Powering this small crossover is a small engine, a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-four that produces 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. The engine pairs with a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic and drives the front wheels — all-wheel drive is not available, a situation that's not uncommon among baby 'utes.
Straight lines and simple forms give the Venue a utilitarian air despite its puny size. The matte finish on the rocker panels bumps up onto the lower part of the doors, and roof rails will come standard on the up-level SEL trim. Models equipped with a sunroof will get a contrast roof color in black or white depending on the body color. Speaking of body color, the Venue choices will extend beyond the typical black, white, silver, and gray to include Scarlet Red, Intense Blue, and Green Apple.
Inside, the design is honest and unpretentious. A freestanding 8-inch touchscreen is standard, and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Factory navigation is available and comes with a three-year subscription to real-time traffic info. Below the touchscreen, volume and tuning knobs bracket a row of physical buttons. Two big HVAC knobs flank a circular climate-control display. The available automatic transmission uses a traditional mechanical shift lever. The base SE will come standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and a driver-attention monitor. The SEL adds blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but the Venue will go on sale in November. Being smaller and less powerful than the Kona, we expect it will start below the Kona's $21,035 base price. We also had a chance to drive a prototype of the Venue, so be sure to check out our first drive review.