The year 2020 has been called a lot of names, but for travelgirls, it’s the “Year of the Road Trip”. And, just like any trip, comfort getting to your destination is part of the fun, so a good car is a must.
Now, we’re not saying that every road trip needs to be in a luxury vehicle; in fact, it doesn’t. That’s why we chose the Hyundai Venue SEL for a recent weekend trip to Amelia Island. The Venue is a perfect car for a road trip because it’s comfortable, has plenty of technology and is not a gas guzzler. In fact, it gets around 34 miles per gallon on the highway; 30 in the city for a combined 32 combined miles per hour. It has a highway range of around 360 miles per gallon so, theoretically, we could go from Atlanta to Amelia on one tank of gas with five miles to spare. Of course we didn’t, but still our entire gas bill was under $35!
The front wheel drive, five-passenger, four door hatchback has a 121-horsepower four cylinder engine which provided enough pep on the highway to easily go 70 miles an hour. We felt quite confident driving down I-95 and competing with super-sized trucks. Passing wasn’t a problem either. It’s compact size (159.1 inches in length, 69.7 in width) also makes it perfect for zipping around town and getting into cramped parking spaces.
Comfort is a big part of a road trip and while, again, the Venue, doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a luxury car (or it’s price), there is plenty of room in this midsize SUV. The total passenger volume is 91.9 cubic feet and there is 41.3 inches of legroom in the front. Backseat passengers have enough room to stretch their legs as well with 38.6 cubic inches of space. There was plenty of cargo space. With the back seats up, we were able to fit four overnight bags easily. For those who prefer statistics, there is 19 cubic feet of cargo room with the back seats up; 42 cubic feet with the 60.40 split-folding rear seats. Again, plenty of room.
The seat cushions are comfortable and our knees didn’t suffer too much from the trip. We appreciated the technology with rearview camera, lane keeping assist and the much-needed driver attention warning. Whenever a car in the left lane entered the dreaded blind side space a loud noise would warn us and keep us in our lane. It wasn’t an obnoxious sound, but it wasn’t gentle, either. It was, as the saying goes, just right. Like all Hyundais, it also comes with forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, standard driver-attention monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
We also appreciated the very user-friendly 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The SEL and the Denim models come with built-in navigation with real-time traffic updates that was easy to use and kept us on the right road.
The Hyundai Venue starts at $18,750; our model was the second trim level, the SEL, which starts at $19,800. We had a few added features, such as the convenience package and premium package, which brought the price up to a still-attractive $23,280.