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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Test Drive Review

It's no secret new-car prices have been on the rise, but there are still plenty of value-minded vehicles on the market. In addition to the Chevrolet Trailblazer, and Volkswagen Taos, there's the Hyundai Venue, which stands as one of the most cost-effective options in the growing subcompact SUV/hatchback segment. Now in its third model year, the Venue carries over mostly unchanged for 2022, and I recently sampled the latest Venue in the mid-level SEL trim. 

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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Exterior

2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Test Drive Review

While Hyundai's design team has created bold and dynamic lately with vehicles like the Kona and Tucson, the 2022 Hyundai Venue has a styling that's more laid back. The tall roofline and squared-off edges give the Venue more of an old-school SUV appearance, while the split headlights add a modern touch. Prominent wheel arches give the Venue an athletic stance, and the Z-shaped taillights spice up an otherwise dialed down exterior. There aren't many exterior options available on the Venue, but since it comes with a chrome grille, 17-inch alloy wheels, and roof rack rails, the SEL gets most of them. 

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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Interior

2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Test Drive Review

Thanks to its boxy exterior, the 2022 Hyundai Venue is surprisingly roomy, especially for a subcompact vehicle. Even though the Venue is considerably smaller than the Kona, it offers a comparable amount of interior space, including more rear-seat headroom, thanks to its taller, flatter roofline. The Venue's 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat is among the lowest in its segment, but the good news for those concerned about cargo volume is that the rear seats fold down to form a perfectly flat load floor. Dropping them opens up 31.9 cubic feet of space for cargo. 

In terms of tech and features, the Venue doesn't have some of the fancier features of other subcompacts, but it's not barren either. In base form, the Venue comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment screen as well as wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, but it's also one of the last vehicles with a physical ignition key (you have to step up to the Limited trim to get push-button start). Stepping up to the SEL trim adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, sunroof, automatic climate control, and dual USB charging. Overall, the interior of the Venue is exactly what you should expect from a sub-$20,000 vehicle. 

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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Powertrain

2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Test Drive Review

Another factor which helps keep the 2022 Hyundai Venue so affordable is its streamlined powertrain configuration. Following the removal of the manual transmission option for model year 2021, the Venue now offers just a single powertrain, Hyundai's "Smartstream" 1.6-liter four-cylinder paired to a CVT automatic. Similar to a number of other vehicles in this subcompact SUV segment (such as the Toyota C-HR), the Venue does not offer all-wheel drive. This engine produces 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque, and it has EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 29 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which outperforms rivals like the Honda HR-V and Trailblazer. Despite no changes for 2022, this represents a drop of 1 mpg in city driving, although my week with this tester ended with the digital monitor showing 34.6 mpg in mixed driving.

As far as CVTs go, the Venue's feels pretty good, with solid shift points and no rubber band feeling, and the engine delivers a decent amount of pep for the 2,600-pound Venue. The one downside about driving the Hyundai Venue is that the ride quality can be a bit bouncy on most road surfaces, which is likely attributed to its short 99.2-inch wheelbase. Keeping its size and price point in mind, though, the Venue is a great vehicle which offers the maneuverability of an urban commuter along with longer-haul passenger comfort. On top of that, the standard driver-assistance safety features are high tech, easy to use, and not invasive.  

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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Safety

2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Test Drive Review

The 2022 Hyundai Venue has a 4-Star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (which includes a 5-Star side-impact rating). The base Venue comes with standard safety features including forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, driver attention warning, lane keep assist and automatic high beams, and the Venue SEL adds blind spot collision warning with rear cross traffic collision warning.

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2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Overall

2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Test Drive Review

If you're in the market for an affordable vehicle with all of the conveniences of an SUV and a hatchback, then the 2022 Hyundai Venue should be at the top of your list. Any buyer looking for a safe and affordable new car will find this boxy five-seater close to ideal. Also, its starting price of just $19,000 makes it one of the most affordable vehicles you can buy. Even after adding in all of the goodies that come with the mid-level trim, this 2022 Venue SEL had a reasonable as-tested price of $22,030.

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 Jeffrey N. Ross | Apr 27, 2022

2022 Hyundai Venue SEL Specs




1.6L I4
121 hp, 113 lb-ft
CVT auto



NHTSA Safety Rating

★ ★ ★ ★

AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★ ★

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**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.