The Hyundai Venue Really Isn’t a Crossover
I don't think "model bloat" applies to the Venue.
We, auto journalists, love to lament the death of the “sedan” body shape, now that crossovers seem to be the de jure choice among vehicle shoppers these days. It sucks, as I generally dislike crossovers. Yet, are all crossovers actually crossing over anything? Hyundai insists the Venue is a “crossover” but I call baloney.
- Car: 2020 Hyundai Venue SE
- Location: Columbus, Ohio
- Photog: me (Kevin Williams)
- Camera: iPhone XR
Before the COVID pandemic was nothing but a twinkle in our collective minds, I found myself bored as hell at a Hyundai dealership in a Southwestern suburb of Columbus, Ohio. I was bored, a little bit sad, and wanting to drive a manual transmission-equipped car that I didn’t own. I didn’t want a crossover, but the Venue’s so low to the ground, it can’t possibly be a crossover.
I parked my old Chevy next to the Venue, just to get a real handle on what size it actually was. Like to like, the Venue is roughly an inch and a half bigger, taller, and longer than my old Chevrolet Sonic hatchback. Hell, even the wheels are dinky — 185/65/R15’s are damn near identical to practically every subcompact hatchback sold in the past decade and a half. Really, the Venue is a boxy Accent with rubberized door sills and wheel arches.
I drove a red manual (RIP) transmission’d version about a day later. This was pre-COVID chip shortage and new car pricing nonsense, this model was listed for a very affordable $17,000ish price. The Venue didn’t feel very much like a crossover, it’s low to the ground. It felt about the same as a friend’s Accent Hatchback — a good thing, to be honest. All Venues came with lane keep assist, Apple CarPlay, and all sorts of goodies for not too much coin.
I thought about it a lot. At the time I was still a rideshare driver, and the Venue would’ve been a great rideshare car. Ultimately, I could barely afford a new car. The next month, COVID lockdowns happened, effectively gutting my ridesharing income. Glad I passed.