With the new Venue, Hyundai presents consumers with an intriguing choice. The Venue is ideal for people who want the versatility and size that an SUV offers without all of the added bulk. As a compact SUV, the 2021 Hyundai Venue can be thought of as a smart choice that falls between a sedan and a full-size SUV.
The Venue only came out in 2020, so people are still learning about it. It's the smallest SUV in Hyundai's collection, and it's exactly what some consumers are looking for. In 2020, Hyundai gave customers the choice of having an automatic or manual transmission. That choice has been taken away for this model year, as the Venue now only comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission. At the same time, Hyundai swapped out steel wheels for alloy ones in its base model, and the SEL has been upgraded with some driver-assist technology and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
There are only three trims available with the 2021 Hyundai Venue. Some people may want more trims to consider, but in reality, the existing trims offer a nice range of amenities. The SE is the most affordable of the bunch, coming it at under $20,000. Getting a new car for that amount is pretty hard to do these days, so the SE should be able to attract a lot of attention.
For a modest price jump, a customer can get the SEL. It's priced right below $21,000, so the increased cost really isn't that significant. The SEL does come with some more premium components, and it's a reasonable choice for customers who don't want to be stuck with the most basic version of the Venue. Finally, the Denim is the highest trim available. It has a distinct appearance, which will be detailed below, and it still has a very competitive starting price of $23,225.
What's missing from the lineup are trims that have leather seats and other premium elements like advanced stereo systems and wireless charging. Hyundai has shown that it knows what it's doing, and it is strategically marketing the Venue towards a certain type of buyer. The company has made a bet that the Venue will be able to appeal to practical consumers who value safety, technology, and comfort. Given Hyundai's recent success with a number of models, it's likely that the Venue will do well in its niche.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Venue SE vs SEL Trim Levels. What is the difference?
These trims run on the same type of engine. (The other Venue trim does as well.) The engine is a 1.6-liter version that has four cylinders. It can generate 121 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque, and it comes with front-wheel drive. For a number of reasons, front-wheel drive can be the more economical choice if a vehicle isn't expected to drive in rugged terrain and particularly slippery conditions.
Hyundai has paired the engine with Intelligent Variable Transmission. This is essentially an automatic transmission that drivers don't really ever have to think about. Transitions are smooth, and the Venue does a fine job at accelerating.
Fuel economy is a strength in this model. The Venue can achieve an estimated 30/33 (city/highway) miles per gallon. These numbers are higher than those of many competitors, and this means that the Venue is affordable in terms of up front costs as well as in long-term fuel expenses.
When looking at these trims from the outside, some observant people may notice that the SE has different wheels than the SEL has. The SE rides on 15-inch wheels, and these wheels are bumped up to 17-inch ones in the SEL. To some, this can be a somewhat major upgrade.
Both trims have projector headlights, though the SEL can be upgraded with projector LED headlights. More upscale lighting that's available in the SEL are LED daytime running lights and LED taillights. The side mirrors on both trims are painted the same color as the vehicle, and they are power-adjustable. In front, the grille on the SE is black, and it's chrome on the SEL.
The SEL is the only trim out of the three that can be enhanced with a power sunroof. This sunroof is power-operated and can be slid open or tilted open to bring fresh air into the cabin. Standard on the SEL are roof rails in case anyone needs to secure gear to the top of the vehicle.
Speaking of cargo, the dimensions of the Venue should be mentioned. When the rear seats are in their upright positions, there's 18.7 cubic feet of storage space in the back. The seats can be folded down to expand cargo capacity to 31.9. Note that the Venue isn't the most spacious of SUVs since back-seat passengers only have 34.3 inches of leg room. In the front, though, there's no issue with space, as there is 41.3 inches of leg room up there.
Inside the cabin of the SE and SEL, there are cloth seats, manually adjustable seats in the front, and rear benches that are split with a 60/40 configuration. Heated front seats are commonly found in the industry, and they are available in only the SEL.
Technology is one of the main reasons that so many people invest in Hyundais. The Venue, even with its low pricing, comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The SEL can be upgraded with navigation and SiriusXM Radio. While there's one USB charging port in the SE, there are two in the SEL. In addition, both trims have Bluetooth and systems that can understand some voice commands.
