Hyundai Venue 2019: First drive review

Hyundai Venue parked on the beach overlooking the water

Tim Nicholson

Posted September 22, 2019

Tim Nicholson takes the new Hyundai Venue for a first drive. 

First impressions:

The Hyundai Venue is an affordable small SUV with a big personality.

Aerial view of the Hyundai Venue parked in a parking lot


Hyundai has introduced a new small SUV, dubbed the Venue, that will take its place as the Korean car-maker’s entry-level offering. The Venue fills the gap left by the Accent light car that will be discontinued by the end of 2019. 

Hyundai is offering the Venue with one powertrain across three model grades – the Go, Active and Elite. A Launch Edition is also being offered but only 100 of these are available. Pricing starts at $19,990 for the manual Go and tops out at $25,490 before on-road costs for the auto Elite. The auto is a $2000 premium for the Go and Active.

The Venue sits under the Kona in Hyundai’s SUV line-up. Except for height, it’s smaller in all dimensions than the Kona. The boxy Venue has a tall-boy design and is 27 millimetres taller than its sibling. It’s similar in size to the Mazda CX-3, although the Mazda is slightly longer. Other rivals for the Venue in the sub-compact SUV class include the Ford EcoSport, Renault Captur, Suzuki Ignis and Nissan Juke.

Given its entry-level status, the Venue’s standard features list in Go guise is somewhat limited. It includes a four-speaker audio system, 15-inch steel wheels, cloth trim and manual air-conditioning, but it also has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto via an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, and a camera-based autonomous emergency braking system as standard. 

The higher-priced Elite gains a lot more equipment, including digital radio and leather-appointed seats, as well as a two-tone roof and contrasting inserts in the bumpers and wheel arches. The Elite also gets the option of denim-themed interior trim. 

Powering all variants is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine delivering 90kW/151Nm. It drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual (Go and Active only) or a six-speed automatic transmission (all variants). As with almost all Hyundai offerings, the Venue has undergone a local engineering tuning program to ensure it is better suited to Australian roads and conditions.


Hyundai Venue driving on dirt road with mountain in the background


Inside, the Venue is more spacious than its dimensions suggest, with acres of head room and more rear leg room than the Kona. The 355-litre boot is also sizeable compared with many rivals, which is due in part to a space-saver spare wheel instead of a full-size spare.

On the road the Venue is a surprising performer. The 1.6-litre engine isn’t the most responsive unit among its competitors, but it’s more than fine for getting around town. It can be revvy and rowdy when accelerating hard to overtake, but Hyundai has done an admirable job of quelling some of that sound through noise-reducing materials in the dash wall and other parts of the cabin.

Being a tall car, the Venue is prone to some body roll through corners and bends, but it is also quite nifty through the twisty stuff. It’s a more dynamically capable vehicle than you’d expect.

Even though Hyundai says it’s not technically a replacement for the Accent, the Venue is a much better car in virtually every area, even if it can’t match the Accent’s bargain-basement pricing.

Keep an eye on News and Lifestyle for a full road test of the Hyundai Venue.


Hyundai Venue


Price as tested: $23,490 to $25,490 plus on-road costs.
Model range: $19,990 to $25,490 plus on-road costs.


1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive. 

Power: 90kW@6300rpm.

Torque: 151Nm@4850rpm.

Tyers: 185/65 R15 (Go and Active), 205/55 R17 (Elite and Launch Edition).


91 RON, 45-litre tank.

Consumption: 7.0L/100km manual and 7.2L/100km auto (government test).

CO2 emissions: 160g/km manual and 165g/km auto. 


Lane-keep assist, forward-collision avoidance assist, driver attention warning, reversing camera, six airbags, cruise control.


Hyundai Auto Link, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 8.0-inch touchscreen display, keyless entry, 3.5-inch TFT instrument cluster, roof rails.


Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing every 12 months/15,000 kilometres.

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