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Hyundai Venue SEL: 'Urban Compact SUV'

HYUNDAI VENUE SEL IS A GREAT VALUE WITH PLENTY OF ROOM + TECHNOLOGY

Article by Grady McGill

Photography by Grady McGill + Hyundai Motor Company

Especially in these unsettled times, value is more important than ever, and that’s why Hyundai should be at the top of any list when shopping for a new car. The brand is well-known for its quality, reliability and value, and after a week with the Hyundai Venue SEL, we can vouch for its reputation.

The Venue is a subcompact crossover with a lot going for it—especially when you consider that it starts at $18,750 for the SE, $19,800 for the SEL and $22,050 for the Denim trim. Even if you choose a few add-ons, the price point is amazing. We drove the SEL, and with the Convenience Package for $1,1500 (power sunroof, leather wrapped steering wheel and blind-spot collision warning) and the Premium Package (heated front seats, LED taillight and proximity key) for $1,750, the final price was $23,280.

Hyundai calls the Venue an “urban compact SUV,” and we’ll go along with that. It is perfect as a second car for driving around town or as a first car. We took it on a trip to the coast and found it provided a comfortable ride with the technology that made us more confident in the drive. We loved the lane-keeping assist and driver attention warning that kept us aware of cars coming into the blind spot. The 121 horsepower stood up well on the highways and the bumpy beach back roads.

We also loved the fuel economy with up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway and a combined 32 miles per gallon highway/city. The annual fuel cost is about $1,250, and we made our trip for under $35!

Unlike many cars in this price range, the Venue has a clear 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SEL and Denim models have built-in navigation with real-time traffic updates.

Of course, no matter the price, if the ride is uncomfortable with everyone’s knees up to their chin, it’s not a good value. Fortunately, there is plenty of room in this four-door, five-passenger hatchback. Front passengers have 39.4 cubic inches or head room with 41.3 inches of leg room. The second row also fares well with 38.6 inches of head room and 34.3 inches of leg room. There was plenty of space for groceries and suitcases as well.

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