In the SEL, passengers can enjoy listening to music broadcast from six different speakers. In the SE, there are four. The specific components that Hyundai added to the SEL are two tweeters to round out the sound.
Some other advanced features seen in the SEL but not the SE are an automatic climate control system, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There is the option to enhance the SEL with a Proximity Key and push-button start.
When looking at the safety package in the 2021 Hyundai Venue, people are likely to be impressed. The SE has a number of standard driver-assist systems in place. These include warnings that will alert drivers if they're veering out of a lane, approaching a vehicle or pedestrian too quickly, or losing their focus. In some situations, such as when a driver is about to hit the car in front, the Venue can take action. In this scenario, the Venue could hit the brakes to hopefully avoid an accident or at least lessen the impact.
Two other elements that are built into the Venue, starting at the SEL level, are blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic collision warning. These features are very helpful since it's not possible to see everywhere at once.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Venue SEL vs Denim Trim. What is the difference?
From a mechanical standpoint, the Denim is no different than the SEL. It has the same engine, same transmission, and even the same wheels that are found in the SEL. Both trims sit about 6.7 inches off the ground, and they have the general size and shape that works for a lot of people. Also, the safety packages in the SEL and Denim are identical to each other. These trims can act as an extra pair of eyes while drivers are on the roads, and this can give people greater peace of mind.
All of that information is great, but it makes people wonder what makes the Denim so special. Well, the answer lies in the details. It's the little things in the Denim that make it feel unique.
First of all, the Denim has an exclusive design in regards to its seating. It features denim cloth and leatherette seats that look fun and upscale at the same time. Heated front seats are standard at this level, and this is sure to be appreciated by anyone who doesn't enjoy sitting out in the cold.
On the Denim, there's an eight-inch touchscreen just like what's included in the other models. However, the Denim comes standard with navigation and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. These two components are highly sought after. Integrated navigation can take a lot of the stress out of finding new places, and SiriusXM gives people dozens of channels to choose from.
Further, the Denim has a Proximity Key. With this type of smart key system, the Venue knows when the driver is nearby since it can sense the presence of the Proximity Key. If the driver is ready to start moving, the engine can be started with the push of a button.
On the exterior of the Denim, there are a few extra elements that people are sure to notice. The most obvious thing is that the Denim is painted a denim color. This color is exclusive to the trim. The roof of the Denim is a bright white to provide some nice contrast. The side mirrors are also painted the same shade of white, and as a bonus, they have a heating element built into them.
LED taillights and LED daytime running lights are standard in the Denim. These types of lights shine brightly and are easy to spot by others. LEDs are also known to be more efficient than their traditional counterparts. This means that using them puts less of a burden on a vehicle's electrical system.
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Which Trim to Choose?
These three trims are fairly close together in terms of pricing. The SE costs an estimated $18,750, the SEL is priced at $19,800, and the Denim tops off the list with a cost of $22,050. Many prospective buyers will be very happy to learn about how much the Venue costs, especially when they see how expensive other crossovers and compact SUVs can be.
Hyundai has stuck to a formula in recent years. It's been committed to incorporating high-tech components into its budget-friendly models, making things convenient and safer for its customers. The Venue fits perfectly into this mold. It has the advanced driver-assist technologies that many people are looking for, and it has standard smartphone compatibility.
If someone shopping for a new vehicle doesn't have extremely high expectations for interior amenities, the SE would be fine. It doesn't drive any differently than the other trims, and it has exactly what people need to stay safe and comfortable.
The SEL definitely has some advantages to it. It has a nicer set of speakers, an automatic climate system, roof rails, and two USB ports. Plus, it has blind spot monitoring and can be upgraded with heated seats.
Though the SEL and the SE would make a lot of people satisfied, the Denim is the trim that's most recommended. That's because it does have the extras that brings the Venue to the next level. For instance, it has heated front seats, a two-tone look, and a stylish interior. It also has navigation and SiriusXM.
• Compare the 2020 Hyundai Venue Trim Levels