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Levi's Gremlin Reborn? The 2024 Hyundai Venue Limited

2024 Hyundai Venue front 3/4 view

Okay, so about that headline.

See, once upon a time, about 50 years ago, there was a car company called AMC (no relation to the movie theater chain that exists now). It had a small hatchback called the Gremlin. And from 1973 to 1978, you could get a special model---the Levi's Gremlin.

2024 Hyundai Venue rear 3/4 view

Today, Hyundai has a small hatchback called the Venue---and this exterior shade of blue...

2024 Hyundai Venue seat cushion

...and this interior...are both called "Denim".

No rivets, no tags (no licensing fees to Levi Strauss & Co.)---just "denim".

This is the fourth model year you can get a Hyundai Venue Denim...but it's the first one I've had the opportunity to write about. And as I went looking for "but the Gremlin..." facts to set the Levi's Gremlin and the Venue Denim apart, I found fewer than I expected.

The Gremlin was 161.3 inches long. The Venue is 159. The Gremlin was 70.6 inches wide. The Venue is 69.7. The Gremlin's wheelbase was 96 inches. The Venue's is 99.

2024 Hyundai Venue hood up

2024 Hyundai Venue engine

The good news is that the 2024 Hyundai Venue is a vastly better automobile than the 1973-78 AMC Gremlin. Under the hood it's a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. There are all kinds of numbers on the internet saying it takes this car between 9.5 and 10 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour from a standing start. Nope. I did it in 8.6.

While 121 horsepower is not fire-breathing, the Venue's level of performance is more than adequate for getting up to legal freeway speeds---or even a faster flow of traffic---on an on-ramp. It handles a decent-sized grade on Highway 50 east of Folsom without breathing hard. I would caution about passing on an uphill stretch of two-lane highway, but I'd caution you about that in any vehicle. Speed doesn't fix risky, it makes risky worse.

A major payoff for your patience in getting to 60 is the EPA-estimated 31 mpg combined city/highway. Transmission is an IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission), and the venue has hill-start assist control, selectable drive modes including a snow mode, and four-wheel disc brakes.

2024 Hyundai Venue rear hatch open

2024 Hyundai Venue rear cargo area

The box-on wheels shape of the venue pays off in interior room---for cargo, there's 18.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 31.9 cubic feet if you fold those seats down.

2024 Hyundai Venue rear seat

Headroom for all five people on board is generous, and rear seat legroom is par for this size class at 34.3 inches.

2024 Hyundai Venue front seats

2024 Hyundai Venue front seat detail

2024 Hyundai Venue instrument panel

All that headroom translates to a lot of glass and great visibility in all directions. The interior is nicely designed, with good fit and finish.

Destination charges keep even the base Venue (the SE) from coming in under $20,000---but the surprise is that the loaded Venue (the Limited---our tester) is $24,385 including destination. The Denim package (two-tone Denim with white roof exterior and Denim exterior) doesn't cost extra---it's just one of five color choices.

You also get a decent suite of active safety features, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, LED projector headlights, LED taillights, roof side rails, a six-speaker touchscreen

audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and a 90-day trial of SiriusXM Satellite Radio, wireless device charging, navigation, proximity key with pushutton start, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, front and rear USB ports, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

2024 Hyundai Venue steering wheel and instrument display

2024 Hyundai Venue center console

2024 Hyundai Venue center stack

The only extra-cost option on our test vehicle was carpeted floor mats for $210, which means the as-tested price of the 2024 Hyundai Venue Limited came in under $25,000---at $24,595.

2024 Hyundai Venue front view

2024 Hyundai Venue side view

2024 Hyundai Venue rear view

The next time someone tells you there are no good cars for a reasonable price anymore, show them this review. The Venue is a great buy and a great choice.


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