The Korean automaker Hyundai entered the sub-4-metre compact SUV segment in India with its Venue in 2019. When it was launched, it was India’s first fully connected SUV and also featured a ‘clutchless manual’ gearbox, called iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission). Due to its versatility and connected features, Venue won many accolades including the ‘Car of the Year’ and within a year of launch, Hyundai sold over 1 lakh units of Venue. Now Venue contributes around 40% of all Hyundai sales in India. To keep the momentum going Hyundai has brought in its first facelift of the Venue. According to the carmaker, the 2022 Venue gets lots of segment-first features and new technologies.
While looking at the car Hyundai has retained all the bold character that is required for an SUV. While looking at the front design of the new Venue, the large cascading chrome-lined grille is now replaced with the dark chrome grille with its multiple layered cells on the front which looks similar to other Hyundai SUVs. The bumper also gets a refreshed design too and the Venue now gets fully LED projector headlights and a faux skid plate.
The side profile looks similar with a solid and full volume wheel arch and strong character line. The change to the sides is the redesigned alloy wheels and the ORVMs get welcome and auto-folding functions along with the puddle lamps underneath. The rear end features a more squarish tailgate and redesigned LED tail lamps with a connecting light bar. Tail-lamp clusters get a complete change. From a boxy, rectangular design, they are now staggered across layers. The rear bumper has also gone for a complete make-over with new rectangular black inserts, sleeker reversing lights, reflectors and a restyled skid plate. With these exterior changes, the new Venue now looks more young and sporty than the first-gen, especially the elegant rear design.
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While looking at the interiors, the changes are not seen as evident compared to the exteriors. But there is a host of updates like the ‘greige’ theme – a combination of beige and grey which is carried everywhere including the seats and door pads. The steering wheel of the new Venue has been borrowed from the Creta and it also gets a segment-first four-way adjustable electric seat for the driver. The rear seat comforts have been improved as the seats come with a two-step recline for the backrest and to have extra leg room the rear of the front seats are scooped out.
The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system looks the same, but the Bluelink technology has been updated to its latest generation, which has a unique sound of nature mode. The new Venue also comes with 60+ connected car features in 10 different regional languages. It also gets remote “home-to-car” features using Amazon Alexa and Google connectivity. Hyundai has also provided you with a Type-C USB port along with a redesigned wireless charging pad, while a Type-A USB port and 12V power outlet have been retained. The new Venue now comes with ambient lighting on the inside to accentuate the interiors of the Venue.
In terms of the powertrain, the new Venue gets the same set of three engines and transmissions from the previous generation. The 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated MPFi petrol engine which produces 83 bhp of power and 114 Nm of torque is mated to the 5-speed MT, and a 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol motor producing 120 bhp and 172 Nm torque comes with 6-speed iMT and a 7-speed DCT, as well as a 1.5-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine that produces 100 PS power and 240 Nm torque coupled with 6-speed MT.
The driving position is superb, as is the outside visibility, thanks to the high seating position. There is no change in the engine mapping and the 1.0-litre petrol is a nicely balanced idle, with hardly any of the rocking motion that is characteristic of a three-cylinder unit. In fact, this all-aluminium engine with balancer shafts is smooth and free-revving and doesn’t feel like a three-pot mill, except for a faint thrum at high revs. The 6-speed manual has a delightfully light and short throw, which eggs you on to rev the socks off this motor.
The second-gen 7-speed DCT is quick to respond, relatively jerk-free and works well with the engine. The inclusion of paddle shifters in the DCT allows drivers to take manual control over the transmission. The DCT now comes in three drive modes – Eco is the most frugal, Sport is the most fun and Normal is the mid-setting. There is no change in the driving dynamics and overall feedback of the 2022 Venue. It feels the same as before, with it offering decent steering feedback, which helps manoeuvre the Venue in tight spaces quite easily.
Like the powertrain, there are no changes in the suspension setup. The Venue’s suspension is tuned to be on the stiffer side, at low speeds, the Venue feels quite stiff-kneed and thuds through ruts and potholes, but not in a jarring sort of way. The high-profile 215/60 R16 tyres do their bit in cushioning the shocks.
Hyundai is known to load its cars with maximum features, and the Venue isn’t an exception. It’s attractive on the outside, beautifully built on the inside, festooned with tech and features, and delivers a very impressive all-round performance. It rides well, the petrol-automatic drives nicely, and then the connected car tech just makes it quite unique.