Subcompact SUVs can provide the best of both worlds, with the “size, price, and fuel economy” of a small car combined with the “cargo flexibility, elevated seating position, and available all-wheel drive” of an SUV. Kelley Blue Book recently described subcompact SUVs this way in its ranking of the top 14 options. Hyundai did well in the rankings, with its two smallest SUVs both featuring near the top of the list.
The 2020 Hyundai Kona and the 2020 Hyundai Venue tied for fourth on the list with a score of 4.5. While these two may not get as much notice as the top three listed – the Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, and Subaru Crosstrek – they are both worthy options for buyers.
A size comparison
Both seat five, but the Venue is the smaller of the two SUVs, coming in 4.9 inches shorter in length. The Kona is 164 inches long, while the Venue measures up at 159.1 inches long. The Venue does have almost as much storage space as the Kona, though, with 18.7 cubic feet behind the rear seat as compared to the Kona’s 19.2 cubic feet. With the rear seats down, the difference is more noticeable. The Venue has 31.9 cubic feet while the Kona has 45.8 cubic feet.
The 2020 Venue has a smaller price as well, and according to Kelley Blue Book, the 2020 Venue is the least expensive new SUV that’s currently available in the U.S. It starts at $17,350, though the automatic transmission adds $1,200 to that price. The 2020 Kona has a starting price of $20,300.
While both SUVs are rated for the same fuel efficiency of 30 MPG, the Hyundai Kona has a more powerful engine than the Venue. The Venue features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 121 hp. The Venue’s base trim comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission but has an available automatic, while the two higher trims have a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The SE, SEL, and SEL Plus trims of the Kona have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 147 hp. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Higher trims of the Kona, the Limited and Ultimate, have a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, generating 175 hp. This engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on the Kona but not on the Venue. In addition to the two gas engines, there is an electric version for the Kona (in certain states) but not for the Venue.
Hyundai’s in-vehicle technology
Most trims of the 2020 Hyundai Kona have a smaller screen than the Venue does, but the Kona offers more tech features. Both come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Kona has a 7-inch touchscreen, except for the top, Ultimate, trim, which has an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation. The Venue’s three trim levels all have an 8-inch touchscreen. Navigation is optional on the SEL and standard on the Denim trim.
A head-up display is standard in the Kona’s Ultimate trim. Other features available on the Kona but not the Venue include smart cruise control, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, wireless device charging, eight-way power driver seat, and leather seats.
The standard safety features are similar for the 2020 Kona and Venue, but the Kona has more available safety options. Standard on the Venue are automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and driver attention warning. Optional safety features include blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
All Kona trims include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning. Optional safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic collision warning, and parking distance warning.
The Kona has slightly better crash test ratings from the NHTSA, earning an overall score of five stars out of five as compared to the Venue’s four stars. The Venue isn’t yet rated by the IIHS, but the Kona earned a 2020 Top Safety Pick designation.
The Kona was previously awarded Kelley Blue Book’s Subcompact SUV Best Buy of 2019. Kelley Blue Book recognized it for its “practicality, efficiency, value, fun nature, and excellent warranty.” The Hyundai Kona has been around since the 2018 model year, but the Hyundai Venue is a brand-new model for 2020. Both are great options for buyers considering a small SUV.