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Home » 2022 Hyundai Venue Review: Inexpensive Cool

2022 Hyundai Venue Review: Inexpensive Cool

As SUVs fill out different price points across the market, you’ll find surprising amounts of variety. From rugged and capable to city-friendly and agile, automakers have something for everyone. Hyundai’s utility vehicle lineup spans the full spectrum and at the entry point, you’ll find a little SUV sporting a colorful personality: the Venue. Serving as the gateway to the brand’s range, it effectively replaces the Accent hatchback. Is this bubbly crossover worthy of your attention? I spent some time in a 2022 Hyundai Venue to find out.

2022 Hyundai Venue: Same Design Language, New Twist

Hyundai does a fantastic job distinguishing its vehicles while retaining their family look and it’s most evident in their SUVs. The Venue, for example, dons the tiered headlights and hexagonal “cascading” grille but the layout and patterns distinguish it from its larger siblings. As a result, it stands out yet remains recognizable as a Hyundai. Its youthful looks continue with square taillights sporting a Z-shaped pattern and a tall, upright greenhouse. You can even get a two-tone dark blue and white exterior in the Limited trim, the combo formerly known as the Denim Edition.

Cleverly Packaged Style

The Venue makes good use of the available space it possesses. Although you have belts for five, keep it to four passengers for maximum comfort due to the car’s narrowness. The cargo area, while small, offers good levels of usability since the upright cabin allows you to stack items high, especially with the two-level floor removed. However, folding the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks requires you to place the cargo floor in its highest position to get a flat surface. Otherwise, you get a ridge due to the seatbacks being higher up.

Hyundai did a good job ensuring the Venue’s interior looks interesting. From the simple yet modern dash design to useful touches like the built-in tray on the dash, it’s far from basic. The Denim exterior color amplifies this with two-tone dark blue and gray leatherette upholstery with white contrast stitching. It also includes unique cloth inserts textured like jeans or a denim jacket. Unfortunately, you get excessive amounts of hard plastic everywhere including areas you touch frequently. Road, tire, and wind noise also permeate the interior, especially on the highway.

Tech for the Masses

Every Venue gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. As in other Hyundai vehicles, this interface features snappy responses, clean graphics, and minimal submenus. That means you won’t need to open the owner’s manual to learn how to use it because of its simplicity. The six-speaker audio system provides an acceptable listening experience but it won’t wow you like the upgraded units in more expensive Hyundai vehicles.

Most trims get plenty of driver assistance features including lane-keeping, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and front automatic emergency braking. Moving up to at least the SEL grade adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and cyclist detection. Adaptive cruise control isn’t available on any version. Like its larger siblings, these features work well and do a great job keeping you safe. Lane-keeping, for example, gently re-centers you when you start to drift. Activating the steering assist component allows it to help you navigate gentle curves on the highway.

2022 Hyundai Venue: City Friendly Road Manners

The Venue’s tidy dimensions make it perfect for city driving. It’s easy to park and squeeze through tight spaces because of its size and agile handling. Light, quick steering also helps the car remain maneuverable. However, the short wheelbase comes with some downsides, namely body control. Due to its upright greenhouse, the Venue feels tipsy through turns and leans a lot from one side to the other. Narrow tires only amplify this, adding to the car’s top-heavy road manners.

Sadly, the Venue’s size also affects the ride, especially with its slightly stiff suspension. While it remains comfortable on smooth surfaces, ruts and expansion joints feel pronounced while big bumps and potholes cause the car to tiptoe. Thankfully, you get a little bit of cushioning from the tires with thick sidewalls.

Fortunately, the powertrain gives the Venue a little pep. Under the hood, you’ll find a 1.6-liter four-cylinder coupled exclusively to a CVT automatic. While 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque isn’t much, remember that the Venue only weighs 2,738 pounds at its heaviest. That means the car moves around without struggling and doesn’t get winded when you point it up a hill or during passing and merging. Credit goes to the transmission as it smoothly changes ratios and keeps the engine in its sweet spot. Put your foot down on the accelerator and the CVT responds immediately. However, the engine gets a little noisy if you rev it out.

Between its light curb weight and well-calibrated powertrain, the Venue is quite efficient. EPA-rated at 29/33/30 mpg city/highway/combined, it sips fuel. Add a decently-sized 11.9-gallon gas tank and you have a subcompact SUV with roughly 369 miles of range. During my week, I averaged roughly 32 mpg in mixed driving, not bad at all!

Value and Design

With a starting price of $20,295, plus a long list of standard equipment and a long warranty, the Venue blends attainability with attractive style. Even fully loaded, the crossover costs around $23,700, making it a great deal and a good alternative to used vehicles. Together with its efficiency, safety features, and distinctive looks, the Venue is an attractive proposition. The lack of AWD may turn off buyers in regions that experience four seasons but if you don’t live in those areas, this little guy presents a good argument. While not flawless, the Venue checks enough boxes, especially if you’re looking for something city-friendly with a little bit of utility.

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