• We configured our ideal version of the 2020 Hyundai Venue, the cheapest crossover on the market.
  • This littlest Hyundai crossover is available in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Denim.
  • The SE model is best for buyers on a budget, but the Denim might be the best value.

    Fun fact: The V in Hyundai Venue stands for value. Okay, not really. But it's plausible, because the Korean automaker's newest and littlest crossover became the most affordable of its kind when pricing was released late last year. With a sticker price that starts at $18,470, the 2020 Venue costs less than all other subcompact crossover SUVs. It also has an array of desirable standard and optional features that make it even more attractive compared with pricier alternatives such as the Ford EcoSport and the Mazda CX-3 that cost several thousand dollars more.

    Unlike the Ford and Mazda, however, the Venue is front-wheel drive only. That means it's more comparable with the Nissan Kicks and Kia Soul, which both also start under $20,000 and don't offer all-wheel drive. We spent some time on the Hyundai consumer site configuring our ideal version of the Venue.

    Model We'd Choose

      The 2020 Venue is available in three distinct trim levels: SE, SEL, and Denim. We'd choose the top Denim trim. We know it may seem contradictory that we just spent that last couple paragraphs bragging about the Venue being the cheapest crossover on the market and then bypassed it for the most expensive model. But, please, hear us out.

      The base SE is a great option for buyers who want a small and stylish SUV on a budget. It shares the same 121-hp 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that powers every model, and it's the only one that comes with the six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional on the base Venue and standard on the other two.

      The only problem is that the SE lacks some of the fancier features that are only available on the SEL and the Denim. The SEL also has better standard equipment than the L-less model. But to get the best options on the SEL, Hyundai requires buyers to purchase both available packages, which cost $2900 combined. That action makes the fully loaded SEL $100 more expensive than the top-of-the-line Denim model. Say what?

      Standout Standard Features

      • White roof with matching exterior accents
      • Leatherette upholstery with heated front seats
      • Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
      • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

        Other than a handful of accessories, the Denim model doesn't have any options or packages. Instead, it comes standard with all the best content, such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 17-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and keyless entry with push-button start. It also gets style points for having the coolest-sounding trim name. While its exclusive white-painted roof means it doesn't come with a sunroof—only the SEL model has that option—the unique aesthetic helps the Denim stand out. It's also the only version with leatherette upholstery and a denim-blue exterior paint color. With a total price of $23,170, our fully loaded 2020 Venue has all the cool tech and creature comforts that shoppers want.