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Hyundai Venue: Sel vs. Limited

1. Features of the Hyundai Venue Sel

1.2 The Sel offers a pretty full array of advanced driving aids. Though most of these features are available solely on the $23,185 Sel with the $1,150 Convenience Package, that's a reasonable price for automatic climate control, a power sunroof, blind spot and rear cross traffic warning, lane change assist, and the best density of forward safety features in a $25,000 SUV. What exactly do I mean by that? Mazda's similar i-Activsense package on the CX-3 or Toyota's Safety Sense package on the C-HR, both of which start at about the same price as a Honda HR-V EX, include most or even all of these features, but the features themselves are far less valuable due to the lack or discomfort of a heated cloth seat or any other amenity that the $23,000 to $24,000 CX-3 or C-HR does not come with. Step on up to the $1,750 Premium Package and you can get heated front seats and a proximity key.

1.1 The Sel's smaller engine gets much better gas mileage. The Sel's smaller engine makes it a bit thirstier than the base model, but it still returns an impressive 32 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Ah, there is one last note about fuel economy. The Sel is only available with front-wheel drive, while the base SE can be had with a configuration that saves even more fuel: a base model with a stick shift can do 27 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 combined and costs a mere $190 more than a base SE with the automatic.

1.1. Fuel efficiency

The initial version of the Hyundai Venue is highly regarded for its insufficient fuel efficiency. However, extensive changes have significantly boosted its fuel rating. The 2020 Hyundai Venue SEL uses front-wheel drive with an intelligent variable transmission, yielding 30 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined. This is a notable upgrade from the initial version's 27 combined mpg. The switch to a continuously variable automatic transmission in the Venue's 2020 model has offered significant improvement in fuel rating. This serves as a sizeable difference from the 2020 Venue's Denim and Limited models, both rated at 30 mpg combined as a result of their additional weight from their bigger engines and different transmissions. In addition to being efficiently fueled, the Venue SEL has a gasoline tank shut-off feature designed to prevent owners from inadvertently overfilling the tank. This serves to partially alleviate the SEL's stigma, providing a useful and efficient feature aimed at its cost-conscious consumers. On top of its fuel economy, the Hyundai Venue SEL has strong environmental consideration, being an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV). This serves to raise the vehicle's value with growing environmental concern and considering its primary market of being new-age, financially conservative, and environmentally aware young adults.

1.2. Safety features

The Venue SEL model comes with the best comprehensive safety features. It also has Blind Spot Collision Warning with Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warning that can warn the driver of other cars or objects in the driver's blind spot. This system can also apply corrective steering assistance if a collision appears imminent. This will help the driver maintain the vehicle in their intended path. Another safety feature that is available with the Venue SEL is the Lane Keeping Assist system. This system literally keeps the car in its intended lane and can provide corrective steering input should the driver not stay within the lines. This is essential for long highway trips or when the driver is getting drowsy and starts to swerve outside of the lane. Finally, there is also a Driver Attention Warning system that will monitor the driver in case they become distracted or drowsy. This will continually monitor the driver's input and identify hazardous driving patterns on the road. This system will then produce visual and audio alerts to grab the driver's attention. If nothing is done, then the system will be temporarily interrupted, and the sound and pop-up instrument warning will intensify. This entire system can be turned off with the button near the steering wheel. And safe to say, this is an extremely useful feature given how often we all are driving tired or after a long day of work. Finally, the final safety elastomeric safety feature is the Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. This system will maintain a well-set distance from the vehicle in front and can bring the car to a complete stop if need be. This is a fantastic feature, especially for highway driving, as it will reduce the need to only temporarily turn off standard cruise control in low-speed traffic.

1.3. Interior amenities

An interesting find was that the Owner's manual for either model states that under Conditions of a Rapid Stop or Impact the multi box will be disassembled and the contents will be shattered inside the glove box. I have never seen an auto company highlight a realistic safety feature, so kudos to Hyundai for a modicum of humor with the level of detail resulting from the translation. Now my multi box is long gone so I can't test this feature accurately. The glove box itself is on the small side, but it is damped for slow open and close which is a luxury touch. Just above that is the sunglasses holder and map lights. Both vehicles have the steering wheel and shift knob wrapped in good quality urethane. Moving to the cargo area both models have 60/40 fold flat rear seats. The SEL adds some convenience features for the driver with Hyundai's Proximity Key with push button start and the universal garage door opener. The proximity key is a lifesaver when your hands are full, or when fumbling to find the key in your pocket. Step up to the SEL Tech Package and the venue also includes a power sunroof, and single automatic climate control.

