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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a new small SUV from the Korean automaker.

Let's get this observation out of the way: Green Apple is never going to be my favorite car color.

Now, if you have an actual person in your family who goes by Granny Smith, I would strongly suggest that you buy her this apple green SUV immediately, just for the giggles.

In all other respects, Hyundai's new Venue SUV — the smallest in its six crossover fleet — is a high-value, low-cost model. It's surprisingly roomy inside, despite its compact dimensions which compare to the Nissan Kicks. The Venue slots under the larger Hyundai Kona.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2020 Hyundai Venue

* Exterior color: Green Apple

* Interior color: Black

* Engine: 1.6-liter, four-cylinder

* Horsepower: 121

* Transmission: CVT

* Fuel economy: 30 mpg city, 34 mpg highway

* Local Dealer: Long Hyundai, Mountain View Hyundai

* Price: $18,470-$23,170

Oh, and did we mention that besides Green Apple it also comes in white, black, silver, gray and denim blue? The Denim version is the most expensive, and features a contrasting white roof and special leatherette and denim upholstery.

Late this week, Long Hyundai on International Drive in Chattanooga had eight Venues listed in digital inventory and Mountain View Hyundai in Ringgold had three.

Our tester was provided by Hyundai for a one-week, Chattanooga test drive.

 

WHAT IS IT?

The Hyundai Venue is a compact SUV that seats five. It features front-wheel-drive — there's no all-wheel-drive option available. The Venue is essentially a raised hatchback with lots of cladding and a prominent grille. All models have a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine making 121 horsepower.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The lowest trim level, the SE, is said to be one of the least expensive SUVs in America, starting at $18,470. A mid-trim SEL goes for $20,370. The top-of-the-line Denim model rings up at $23,170.

 

WHAT WE LIKED

Some of the Venue's biggest selling points are in the small print. For example, the Venue carries Hyundai's strong power-train warranty, which stretches for 10-years or 100,000-miles. The Venue also comes with 36 months of complimentary, regular maintenance. We also loved the roomy interior and the large, simple gauges and switches. Forward visibility is excellent.

 

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

The rocker-panel cladding on the bottom of the doors seems a bit overdone and the wheel design is busy.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

The small, four-cylinder engine is OK for commuting, but passing on two-lane highways is iffy. The cabin is comfortable with materials that are surprisingly upscale for the class.

 

BOTTOM LINE

The Venue is an inexpensive small crossover that doesn't feel cheap.

In the market for a new vehicle? To access hundreds of Mark Kennedy's Chattanooga Test Drive columns, click here.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy / The 2020 Hyundai Venue features front-wheel-drive.
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