Hyundai Venue facelift review

More than just a nip and tuck

from ₹ 7,53,000

Hyundai says that its Venue is meant for the younger generation, and in this facelifted avatar, it does look like the younger and fresher looking sibling of the Creta. 
Besides the design upgrade, Hyundai has also focused on stretching the feature list, which it claims is again something the younger buyers are increasingly looking for. We spent a day putting the car through its paces, and here’s our Hyundai Venue facelift review. 


It’s clear that Hyundai’s designers have tried to make the Venue look more mature – and to an extent they have succeeded. It may still not have the road presence of the Sonet or the Nexon, but the overall design does see a significant upgrade.

The biggest difference is what is seen up front. The oversized ‘parametric’ front grille with its dark chrome-laden finish is bold and catches the eye. Add to it the split headlamp and indicator setup, and the front fascia looks like it is giving you an angry stare.

Similarly, the rear too gets a refresh, and the most prominent of changes is the rear tail-lamp that is now connected by an LED light bar. The boxy lights and horizontal design elements do help in accentuating the car’s width. That said, we can’t help but see similarities with a mid-size SUV from a certain German brand.

Step into the cabin, and you’re greeted with a dual-tone colour scheme. The black and “greige” (Hyundai’s way of saying grey with a hint of beige) combination makes the cabin feel brighter and spacious. Those who prefer an all-black interior (like us) may have to wait for the much-rumoured N-Line Venue.

We’re more than happy to report that the Venue comes with physical rotary knobs for AC and volume controls. Despite the advent of capacitive buttons and touch sliders, there is no greater satisfaction than a click of a knob. In the centre console, what looks like a third knob sitting between the AC dials is actually just a circular screen displaying the temperature, fan speed, and more.
The seats are well contoured and comfortable when you’re on a long road trip. The front driver’s seat is electrically adjustable, which is a welcome feature, but you can only change the reach and recline. To adjust the height, one still has to repeatedly pull on the lever as if you’re drawing water from a hand-pump.

The rear seats get an interesting two-step recline option for the backrest. But with the pull lever located in the corners of the backseat, you need a yogi-level of flexibility to reach to the back and adjust the recline position at the same time.


As we’ve mentioned in our previous reviews, there are some brands that offer just the basic features, and there are those which believe in throwing the kitchen sink. No points for guessing which team Hyundai belongs to. 
The 8in infotainment system stuck between the centre AC vents isn’t the biggest around, but more than makes up for its feature list. The basics are covered with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Though it continues to surprise us why the lower models get wireless connectivity, while the top model needs your phones to be connected with a cable. The screen has great response, the UI is fluid, and there’s now support for 10 regional languages, including Odia (my folks teared up seeing it).
As is the trend these days, there’s support for voice commands for when you’re too lazy to press a button to open the sunroof. When they work, you marvel at the advancement of technology, but at other times you dismiss them as a gimmick.

Hyundai has also added what it calls ‘embedded voice commands’. These are a limited set of commands built into the system itself and don’t need internet connectivity to function. These can be helpful when you’re on long drives away from cellular connectivity. 
Speaking of remote control, you can even command your vehicle to do your bidding from the comfort of your home. You can do this by connecting your BlueLink app to an Alexa or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker. While it sounds interesting, we couldn’t find a scenario where we could put it to the test.

The mile-long feature list also includes wireless phone charger, Type-C USB ports at the front and back, an air purifier built into the arm rest (frees up a cup holder), puddle lamps, cooled glove compartment, and digital driver instrument cluster.

Impressive though it may sound, there are a few notable omissions. The biggest of them is the lack of ventilated seats up front, which we could have really used on our day out test driving the car. Other misses include no 360-degree rear camera, no auto dimming rear mirror, and no sunglass holder. It’s not the whole kitchen sink after all. 
For audio, there’s a six-speaker system onboard, which sounds about okay. While it can get loud, the sound lacks a bit of punch and refinement, especially when compared to the likes of the Bose system in the Sonet or the Harman system in the Nexon. You can use the equaliser to tune the audio to your liking, but it still remains a bit below par.

Hyundai has added a new audio-related feature called ambient sound. As the name suggests, there is a list of preloaded audio tracks that are meant to calm you down when stuck in hour-long peak hour traffic. With most streaming services having their own playlists of soothing tracks, this comes across as a gimmick at best.


Just like the outgoing model, there are a bunch of powertrain options to choose from. You can choose from naturally aspirated petrol, turbo petrol or diesel. For our review, we drove the 1.0L turbo petrol mated to an iMT gearbox. 
It’s a fun little engine with high levels of refinement, and offers an enjoyable driving experience. Fans of true manual gearbox will be left a tad disappointed here, but they can get quite close by opting for the iMT. 
It’s easy to get used to shifting gears without a clutch, and in case of any doubt, there’s a handy sticker stuck in front of your face on the sun visor. This gearbox is suited to everyday city driving, but does fall short when you’re in the mood for a drag race between two signals. Even if you’re quick to shift gears, you’ve to wait for the automated system to work the clutch. No matter the powertrain or gearbox option you choose, the Venue is easy to drive in city as well as highways.


There’s a lot to like about the Hyundai Venue facelift right from its design to the long feature-list to the various powertrain options. A few missing features, while notable, are unlikely to affect buying decisions. 
Costing between ₹7.53-12.57 lakh (ex-showroom), the price band is quite wide, making it easy to find a model that suits your budget (and needs). Hyundai says the outgoing Venue sold by the dozen, and we see no reason why the facelift version won’t. 

Stuff Says

Good looking compact SUV that is easy to drive, and comes with oodles of features
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Good looking compact SUV

  1. Smooth and easy to drive

  1. Mile-long feature list

  1. Some essential features missing (ventilated seats)

  1. Sound system lacks punch

Engine: 1.0L Turbo GDi petrol
Power: 120hp / 172Nm
Transmission: iMT