Next up, both models come with automatic A/C, and with the same physical heating unit configuration. The SEL does, however, add a cabin air filter. The climate control is the same with the duo offering an auto defogging system (hopefully something I never have to test out), and a rear window defroster.

The SEL has a lot packed into a smaller crossover. Noteworthy is that the interior of both models is the same. The SEL adds some premium content that I will detail later. For now, we will stick to the comparisons of identical content. Starting with the seats, the seating surfaces from both vehicles side-by-side were physically identical. However, as confirmed on page 248 of the Owner's Manual, the SEL adds a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support. The cloth seats are good quality and are way more comfortable than you would expect.

1.4. Technology features

If you're seeking all the help and information about Hyundai Venue, then you are in the right place! This in-depth comparison will look at the namesake vehicle and what is lacking and appealing for each model. The SEL and Limited models are typically the go-to models for most vehicles that adhere to the average individual's budget. These two models are incredibly alike but also differ in multiple ways, some of which could be the deal breaker on whether or not you should downgrade to the SEL or upgrade to the Limited. We will provide you with full details on specifications, features, and the price increase or decrease, helped by our team members Chandler and Jaden, to build an appropriate picture of these models. By the end of the comparison, you will have the answers you need to make an informed decision on the SEL and Limited models and whether they are the right choice for you. While it is typically obvious that the higher-end model is the better choice, the comparison will show that the SEL has its own positive qualities that separate itself from the Limited model.

2. Advantages of the Hyundai Venue Limited

Improving upon the base model's already impressive safety equipment, the Venue Limited comes equipped with driver assistance systems not available to the SEL. Exclusive to the Limited is blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision warning. These features act as an extra set of eyes when changing lanes, alerting you to various dangers in adjacent lanes and giving you more confidence in the safety of lane changes and added awareness when reversing. Like the SEL, the Venue Limited features lane keeping assist and forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection. These features come standard on both trims and add a new level of confidence in avoiding potentially dangerous accidents. Automatic collision notification, SOS emergency, and maintenance alerts are part of Blue Link Connected Car System provided complimentary for the first three years. In the event of a collision, Blue Link will automatically call for help and help emergency services pinpoint your exact location. These and many other features provide unparalleled safety and security whether you are near or far from your vehicle.

First and foremost, the Hyundai Venue Limited boasts a more powerful engine than the base model. Sport trims receive a larger 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. Horsepower goes up from 121 to 130. Torque remains about the same at 113 lb-ft. The Venue SEL comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. While this isn't a deal breaker, the Limited's Intelligent Variable Transmission gives you simulated shifting. This allows you to enjoy the feel of a conventional automatic without sacrificing fuel efficiency. The IVT also adds in hill-start assist, providing an extra level of security when starting or stopping on steep inclines. The SEL's base with 6-speed and the Limited's IVT achieve identical gas mileage. The enhanced performance is a major plus for the Venue Limited and won't cost you extra at the pump. It's a rarity for a vehicle's upper trims to improve performance without sacrificing fuel efficiency.

2.1. Enhanced performance

The Limited does, however, include a number of performance-enhancing features at the driver level. Hyundai Smartstream engine technology, available on the SEL and Limited compact SUVs, improves engine performance, increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing emissions. The Smartstream engine is also praised for its use of Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD), allowing for optimal power allocation depending on what driving conditions demand. The Limited's engine is also a match for the Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), which is new to the 2020 model. IVT is the next step for CVT transmissions, which have become common in new vehicles, aiming to replicate automatic transmission qualities and providing stepped gear changes vs a rubber band feeling when accelerating. IVT is expected to increase horsepower and MPG and provide more responsive handling and a smoother ride.

