Hyundai Venue vs. Nissan Kicks

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

Nissan may have been ahead of the game with the Nissan Kicks, but Hyundai is joining the subcompact crossover fray with the all-new Venue. The two are now front-runners in a niche but growing segment.

They share much in common. Both use 1.6-liter engines with practically identical power outputs, come in front-wheel drive only, and look like hatchbacks that sprouted a few inches.

Which fun-size crossover comes out on top? We took a closer look to find out.

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

What the Venue Gets Right

Hyundai is known for pricing models aggressively, and the Venue is no exception. Starting at $18,345, the Venue starts $1,620 cheaper than a base-level Kicks. Hyundai sweetens the deal with an excellent basic warranty period that Nissan can’t match.

Part of that price difference comes from the transmission. Both cars can use a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the Venue starts with a six-speed manual. Old-school drivers will appreciate the option, which helps to keep costs low.

The Venue is the smaller vehicle, but it puts an emphasis on passenger space. In fact, second-row passengers will find more headroom and legroom in the Hyundai.

Perhaps the Venue’s biggest advantage is its newness. Hyundai put a lot of effort into the technology department, and the Venue comes with a spacious 8-inch infotainment touchscreen (against the Kicks’s 7-inch unit). The Venue comes out ahead on safety, too, with standard lane-keeping assist and driver attention monitors.

What the Kicks Gets Right

The Nissan Kicks' best edge is its size. It's more than 10 inches longer than the Hyundai, and it puts most of it toward cargo space. The Kicks can hold 25.3 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row, while the Venue manages just 18.7.

Despite its size, the Kicks squeaks out a victory in the efficiency department as well. The EPA estimates that the Nissan will do up to 33 miles per gallon combined, against 32 mpg combined for the Venue (30 mpg with a manual transmission).

Speaking of transmissions, the standard CVT in the Kicks is a convenience many drivers will be glad for. Once the $1,200 premium for the Venue’s CVT is factored in, the price difference between the two vehicles shrinks considerably.

Flavor of the Week

As Americans continue to flock to small crossovers, new variants proliferate like rabbits. The Nissan Kicks and the Hyundai Venue are two of the newest and smallest, and both bring most of the virtues urban shoppers will look for: efficiency, tech-friendliness, and enough utility to get by.

But it’s the Venue that has the edge here. In a budget-minded segment, value is the name of the game, and the Venue’s standard safety tech makes its low price all the sweeter.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Venue

The Hyundai Venue joins the market in 2020 with the Nissan Kicks squarely in its crosshairs. From where we’re standing, it has the skills to finish the job. Both cars are competent micro-crossovers, but Hyundai’s warranty, value, tech, and packaging make the Venue hard to pass by.

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Venue »

Take a closer look at the Nissan Kicks »

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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