A Mixed Bag of Materials
As the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim’s name suggests, its exterior and interior are covered in Hyundai’s Denim blue color. Inside, Hyundai uses blue faux leather and plastic throughout the interior. The genuine leather-wrapped steering wheel also gets the Denim treatment. Contrasting tan plastic makes the space look even more like a yacht club, for better or worse.
As good as the Hyundai Venue Denim looks, cheap-feeling hard plastic is noticeable. The elbow rests, which aren’t even padded on the SE and SEL trims, are covered with an ultra-thin layer of padding that doesn’t do much for comfort. The center armrest, also blue, offers a bit more support during longer drives.
The rear seat gets the same armrest treatment. Rear passengers must make do with mediocre leg room, but the adult passengers that rode in the rear during our time with the Venue Denim for short drives didn’t complain about being cramped. However, we expect the space will ultimately feel cramped during longer journeys.
Expect the inside of the Venue Denim to get pretty loud, especially over rough surfaces or on the highway. One of our photographers remarked that he experienced “pretty bad wind noise from the Venue’s blocky shape on the highway, and the engine noise is harsh.” The hatch can accommodate a decent amount of gear, though, provided you use your best Tetris skills.
Tech Integration and User Friendliness
As the top-spec Version of the Hyundai Venue, the Denim gets a larger-than-standard 8.0-inch display. There’s no ledge underneath on which to rest your fingers while you attempt to touch the screen, but you can rest your hand atop the infotainment unit and thumb your way around the menus. This is particularly useful when navigating the standard Apple CarPlay or Android Auto systems.
Otherwise, most of the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim’s other controls are placed logically; the HVAC controls’ three-pod design is the one exception we noted during our tenure with the Venue. The leftmost pod is the temperature-control dial, while the one on the right controls fan speed. The center circle doesn’t actually rotate; it simply displays the temperature. We reached for this not-a-knob time after time, and it frustrated us.
Interior Review: Verdict
With compelling competitors in the compact crossover SUV segment such as the Kia Soul, the 2021 Hyundai Venue Denim offers a stylish cabin for less. The base Venue starts at just $18,470, but this full-content model carries an MSRP of $23,390 after including the $155 floor mats. Although we aren’t fans of the swaths of mediocre plastic bits, the Hyundai Venue Denim’s interior stands out as an overwhelmingly attractive and well-assembled environment for quickish journeys around town. However, due to the barely padded armrests, those looking for a comfy long-haul cockpit might want to look elsewhere.