There are no performance enhancements as such on the Limited. We expected the 1.6L engine found in the SEL to be optional on the Limited as it brings more power than the standard 1.6L engine. Unfortunately, the Limited only comes with the Smartstream 1.6L DPI 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Both of these engines are tuned for fuel efficiency, resulting in very average power output. It's the same case with the Drive Mode system. Our SEL has Normal, Sport, and Snow modes to alter power delivery and traction settings. The Limited only has Normal and Sport modes, which are intended for improved driving feel and vehicle responsiveness. We also expected a multi-link rear suspension to be optional on the Limited as it's more dynamically capable than the SEL's torsion beam rear suspension, but it's not available on either model, which is disappointing.

2.2. Advanced safety systems

The advanced safety systems available in the Venue are impressive, but the Limited offers a few exclusive features to enhance driver and passenger protections. Both trims come with the same systems of airbags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and a tire pressure monitor. The Venue SEL comes standard with a rearview monitor and the option of adding the Convenience Package with Blind Spot Collision Warning, which is only available on the Limited. The SEL can also get the Safety Package, but it only adds LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights. The Safety Package is also only available on the Limited. The exclusivity of these safety options may be a significant consideration for a buyer of a subcompact SUV. A consumer who is more concerned with cost and mileage but desires more safety features might opt for the SEL with the two available packages. The consumer who simply desires the most safety possible will likely choose the Limited. Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning is one of the most useful driver aids when it comes to avoiding accidents when reversing from parking spots. This system delivers an audio warning to the driver if another vehicle approaches from the side. This feature comes standard on the Limited but is only an option on the SEL with the Safety Package. This goes for the Lane Keeping Assist system as well, which helps alert the driver if the vehicle begins to drift from its lane without a turn signal and can apply corrective steering if necessary. This feature is only standard on the Limited as well.

2.3. Premium interior features

Compared to the lower SLE trim level, the 2020 Hyundai Venue Limited offers a number of additional features that elevate its overall driving experience. One notable difference is the Limited's more advanced transmission, which affects acceleration, torque, and fuel economy. The Venue SLE comes with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, while the Limited has a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It is worth noting that because of the CVT, the Limited is less fuel efficient in city driving compared to the SLE, at 30/34/32 mpg (city/highway/combined) as opposed to the SLE's 27/35/30 mpg. Another highlight of the Venue Limited is its more advanced drive mode system. The SLE has a simpler normal/snow drive mode selection, and an available hill-start assist control for steep grade acceleration. On the other hand, the Limited boasts an advanced drive mode with normal, sport, and snow settings, which offer different power outputs and traction controls to fit various driving conditions. The drive mode select also includes an "off" mode which disables traction and stability control. This feature is noteworthy, as the SLE and Limited both have similar modern trim level designs, but no other base model in the industry offers an off-road traction control disable. Overall, the Limited's more advanced transmission and drive mode selection give it a more dynamic and versatile driving capability compared to the standard SLE.

2.4. Upgraded technology options

The Hyundai Venue Limited takes technology to the next level with standard navigation on the 8-inch touch screen. This system also includes real-time traffic data via the complimentary HERE Traffic RDS. Avoid guessing about the quality of air outside with the standard BlueLink connected car system. This feature includes the ability to connect to the vehicle using a smartphone, set speed alerts, locate the vehicle on a map, and remote start with climate control. Dual USB charge ports allow front and rear passengers to easily juice up their devices.

A standard 8-inch touch screen audio system is used for the Hyundai Venue SEL. This system features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for easy integration with some smartphones. Additionally, drivers will be able to hear and talk to text messages using these mobile services. These standard features make it easy to stay connected and enjoy media on the go. The SEL trim also comes standard with SiriusXM and HD Radio. Bluetooth with voice recognition is included as well, eliminating the need to scroll through contacts while the car is in motion.

2.5. Exterior design enhancements

The main focus of the Hyundai Venue Limited is to achieve the look of a compact, stylish, and expensive vehicle. To achieve this, the Venue Limited offers a variety of changes to the exterior of the vehicle compared to the base. Some changes enhancing the exterior include projector-beam headlamps with LED accent lights, power sunroof, LED accent lights on the rear taillights, and chrome front grille surround with piano black front grille. These changes are offered only with the Venue Limited to ensure it achieves a stylish and expensive look while still being a compact vehicle. The projector-beam headlamps with LED accent lights are visibility enhancing and also eye-catching while not being too bright or prominent. This would appeal to older consumers while still looking modern with the LED accent lights. LED taillights are designed to be brighter and have a longer life, which would appeal to any consumer while using minimal power. The power sunroof is another feature that would appeal to any consumer due to bringing natural light into the vehicle and also providing well-ventilated air.

