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The SUV segment is growing rapidly, and car shoppers currently have many great options that they can choose from. However, most car shoppers are shopping on a budget, so many will look at cheap SUVs to buy. Unfortunately, the cheapest SUV for the 2023 model year may not be the best option. Here are two reasons you may want to avoid it.

The rise of SUVs

A 2023 Hyundai Venue, which is the cheapest 2023 SUV.
2023 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai Motor Company

Outside of the luxury car segment, most car shoppers are just looking for the best deal they can find. As such, car shoppers tend to want their car to do well in many areas, partly because SUVs have been growing in popularity. Automakers have expanded the number and types of SUVs offered, so drivers have more options than before.

Families can get a third-row SUV, providing them with a great balance of features and the capability to hold a lot of passengers. Car shoppers considering a sedan may also consider buying a subcompact or compact SUV. They tend to be larger than sedans while also being safer. Sometimes, a small SUV may even be cheaper than a sedan. As such, there’s little reason for drivers to buy a sedan when they can buy an SUV instead.

Two reasons why car shoppers should avoid the 2023 Hyundai Venue

According to TrueCar, the cheapest SUV for the 2023 model year is currently the Hyundai Venue, starting at about $21,000. The Venue is cheaper than popular midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry and is barely more expensive than compact sedans like the Toyota Corolla. However, the Hyundai’s affordable price tag does come with two drawbacks.

Although SUV stands for sport utility vehicle, the Venue isn’t that sporty. There’s only one engine option, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that gets 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque. This engine doesn’t provide much power, which means the Venue “lacks the fun-to-drive nature of rivals.” Furthermore, another issue is its utility. 

Hyundai only offers the subcompact SUV with front-wheel drive. This allows it to be more efficient, but many drivers need or want all-wheel drive on their SUV, and that’s not offered at all for the Venue. Overall, drivers who want a sporty SUV or an SUV with all-wheel drive will have to look at other cheap options. 

The 2023 Hyundai Venue is a decent car overall


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Drivers who live in the city or aren’t interested in a sporty SUV that has all-wheel drive can get a lot of value out of the Venue. The 1.6-liter engine is very efficient, as it allows the Hyundai to get 29 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on highways, for 31 mpg combined. Due to the SUV’s small size, it’s also good at parking in tight spaces that are common on city streets. While the Venue is a subcompact crossover, it does have some interior room too.

It can seat five people, and it has 18.7 cu-ft of cargo space without needing to fold any seats. With the rear seats folded, it has a max cargo capacity of 31.9 cu-ft. On top of that, Hyundai gave the small SUV a lot of features. It starts with an 8-inch touchscreen and an infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets standard smart safety features, such as lane-keep assist.