined than these city crossovers. However, we must accept their upward bill.

The technological aspect comes down to two digital screens, which provide both instrumentation and navigation through the multimedia interface. This is the bare minimum in terms of functionality, while no integrated GPS is in sight, even in the most opulent livery. However, docking with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included as standard, wirelessly. That said, no induction charging is offered, which makes it rather counterintuitive. The sound aspect is provided by a four-speaker system that is rather frail in its rendering and which cannot be improved as an option. In terms of safety, this Venue cannot be equipped with adaptive cruise control, but has standard lane keeping assistance as well as emergency braking assistance.

The Venue is essentially worth its existence because of its low price tag, which starts at $20,900. In this sense, it is important to welcome the initiative which places it among the most affordable vehicles in the country. It is obviously imperfect in its refinement and the deliciousness of its mechanics, but also surprisingly practical for the footprint it occupies while having very acceptable standard equipment. We also cannot ignore Hyundai’s generous warranty, which makes it an attractive alternative to many used vehicles. However, you must show restraint when looking at the options sheet, the more expensive versions are not particularly interesting due to an obvious lack of added value compared to the price. Is it actually better than the Accent it replaced? Not really.