After years of rapid growth, Hyundai sales hit an unexpected speed bump a couple years ago, the automaker failing to anticipate the explosive growth of the utility vehicle market.
As these teaser images suggest, that’s a mistake Hyundai is rapidly aiming to rectify. In little more than a year, the Korean carmaker has radically shaken up its line-up, adding models like the compact Kona, the big Palisade, and even the hydrogen-powered Nexo. Now, however, it’s preparing to add its smallest crossover ever.
Set to debut at the New York International Auto Show next week, the Hyundai Venue will also become the carmaker’s most affordable utility vehicle once it rolls into U.S. showrooms later this year.
(Hyundai debuts new Sonata. Click Here to check it out.)
These teaser renderings offer a hint of what’s coming, though we don’t expect the production Hyundai Venue to be limited to just three doors. The demand is just too limited.
The Venue, we expect, will be one of the smaller CUVs on the market, likely coming in at least six inches shorter than the current Hyundai Kona which, itself, measures just 164 inches nose-to-tail and 71 inches width.
Hyundai opted for a rather funky layout for Kona, including its unusual lighting arrangement. The front lamps are split between three levels, with LED running lights and turn signals mounted immediately below the hood and wrapping into the front fenders. The headlamps frame the big chain mail grille – six-sided, like those on Hyundai’s newest crossover offerings. And fog lamps nestle under the front bumper.
The rendering indicates the Venue will opt for a similar frontal layout.
As for the back end, we also question the accuracy of the renderings, as we’re being shown a Mini Clubman-style barn door design where Hyundai more likely will go with a conventional tailgate with the production version.
(Click Here to check out the Hyundai Kona Electric.)
The interior rendering shows some influence from the Kona, but Venue’s no clone. It has some intriguing new details, including an open storage space above the glovebox, for one thing. It’s difficult to tell if the HVAC system will offer automatic temperature control, but there’s a relatively large touchscreen directly above it that shows it will likely be able to handle Apple CarPlay, at the least.
“Venue symbolizes a trendy, unique style, perfect for Hyundai’s newest, smallest and most affordable SUV. The vehicle embodies the characteristics of ‘the place to be’, en route to the final destination, wherever that may be,” the automaker says in a statement, adding that, “From everyday workplace activities to weekend fun, Venue is a great fit in accommodating busy lifestyles with an abundance of playful and practical features including seamless safety, versatility and connectivity.”
As for the powertrain, that’s a guess for now. It could share the same, 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four found in the base Kona, making 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.
(Click Here to check out two new Kia SUVs, including the subcompact Signature.)
The rendering, if accurate, shows a conventional gearshifter, not the push-button design found on other recent Hyundai SUVs. Rear drive or all-wheel-drive? That’s still a guess, though Venue shares underpinnings with the FWD-only, third-generation Kia Soul that just went into production.
Speaking of Kia, the smaller, sibling brand is readying its own subcompact crossover, showing it off in prototype form at the auto show in Seoul, Korea, a few weeks back. Shown in near-production trim, the Signature Concept will slot under that brand’s current entry-level offering, the Sportage, when it reaches global showrooms later this year.
As for the 2020 Hyundai Venue, look for more details on Wednesday morning, April 17th, from New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.