There are certain points in our lives that we have decided that we were willing to accept a little less. Depending on the stage of life we were in, the reasons we decided to make that decision are somewhat different. For example, as young impressionable college kids, many of us decided that eating Top Ramen five times a week for dinner was an acceptable choice, because we didn’t have a lot of money, and the money we did have usually went to things like beer and gas for our cars, to be able to make more beer runs. But when we get older, and theoretically wiser, we start to see things in terms of value. For example, a $35 pair of New Balance sneakers look 90% as good as a pair of $150 Nike sneakers, and do 98% as good a job at whatever their respective sport happens to be, and yet cost about a third of the price. So once our dreams of being in the NBA were dashed by reality, suddenly, we found that sneakers were not as big a part of our lives as originally intended.
This is the same for cars and trucks. Most people think that an adult sized truck is a wildly crazy expense. And most young kids think buying a new car without the help of mommy and daddy is also a bit of a lofty wish. But, with one look at the new 2020 Hyundai Venue, it is clear that a lot of people are about to be pleasantly surprised.
Let’s be clear, the Venue isn’t a Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5. It doesn’t pretend to be, and surely won’t be mistaken for either of them. But with a wheelbase of 99.2 inches, an overall length of 159 inches, width of 69.7 inches and height of 61.6 inches, this overachiever comes within spitting distance of the exact measurements of an X1. Aside from that, this front wheel drive, five passenger, very sporty looking truck puts the ‘utilitarian’ in SUV (close enough). Starting with a tiny 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 that produces a modest 121-horsepower and underwhelming 113 lb-ft of torque, the Venue doesn’t impress on paper. That power gets funneled through a continuously variable automatic transmission and then sends power to (only) the front wheels. No AWD or 4WD setup here — those things cost money, and price savings is at a premium with an entry level SUV.
But even though the Venue has an unconscionably low base price of only $18,500 — lower than even the new and frugal Hyundai Kona, the Venue offers up quite a bit. Safety features like forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, rear parking sensors and camera, all offer up a safe environment. The navigation system and 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen can be utilized with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The interior is nothing lavish, but certainly more than serviceable — especially for younger buyers whose other choice at this price point might have been a 1995 Chevy Caprice.
That diminutive motor is more economy than fun, but with only 2,750 pounds to move around (thanks to minimum drivetrain stuff like the aforementioned AWD), the Venue moves from 0-60 mph in just about 9.7 seconds, and from 0-100 mph in 17.5 seconds (if you are so brave, or foolish), and has a top speed of 115 mph. But, this Hyundai’s best performance comes at the pump, where it posts an impressive 30/35/32 city/highway/combined MPG. Not bad for a truck you can pack the family in for less than twenty grand.
So, whether you’re a broke, part-time job working college coed, or a savvy elder statesman of shopping value, whatever your reasons for wanting or deciding to take a little less when it comes to your new truck, the Hyundai Venue might just show you that sometimes a little less can actually feel like a lot more.