Trucks & SUVs

2020 Hyundai Venue vs Nissan Kicks: A Battle of Subcompact SUVs

Americans love SUVs, and SUVs come in all shapes and sizes to meet the needs of any and everyone. There are big SUVs with third-row seating such as the Hyundai Palisade, as well as smaller SUVs intended for city driving like the Nissan Rogue. In the subcompact SUV category though, there’s the Hyundai Venue and the Nissan Kicks. Here’s a look at these two very small SUVs.

The Nissan Kicks

As Edmunds said in its review of the Kicks, the Kicks is such a small SUV that Edmunds doesn’t even want to call it an SUV. Features that are commonly found in SUVs, such as all-wheel drive, aren’t an option on the Kicks, though in fairness, all-wheel drive isn’t available on the Venue, either. Regardless, both SUVs are large enough to seat five people.

That said, the Kicks’ size is also the cause of a lot of its issues, according to Edmunds. Edmunds says that the Kicks is so small that its interior is just not very roomy or comfortable. But, funny enough, Edmunds does say that the Kicks’ 25.3 cu. ft. of cargo space without folding its seats is one of the largest cargo capacities in its class. If you fold the Kicks’ seats down, it gets about 53.1 cu. ft. of cargo space.

Edmunds also says that the Kicks has a lot of smart features, especially for a car at its price point. In fact, despite being a small SUV, the Kicks has a surround-view parking camera system, which Edmunds says was “overkill.” The Kicks also comes with a lot of smart safety features, which include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors.

And, while the Kicks doesn’t perform well in speed tests, its small size gives it a great fuel economy of 31 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on highways. The Kicks starts at about $19,000 and can cost up to $21,000.

The Hyundai Venue

In short, many of the Kicks’ issues can also be found in the Venue. They’re both very small SUVs, so naturally, neither automakers gave them a powerful engine. The Venue’s engine is also pretty sluggish, according to Edmunds, but at least it’s also very fuel-efficient too. Edmunds says that the Venue can get 27 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on highways.

In terms of safety, the Venue is very similar to the Kicks. It’s a Hyundai, so Hyundai gave the Venue a lot of smart safety features. The Venue has forward collision warning, a pedestrian detection system, and Hyundai’s driver drowsiness monitoring system.

But, in terms of cargo space, the Venue does have less than the Kicks does. Edmunds says that the Venue has 18.7 cu. ft. of cargo room without folding its seats. If you fold its seats, the Venue gets about 32 cu. ft. of cargo room.

But the area where the Venue is significantly better than the Kicks is in the interior. As Edmunds says, not only is the Venue’s interior actually comfortable and roomy, but the Venue does come with an 8-inch touch screen that has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The Kicks has a 7-inch touch screen, but it isn’t compatible with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

The Venue can be cheaper than the Kicks, too. Edmunds says that it starts at $17,000 and can cost up to $22,000.

Which subcompact SUV is better?

Because of how small both cars are, you may want to see if you and your family can comfortably sit in either one, first. If you can, then the Hyundai Venue is generally better for everyday driving. It’s more comfortable than the Nissan Kicks is, after all. That said, the Kicks is clearly better if you need to carry a lot of stuff around as it does have a great cargo capacity