The sub-compact SUV segment is set to witness another round of hectic action during the next few months. Despite the restrictive sub-4-metre length stipulation, the segment has recorded significant growth and more brands have added models in the category to their portfolio. The Hyundai Venue and the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza are two of the biggest sellers in the category. And both are in the process of getting their mid-cycle upgrades and facelifts. The first to be unveiled and launched last week was the 2022 Hyundai Venue. For a model that pretty much started and rode the wave of demand for sub-compact SUVs, the Venue has been overshadowed by some of the more recent competitors. It was time to play catch up. 


The 2022 Venue is a facelift and a mild reposition for this entry model to Hyundai’s SUV family. The overall dimensions see some mild variation, but the wheelbase continues to be the same as last year’s model. The exterior design changes are also not too extensive, though the Venue does get an entirely new face and rear profile. Two of the most striking new features to the exterior of the 2022 Venue are the dark chrome grille with its multiple, layered cells and the new connected LED tail-lamp design that gives it an elegant rear design and night-time light signature. These two changes follow the design language of some of the international models of Hyundai, and they contribute to differentiating the 2022 model. 

The front fender and the rear fender get thick contrast black inserts that run across from one end to the other abetting the perception of width. from the side, the new Venue is nearly identical to the outgoing model in its profile. The 16-inch alloy wheels in my test mule were of a fresh design and quite interesting. The new LED projector headlamps continue to be positioned lower than the pilot lamps and housed within the square DRLs. Despite its relatively small footprint, the overall stance of the Venue is still very SUV-like. The wheel arches and the sharp waistline deliver more of that image.


The new Venue’s cabin gets more changes and additions compared to the exterior design changes. The first change in the cabin that I observe is the ‘black and griege’ colour theme that brightens up the interiors. The same combination has been carried on to the fabric upholstered seats. The dashboard orientation and layout are nearly the same as in the existing Venue. Some changes have been added like the recess on the passenger side, now with concealed ambient lighting too. The D-cut, multi-function steering wheel is also a familiar unit, and was shod in leather in the top-trim variant I was driving. Some of the changes are not very visible like the 20.3cm infotainment screen which now gets multiple user profiles, the option of choosing from 10 regional Indian languages for the UI (user-interface) and can now get OTA (over-the-air) updates too. 

The 60+ connected car features that the Venue was offered with continue in the new model; but, in addition, it also gets remote “home-to-car” features using Amazon Alexa and Google connectivity. There is also the option of using voice commands, including 65 of them that are embedded, and so are not dependent on data network availability. The hardware changes to the new Venue (if I can call them that) are focused on offering more seat comfort for the passengers, as well as opening a bit more space in the cabin. The driver’s seat gets 4-way electrical adjustment. The rear bench seat’s backrest can be reclined by two steps to get a more comfortable posture. The backside of the front seat backrest has so been scooped out to offer just a bit more legroom for rear passengers. 


The new Venue gets the same set of three engine options that the outgoing model was offered with. In fact, the two petrol engines and the one common-rail diesel engine are being offered in the same state of tune too. There is a rationalised set of new trim variants on offer for the powertrains, including, now a fully-loaded, top-end for the 7-speed DCT (dual-clutch) gearbox variant. The two petrol engines on offer are the 1.2-litre MPFi and the one-litre Turbo GDi; and the diesel engine is the same 1.5-litre U2 CRDi that generates 100PS of peak power and 240Nm of torque. This engine only gets a 6-speed manual transmission. The one-litre, 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine is the most powerful delivering 120PS of peak power and 172Nm of torque. This mill gets the 7-DCT and the clutch-free manual iMT (intelligent manual) transmission. The two E and S base trim variants of the new Venue are offered only with the 1.2-litre petrol engine. This one generates 83PS of power and about 114Nm of torque; and the only gearbox that is offered with this is the 5-speed manual transmission.

Overall, the performance of the powertrains remains the same compared to last year’s model, with minor changes to the throttle map. A more elaborate variation to the mapping done for the three drive modes - Eco, Normal and Sport. The mode selector is a rotary knob, and the feature is available only with the 7-speed DCT variant. The suspension geometry and settings have been carried forward from the current Venue and the on-road performance is also very similar. This is still a good thing because on broken tarmac the Venue feels stolid, and it only tends to thud through some seriously large potholes. Rear wheels still get drum brakes, while the front gets discs. But the new Venue does get more safety equipment. Two front airbags, ABS with EBD, parking sensors and ISOFIX mounts are all standard across variants. The top-end variant also gets side and curtain airbags, in addition to a suite of other safety equipment. 

Bottom Line

The new Venue facelift and refresh does make it a more interesting sub-compact SUV. The trend-setting vehicle is a key model for Hyundai, contributing about 43 per cent of the brand’s total SUV sales. So, it’s importance cannot be overstated. The new Venue looks smarter than the previous one and now has more usable features. But the fight to stay at the front of the pack has just begun for this Hyundai SUV. There is a lot more action due in the segment. But, to its benefit, the new Venue does get a good price tag - starting from about Rs 7.5 lakh going up to Rs 12.5 lakh.