2022 Hyundai Venue - Review by Thom Cannell
Brief observations based on a decade’s experience.
Senior Editor, Michigan Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL
Let’s redefine “perfection”. It could mean a perfect limited budget car, a perfect second car, the perfect car for your kids. Or we could say that the 2022 Hyundai Venue has many attributes of excellence, particularly its price-to-value equation.
After many local and highway miles, it’s a vehicle I’d consider for price, which begins at $19,000 (plus tax and destination) for a reasonably well-equipped vehicle that, interestingly, includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Upgrading to SEL or Limited adds desirable features without a terrible price increase as the Limited remains modestly priced at $22,250. Limited upgrades include lifesaving LED headlights and forward collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection that are worth the price difference if they save your, or another life.
All three models are powered by a 121 horsepower, 1.6-liter dual port-injected DOHC 16-valve four cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing. This is mated to my personally least-favorite transmission, a CVT which Hyundai calls an “Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)”, but Hyundai improves it considerably by quieting the typical whine and adding “shift” points and multiple “gears.” For instance, there was a Snow setting for less wheel-spinning torque. This, of course, launches in a virtual second gear and is very, very slow off the line. Normal, supplies the modest torque from this 113 pound foot engine and you must put your foot in it to get up on-ramps.
Sport mode, however, is quite peppy, and the engine is always working at a l bit higher RPM, which is to say a somewhat lower gear, which means a smidgen more drivetrain noise and slightly less fuel economy. My default became using Sport anywhere but on the highway for better throttle response.
Any modestly priced car has compromises. While it recognizes you—key fob—it doesn't unlock the door; you push a button and the same for the rear hatch. There are 12-volt outlets, a USB and a USB power outlet and heated seats plus warnings front and rear cross traffic. Oddly, the Limited’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are wired, where SE and SEL have wireless.
All provide lane assist, which is a beep, not power assist, cruise control, automatic wipers, high beam assist, and driver attention warning. True, the interior is polymeric—a polite way of saying plastic—but it's a nice soft touch plastic and it’s harmonious. That's why I say it's a budget friendly car.
Stylistically Venue is chunky and blocky, yielding an SUV-ish appearance. With decent second-row accommodation, the “trunk” is modest, but holds plenty of gear.
My only complaint is, that equipped with industry-standard low rolling resistance tires, on many roads the vehicle transmits more road noise than I like (note that a Prius is similarly loud). Still, with comfortable, easily cleaned cloth seats (I spilled ice cream), space for 4-5 passengers and that $20,000 price tag, the 2022 Hyundai Venue is a rarity today, a good car at a bargain price.
• The Good: Packed with the kinds of technology that enhance your wellbeing: forward collision assist, lane keeping warning, driver attention warning, high beam assist and (not SE) blind-spot/rear cross-traffic warning
• Needs Improvement: Change to quieter tires. They will reduce stress, enhance comfort and enjoyment
• Cool Hacks: Lots of energy saving LED tech, delayed interior lamps, high beam assist to keep you safer
Copyright 2022 First North American Serial Rights Unless Otherwise Noted.Original photographs copyright by Thom Cannell