It’s raining compact SUVs and the first to break cover this month is the Hyundai Venue. This vehicle plays a very important role for the Korean company as it accounts for 42 per cent of its SUV sales. The compact SUV class has been expanding at the expense of hatchbacks and according to Hyundai one of the reasons for this is that 38 per cent of the first-time buyers are opting for the Venue. We drive the 2022 facelift avatar and find out whether it is more than just a nip and tuck job.
The 2022 Venue sports Hyundai’s new design ethos which is seen in its flagship SUV, the Palisade, and will be seen in the soon-to-be-launched new Tucson and the facelift Creta. The new front fascia is all black with chrome studs which complements its squarish design, making it more butch along with the skid plates. It retains the split headlamp design, but now the LED DRLs are sleeker and blend with the front grille.
The side profile, on the other hand, remains more or less the same apart from the new 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. Hyundai has updated the rear with the LED taillights running across the boot, making the SUV look bigger than it is.
Customisation options are also available as Hyundai has introduced 47 accessories based on three packs — the Basic pack, the Advance pack and the Supreme pack.
Refreshed cabin with segment-first features
Hyundai has spruced up the interiors with a new dual-tone colour combination. The Venue is focused on comfort and comes with segment-first features like a four-way adjustable electric driver seat with a manual height adjuster. The rear gets a two-step reclining seat for a more relaxed journey. Hyundai has added a human aspect feature to help reduce stress with six ambient natural and soothing sounds like sea waves, rainfall, fireplace and much more.
The Venue continues to sport 8-inch infotainment, but the UI now supports ten regional languages and two international, including English and Korean. This is a first in the segment. Apart from that, it gets an in-built navigation system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, over 60 connectivity options via BlueLink and 65 embedded voice commands, which easily recognize the Indian accent. Thanks to Bluelink, one can also receive live sports and weather updates and sync your calendar so that you don’t miss an appointment or forget to wish someone on their birthday.
Another feather in the cap for the new Venue is the Home to Car feature that lets you switch on the AC in the SUV or get information like the fuel level, and the tyre pressure via Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Assistant in the comfort of your home. Both recognise voice commands in English and Hindi.
Based on the feedback from customers and looking at the trends in this segment, Hyundai has added some additional equipment like paddle shifters, a digital instrument cluster and three driving modes. The colour combination of the driver’s console’s display changes based on the drive mode.
The Venue isn’t the longest or the widest in the segment. To ensure the interior space isn’t compromised, Hyundai has scooped the back of the front seats, so that the rear passengers get enough knee and legroom. Three adults sitting in the back can be a bit of a squeeze. The front seats are big and supportive, but it’s the rear bench that deserves a special mention as it offers tremendous under-thigh support, making it one of the best in its class.
Catering to all
The Venue continues to offer the three powertrains — the 82bhp 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol, 99bhp 1.5-litre diesel and the 1-litre turbo petrol that has an output of 118bhp. We got behind the wheel of the turbo petrol with the 7-speed dual-clutch (DCT) gearbox. According to Hyundai, they have worked on the DCT and we will tell you what they have improved. The compact capacity of the turbo petrol can be quite deceptive as it offers plenty of power due to the electronics smartly crafted by Hyundai which irons out turbo lag. This is the reason why the power is available as low as 1,500rpm and once the turbo kicks over 2,000rpm, the Venue flies past the three-digit mark without batting an eyelid. Once it goes beyond 5,000 rpm, the engine noise starts creeping inside the cabin.
The 7-speed DCT continues to respond to throttle input quickly and changes gears in a jiffy. Previously, the transition from one gear to another especially at slow speeds wasn’t the most refined and would feel slightly clunky. We are happy to say those are things of the past as the updated version is extremely refined.
To make the driving experience more involving, the Venue now comes with steering-mounted paddle shifts and three driving modes — Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco remains ideal for a city commute and combating rush hour traffic as the vehicle sips on the fuel judiciously. Normal mode manages to offer both a respectable fuel economy along with adequate performance. Sport, as expected, is quick on throttle response and holds the rev meter for a bit longer to get the most out of the engine.
The Venue turbo petrol variant returned an average of just below 15 kmpl after we drove it in both city and highway conditions in predominantly sport mode.
To be or not to be
Packed with new features and upgrades, Hyundai has priced the Venue competitively with the 1.2 NA starting from Rs 7.35 lakh while the diesel and turbo petrol from Rs 10 lakh. The DCT trim is available from Rs 10.96 lakh onwards. The 2022 Venue is certainly more than just a cosmetic upgrade as it now comes with three driving modes, paddle shifters, electrically adjustable driver’s seat and bucket loads of safety features like six airbags, ESC, VSM and hill-assist control etc. The new Venue also now offers peace of mind with 3 years unlimited kilometres warranty and 3 years of Bluelink subscription. According to Hyundai, the Venue has the lowest cost of maintenance.
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