Hyundai Venue vs. Hyundai Kona

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - January 21, 2020

2020 is a big year for Hyundai. The brand is adding their biggest ever vehicle in the Palisade, but they’re also adding a model at the other end of the spectrum: the pint-size Hyundai Venue.

That slots the Venue just under Hyundai’s existing subcompact crossover, the Kona. The Venue will be one of the cheapest new utility vehicles on the market, joining the Kona in appealing to urban buyers who want more than a hatchback.

So, which crossover runabout deserves your hard-earned dollars?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Venue & Kona »

What the Venue Gets Right

The headline feature of the new Hyundai Venue is its price. Starting just over $18,000, the Venue is nearly $3,000 cheaper than a base Kona.

Despite being cheaper, it comes surprisingly close in size. Sure, the Venue is almost 5 inches shorter, but it’s also half an inch taller. It doesn’t skimp on passenger space, with legroom nearly identical to the Kona. In fact, second-row passengers have more headroom in the Venue, thanks to its flat roof.

That roof is part of a boxier look that makes the Venue look more SUV-like than its curvier sibling. The Venue’s wide stance gives it an athletic look, although the grille may be too much bling for some.

Finally, the Venue comes out ahead in the battle for efficiency. While the Kona manages a respectable 30 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA, the Venue’s lightweight body helps it to a maximum of 32 mpg combined.

What the Kona Gets Right

The Kona’s virtues start with its powertrain. While the Venue makes do with a 1.6-liter engine, the Kona gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit making 26 more horsepower and 21 more pound-feet of torque. It’s hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Venue gets only a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.

Perhaps most importantly of all, the Kona is offered with all-wheel drive. The Venue is front-wheel drive only, which may lose it some fans in snow states.

Although the passenger space of the two cars is similar, the Kona puts its extra length to good use in the cargo department. With the seats folded, the Kona can hold 45.8 cubic feet to the Venue’s 31.9.

The Venue may win the efficiency battle, but only as long as it’s a gas-powered race. The Kona comes in an electric version with a range of 258 miles.

Small or Smaller?

Neither of these crossovers take up much space, and both are good value against much of the competition. The key for buyers will likely be utility.

Drivers who need a little extra space (or all-weather confidence) should look to the Kona. Otherwise, the Venue offers a strong bargain in an attractive package.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Venue

Although it stretches the definition of “crossover” and “SUV,” the Hyundai Venue is worth getting excited for. It’s not fast, but it brings much of the Kona’s utility at an even more approachable price. It looks sharp, too.

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Venue »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Kona »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


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