WITH such a diverse range of vehicles on sale today, manufacturers are plugging every hole they can to ensure they aren’t left behind. The 2021 Hyundai Venue Elite falls into this category as a small SUV, in a model line-up loaded with them.
It’s a car that you didn’t even realise you needed, but surprisingly, you actually might. The Venue Elite offers a bold and fresh design, reinforced by some signature Hyundai design cues.
Its presentation is unique and striking on the exterior. Distinctive daytime running lights surround the headlamps, and a contrasting two-tone roof shows off the standard across the range roof rails.
It’s available in a choice of seven colours including Intense Blue, Fiery Red, Phantom Black, Polar White, The Denim, Cosmic Grey and Typhoon Silver; as seen on our test vehicle. It’s surprising to us that the colour choice is so limited.
Given such a funky design, that is focused on exploring boundaries and going beyond conventional thinking, we thought Hyundai may have opened up the colour palette to allow some expression and flair, rather than just offering conventional colours.
The interior of the Venue is an exercise in ergonomic attention to detail, simple and thoughtfully laid out to give ample storage space and reduce clutter. Controls are where you want them to be and easy to use.
While we won’t say the quality is lacking; simple, cheap and cheerful is more the theme inside. An 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto provides good visibility of your infotainment needs and also rear-view camera display.
Elsewhere, tasteful colour combinations, combined with coloured accents on the vent surrounds, add a touch of flair. The Venue Elite scores single zone climate control as well as a leather appointed gear selector and steering wheel to add a touch of luxury.
A 60:40 split fold rear seat and 355-litre boot mean the Venue can hold a lot more than you think. We loaded it to the hilt and were surprised at just how capable it is at carrying loads.
Powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 90kW and 151Nm, its power is not earth-shattering, but it’s enough for a city runabout and perfectly adequate for daily life. The engine is a little loud and rough by today’s standards.
Driven by a smooth 6-speed auto transmission, the Venue Elite is equally at home buzzing around town as it is cruising on the freeway. Returning a combined fuel consumption of 7.2-litres/100km from its 45-litre fuel tank, you should see about 652km per tank.
A nice little addition to the Venue’s arsenal of tricks is its Activate Traction Mode dial, not that we recommend going off roading, considering it’s front-wheel drive. It is nice to know though, that you have some sort of back-up should you get stuck in a sticky situation.
Twist the dial to choose from Snow, Mud or Sand modes, which gives more control over engine braking, stability and traction control to maximise wheel slip and momentum to ensure you don’t get stuck when unexpected terrain presents itself.
With the added security of a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, lifetime service plan, roadside support plan and a satellite navigation update plan, you’ll have piece of mind that you’re protected, should you decide to own one.
Competition for the Venue Elite comes in the form of the Mazda CX-3, MG ZS and Suzuki Ignis. Head-to-head, it’s a tough call between the CX-3 and the Venue, split between the funky design and quirkiness of the Venue and the tried and tested reliability of the CX-3.
The 2021 Hyundai Venue Elite is priced from $31,027 drive away, and represents great value for money in the light SUV segment. Simple, cheerful and accessible, the Venue Elite provides a funky twist by adding some character and design features to stand out.
Our test vehicle was provided by Hyundai Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Hyundai Venue Elite, contact your local Hyundai dealer.