Hyundai Venue was launched Downunder in 2019 and late in 2020 it received a modest facelift as well as some added equipment. Three variants are offered: the first simply called Venue (it was previous tagged as Venue Go) Active and Elite.

Our test vehicle was the improved Elite, which received a sunroof as part of the recent upgrade.

Venue’s is just over four metres long, making it one of the shortest of all vehicles on sale here, be they hatchbacks or sedans. Its extra height over the hatches gives it more interior space, but it’s still pretty compact – see our notes in the Interior and Driving sections of this report on this matter.

The front has a large vertical grille flanked by small stacked headlights. To give it an SUV look it has wide wheel arches, character lines, side cladding and roof rails.

Venue Elite adds further character with a two-tone roof and matching mirrors caps.

All models are powered by a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine. Peak outputs of 90 kW and 151 Nm come in at high rpm levels, 6300 and 4850 respectively. The automatic have a Sport mode in addition to Eco and Normal settings.

The two lower-specced models have the option of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, the Elite is automatic only. To date there hasn’t been a big take-up on the manuals as these transmissions are fast becoming a thing of the past in all but sportscars.

The interior has a centrally-mounted touchscreen that fits neatly into the stylish dashboard. The controls are easy to locate and are in logical places.

Venue’s almost flat roofline provides good space for all but very tall occupants. However, it’s a short vehicle means if the front seats are set well back there’s very little kneeroom in the rear.

Even with the rear seats in place there’s a useful 355 litres of cargo space.

Hyundai’s SmartSense suite includes driver attention warning; autonomous emergency braking; lane keeping assist; high beam assist and tyre pressure monitoring

The mid-spec Active adds LED daytime running lights and rear parking sensors while the Elite also gets blind spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning.

Standard across the Venue range are front, side, thorax and curtain airbags; electronic stability program and IsoFix child seat restraint anchors.

There’s a four-speaker audio system in the Venue with two extra speakers in all other grades.

Standard in all models are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

Venue comes standard with the Hyundai Auto Link system which pairs with a smartphone app to allow remote access to variety of features.

These include monitoring the driving habits of different drivers including their trip distance and travel time split between business and private if needed; acceleration / braking tendencies; vehicle health check; emergency assist and service alerts.

Entry is relatively easy because of the extra height. The seats are comfortable and support well.

Engine performance is better than you might expect given the high revs needed to get to its peak figures. But it responds well and is fine for day-to-day city and suburban running.

Its small size means it’s quite agile around town. It cruises comfortably in motorway conditions. There’s some tyre noise on recently laid concrete surfaces and a bit of bump-thump on expansion joints on bridges. These are about average for this price and size class.

Feel through the steering wheel is pretty good and it’s weighted the way we like it. Handling has had some Australian engineering input. it’s neutral unless you push it too hard in which case tyre scrub will wash off speed. It’s no sports hatch but it’s amongst the best in its class for driving pleasure.

There is no all-wheel drive option Venue, however those with an automatic transmission feature a Traction Mode system with Snow, Mud and Sand settings to tailor its way of tackling slippery surfaces.

We didn’t test the Traction Mode system and we suggest that if you’re considering this sort of driving you should request a Hyundai dealer to take it onto the sort of surfaces you may be driving on. Perhaps with a Snatch-Um strap or tow truck on standby just in case…

Fuel consumption is listed at 7.0 litres per 100 km with the manual gearbox and 7.2 L/100 km from the auto. During our test in the Active auto, we averaged 8.1.

Hyundai Venue is a stylish little hatch / SUV that’s well priced, easy to live with and we feel it deserves its place on your cars to be test driven.


Venue: $20,690 (manual), $22,710 (automatic)
Active: $22,620 (manual), $24,640 (automatic)
Elite: $26,490 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Hyundai Venue Elite 1.6-litre five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.591 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 90 kW @ 6300 rpm
Maximum Torque: 151 Nm @ 4850 rpm
Fuel Type: RON91
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.2 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 165 g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic

Length: 4040 mm
Wheelbase: 2520 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Height: 1592 mm
Turning Circle: 10.2 metres
Kerb Mass: 1165 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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