2020 Hyundai Venue is Canada's Cheapest Crossover

Hyundai today revealed a $17,099 starting price for its forthcoming Venue subcompact crossover, making it the South Korean brand's most affordable CUV, and the least-expensive utility vehicle in Canada.

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is the brand's sixth distinct crossover model, slotting in below the also recently added compact Kona and bookending the range with the near-full-size Palisade.

That entry tag applies to the Essential trim with a six-speed manual transmission (an increasing rarity in the small crossover segment), which includes basic niceties like keyless entry, power windows and heated side mirrors, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, air conditioning, and heated front seats.

The Venue's $17,099 starting price undercuts the similarly sized Nissan Kicks by about $1,200, but Nissan's smallest utility is standard with an automatic transmission. The Venue's Essential automatic (IVT) model is about $100 more than the Kicks, at $18,399.

The Venue's motivation comes from a 1.6L Smartstream four-cylinder engine making 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque.

Hyundai's next-largest Kona starts at $21,200, while Toyota's C-HR comes in at $23,650. The Venue, Kicks and C-HR are similar in that they only offer front-wheel drive.

Another notable thing about the Venue's entry price is that it undercuts the brand's Accent car by about $750 when Accent is optioned to Preferred trim with its similar list of convenience features.

Hyundai predicts the Preferred trim will be Venue's volume seller, at $21,499 and equipped with alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel, passive keyless entry, remote engine start, and Hyundai's full suite of active safety assists. The company thinks 90 per cent of Venue models sold in Canada will be fitted with this package.

The Trend trim ($22,599) adds larger wheels, a stereo with six speakers (instead of four), an extra USB port, and a sunroof, but drops all advanced safety features save for blind spot and rear cross traffic monitoring. An optional Trend Urban package adds LED headlights and daytime running lights, an a number of cosmetic dress-ups, but deletes the sunroof.

Finally, Ultimate builds on the Trend package, adding back Preferred's full safety suite and Trend Urban's LED lighting, and bringing the BlueLink communications system, navigation, automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, and a black and chrome grille treatment.

The Hyundai Venue arrives in Canadian showrooms this week.

Cheap and cheerful 12/2/2019 6:35:59 PM