2020 Hyundai Venue Elite

November 7, 2020

Hyundai’s compact SUV is becoming more and more common on our roads. Let’s find out if you should join the herd.

Elite. It’s a word the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as meaning “the best of a class”.

If true, that’s a bold claim for Hyundai to affix to the top-spec variant of its small SUV, the Venue. After all, the small-SUV class isn’t exactly lacking in competition.

So, the key question is: Should you consider the Venue above all the other small SUVs? And, if so, is the Elite variant truly the sweet spot in the range?

The 2020 Hyundai Venue Elite we’ve welcomed into the CarAdvice garage for a long-term loan is resplendent in its shade of Fiery Red paint, serving as the sassy younger sister to Hyundai’s popular Kona small SUV.

The Venue, however, is less of an SUV in the traditional sense – particularly given none of its variants are equipped with all-wheel drive – and should be considered more of a tall hatchback.

The front-wheel-drive Elite scores the same 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine available across the range, with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Those shopping for a manual won’t find it on the Elite – only the Active and Go grades offer a stick option.

The engine isn’t noteworthy on paper – producing an understated 90kW and 151Nm at most – but remember this isn’t a large car, measuring just over 4m long, 1.7m wide and almost 1.6m tall (with roof rails), with a minimum kerb weight of 1165kg.

Thus, it’s arguable the power-to-weight ratio (77kW/tonne) actually makes a bit more sense when you’re behind the wheel (and when you consider this is a born-and-bred city car meant for city commutes and not country touring and towing).

As the trophy child of the Venue range, the Elite is priced from $25,990 before on-road costs – $5800 more than the entry-level Go manual variant, which kicks off from $20,190 before on-road costs.

For the extra $1859 separating the Elite from the next grade down, the Active auto, you’ll score a two-tone roof (snappy!), rear privacy glass (shady!), satellite navigation with live traffic updates (handy!), LED rear combination lights (fancy!) and digital radio (entertaining!).

You’ll also add a touch more safety equipment in the form of a rear cross-traffic alert and a blind-spot collision warning – plus an extra USB port for charging, single-zone climate control, keyless entry and start (though our particular car is a slightly older version with a key-in ignition), and slightly more exciting interior and exterior trim options.

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