Hyundai's Smallest CUV Probably Out-MPGs Your Car

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hyundais smallest cuv probably out mpgs your car

The Hyundai Venue, a bottom-rung, A-segment crossover of such a diminutive size that you’d be forgiven for thinking it showed up in the wrong market by accident, has undergone testing by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Stretching one inch less than a Kia Rio hatch when measured stem to stern, the Venue is part of Hyundai’s effort to eliminate white space in its U.S. lineup while providing young car buyers with an attainable place to start climbing the Hyundai product ladder. These buyers, the EPA confirms, will not have to worry about lofty fuel bills.

Offered only as a front-drive runabout (can you hear the Venue’s siren song, urban Millennials?), the Venue’s fuel economy is pretty much what Hyundai engineers predicted when the Venue rolled into this year’s New York Auto Show.

When equipped with a continuously variable automatic (which Hyundai calls an “intelligent variable transmission”), the Venue earns a rating of 30 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined. Outfitted with a six-speed manual (yes, you read that right), MPGs fall to 27 city, 35 highway, and 30 combined. The Venue’s EPA numbers were first noticed by Autoblog.

Overall, the Venue is clearly Hyundai’s answer to the low-priced, FWD-only Nissan Kicks, which landed on the scene last year with a starting price under $18,000. Well-appointed and offering all the tech goodies and niceties a twentysomething iPhone devotee could desire, the Venue draws its motivation from a Smartstream 1.6-liter four-cylinder that’s good for an estimated 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque.

A powerhouse it ain’t, but Hyundai engineers have spend a great deal of time optimizing this mill for greater efficiency. The same goes for the IVT gearbox. In base SE trim, the Venue tips the scales at 2,557 pounds, rising to just over 2,700 lbs in uplevel SEL guise, so there isn’t a massive amount of bulk to haul around.

Indeed, the Venue only suffers in terms of aerodynamics when compared to low-end Hyundai vehicles. Its combined fuel economy is actually 2 mpg higher (when equipped with IVT) than a manual-transmission Elantra, and only 1 mpg less than a stick-shift Accent. While the larger Kicks earns a 33 mpg combined rating, other import subcompact crossovers can’t match the Venue’s thriftiness.

We now know what to expect from the Venue in terms of efficiency, but its pricing remains a mystery. Not for long, though. First-drive reviews are coming out, and details on dollar figures should arrive in advance of the model’s late-2019 on-sale date.

[Images: Hyundai]

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3 of 16 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Sep 30, 2019

    Shrug. The primary reason to get a subcompact CUV is to have a cheap-to-operate car with a SUV image. I don't care about a SUV image, so I don't care about this class. I own a bigger CUV, and the reason I have it instead of a sedan is entirely about interior space, of which you don't get much in the subcompact class.

    • Featherston Featherston on Oct 01, 2019

      The one thing I'll say for the subcompact CUV class is that it manages to combine decent-for-2019 rear headroom with a short overall length. That's a rare combination in the present market. I'd rather sit in the back of a (subcompact) Mazda CX-3 than the (compact) 3, for example. There still are some non-CUVs that buck that trend, though. The Jetta and Golf have nice rear headroom, and (surprisingly) I found the 3 sedan to be acceptable whereas the 3 hatch was not.

  • Vvk Vvk on Sep 30, 2019

    Reminds me of Volvo XC40. I like it.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird The hideaway headlamps on these and other Ford vehicles of the era could have issues mostly vacuum related. Usually the vacuum hoses that ran to the actuators would deteriorate. The “coffee can” reservoir which was mounted in the front header was rarely an issue because it was protected from the elements. The other coffee can reservoir used for the HVAC controls and actuators and mounted under the passenger side wheel well had a tendency to rot away. I once replaced one on my 70 Mustang when I noticed that the vents were acting janky. Later model Fords like Fox bodies used a durable plastic globe shaped one. The radio on these 69-70 full-size Fords mounted on the left side of aircraft style instrument cluster within the drivers touch probably disappointed many young people. “Mom will you change the station?” “Andy Williams is so square”.
  • MichaelBug For me, two issues in particular:1. It can be difficult for me to maintain my lane on a rainy night. Here in southeastern PA, PennDOT's lane markings aren't very reflective. They can be almost impossible to make out when wet.2. Backing out of a parking space in a lot with heavy pedestrian traffic. Oftentimes people will walk right into my blind spot even if I am creeping back with my 4-way flashers blinking. (No backup camera in my '11 Toyota Camry.)Michael B 🙂
  • Tagbert When you publish series like this, could you include links to the previous articles in the series so that we can follow through? Thank you. Edit: now I see a link embedded in the first paragraph that goes to the previous story. It wasn’t clear at first where that link went but now I understand.
  • DungBeetle62 When you're in one of these, you life in a state of constant low-level nervous about 90% of the time. But that other 10% kinda makes up for it.
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