Hyundai came late to the crossover party, but it's rapidly packing its U.S. lineup with as many utilities as it can dream up. Having launched the big, cushy, three-row Palisade, the brand is now balancing its utility offerings with the subcompact Venue for shoppers on tighter budgets.
Like Nissan with the Kicks and Ford with the EcoSport, Hyundai is headed to the heart of the economy segment with what it sees as a stylish alternative that should draw first-time buyers who traditionally have purchased used vehicles or entry-level sedans and hatchbacks that have fallen out of favor in the U.S.
"It was designed with a unique customer segment in mind," said Brian Smith, COO of Hyundai Motor America, during the Venue's world debut at the New York auto show. "In this case, young adults just beginning their careers and shopping for their first vehicle." Increasingly, those buyers live in tightly packed cities and want a size-appropriate vehicle, he said.