The 2022 Hyundai Venue is a small, inexpensive crossover with a high riding position, a spacious cargo area, and good fuel-economy ratings.
This year, the Venue sees a few small shifts in its lineup. The Denim trim level has been renamed Limited, while a power sunroof is now standard fare on the mid-level SEL version. Starting just a hair over $20,000, the Venue makes a lot of financial sense even in base SE trim.
All Venue models make use of a 1.6-liter inline-4 teamed with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. The Venue may sit up high like an SUV, but it is not available with a four- or all-wheel-drive system.
Fuel economy is a big selling point: look for 29 mpg city, 33 highway, 31 combined, according to EPA estimates. The Venue uses regular unleaded fuel.
Another win: Hyundai’s 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is at least a year if not two years longer than what’s offered by most competitors.
Standard automatic emergency braking means the Venue will do its best to avoid a collision. The NHTSA rates it at four stars overall, while the IIHS grants the Limited trim level a Top Safety Pick award thanks to its “Acceptable”-rated headlights. Other versions have headlights rated by the IIHS as “Marginal.” Available safety tech includes blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Starting just over $20,000, the Venue SE doesn’t want for features. Its standard equipment list includes 15-inch wheels, Bluetooth, cruise control, cloth upholstery, power features, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
SEL versions cost $21,875 to start, and they add niceties such as automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, and a power sunroof.
The range-topping Venue Limited runs $23,375 and it adds heated front seats, keyless start, and an upgraded infotainment system with built-in navigation. Roof rails are optional to help expand the Venue’s utility.
An upright profile with more angles than curves gives the Venue a decidedly SUV look, even if its modest ground clearance and front-wheel drive-only configuration mean it is best used as a city slicker.
The tall greenhouse that affords good outward vision adds to its semi-rugged look.
At the rear, the Venue features boxy taillights flanking broad badging. Available two-tone paint schemes can dress up the Venue for an extra cost, though even the standard color palette includes plenty of bright options for drivers wanting to stand out of the crowd even more.
The standard 15-inch steel wheels give way to 17-inch alloy wheels on SEL and higher trim levels.
The Venue has a comparatively understated cabin, but that isn’t to say Hyundai forgot about details. Fun, playful textures and upholsteries elevate it from compact car norms. Limited versions pair synthetic leather with denim trim for an especially intriguing look.
From a practical standpoint, controls are arranged well. The 8.0-inch touchscreen sprouting from the dash has a bright display, and it sits below convenient switches. Climate knobs are situated down the center stack above a deep well with integrated USB ports.
The spacious cabin offers good room up front, especially given its trim exterior dimensions. Rear-seat riders have about 34 inches of leg room and 39 inches of head room, figures more akin to a larger SUV.
The cargo area serves up about 19 cubic feet of space with the rear seat upright and around 32 cubes with it folded.
The 1.6-liter inline-4 is rated at 121 horsepower and 131 lb-ft, which is sent to the front wheels via a CVT that can pretend to work as though it is a conventional automatic in low-load situations. The experience isn’t rubber-burning, but the Venue moves smartly around town and can maintain highway speeds with reasonable confidence. A full load of passengers aboard makes highway merging or passing a plan-ahead affair, though.
Its light weight and trim dimensions mean it is nimble in town, too, easily able to sneak into parking spots that might befuddle a bigger SUV.
Its ride is comfortable, with good impact absorption and road noise is kept reasonably in check.
With its chunky good looks and cheeky personality, the Hyundai Venue is a small crossover that balances practicality, value, and fun.