3. Pricing and value comparison

The SEL trim for the Venue sets the bar high for a sub-compact SUV. Some of the highlights include an impressive amount of standard safety features such as forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, and driver attention warning. It also comes with roof side rails, premium rear taillights, and LED daytime running lights. The 17" alloy wheels and leather-wrapped steering wheel add a nice touch as well. This is a very solid list of included features that make the SEL trim feel like anything but basic. One important thing to note is the Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission. The SEL trim comes standard with this IVT transmission, while the base SE trim has a 6-speed manual or an available CVT for $1,350 extra. This may be an added incentive to go one level up and purchase an SEL trim.

Value for money in each trim level

The cost difference between the Hyundai Venue SEL and Limited trims is approximately $2,150 AUD. Hyundai does not offer an all-wheel-drive powertrain, so the price difference is much closer to what you will actually pay when you walk into the dealer. Typically, car manufacturers will advertise a base price for the entry-level model, but fail to mention that more equipped versions of the same model can be thousands of dollars more. So it is refreshing to have a small car with a small discrepancy in cost between different model variations. Now whether or not the extra Limited trim is worth the $2,150 AUD price bump is up to each individual buyer.

Cost difference between SEL and Limited

3.1. Cost difference between Sel and Limited

Insurance rates for both these trim levels will be different. Most insurance rates depend on engine size and horsepower. In this case, both the trims have different insurance rates. Usually, they are only a bit higher, but the difference does come out after addition across 4-5 years. For the Limited trim, it will be a bit expensive but manageable. Whereas with SEL, due to no changes in the engine size or horsepower, the rates don't increase and they remain manageable. And who doesn't want to save extra money on it!

We cannot just compare price and forget about the cost of ownership. We must think that there's a $3,000 grand difference upfront in both the trims, but the difference will widen by the end of 5 years. Also, with the difference in the price, there's just a 1 mile per gallon difference in the city and 2 on highways. The SEL's engine performs the same as Limited. Therefore, with the SEL being low on budget and economical, it's the winner in this case.

In as far as cost is concerned, we have to compare the difference between SEL and Limited. If we look at the basic trim level, which is SEL, the starting price of the car is around $17,000. While for the Limited trim level, the price is increased by at least $3,000. So, this might be the first turn off for many users. This difference in price will affect whether you want to choose Limited over SEL because with this money, we can add many accessories on the SEL and make it even better for ourselves. Therefore, Limited is not affordable for many people, though it's better than SEL.

3.2. Value for money in each trim level

The SEL and Limited, very similar in mechanical and powertrain attributes, but the amenities in the Limited tend to outweigh the cheap value of the SEL. With the SEL priced at $19,800 MSRP and the Limited as $22,050 MSRP, the price separation is clear and the value mentioned that follows will prove that the Limited is worth much more. The added comfort of a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather shift knob, and power tilt and slide sunroof are nice additions for just $900 compared to the sunroof and standard steering wheel/shifter on the SEL. However, the true separation in value comes in the form of safety and technology. At a premium of $700, The Limited offers a convenience package including proximity key with push button start, navigation, built-in traffic flow and data via HD radio, and the Blue Link connected car system. The SEL offers none of the mentioned features and has an MSRP only $700 less than the Limited priced with the convenience package.

The SEL and the Limited are the two models offered by Hyundai for Venue. The comparison found on Autotrader.com shows the separation in features and value with a price difference of $3,150 from the SEL to the Limited. This separation in features and price offers a clear-cut understanding of where the intended value lays for the two different models. With that being said, the value of what you get for that extra $3,150 in features and amenities on the Limited compared to the SEL proves that the money spent on the Limited is of better overall value.

3.3. Resale value considerations

Finally, in times of high fuel prices and economic hardship, vehicles with good fuel efficiency often maintain their value better than those that are less fuel efficient. This is something to consider with future economic uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Step tier trim levels also usually depreciate faster than base models as they are often bought by those who lease new vehicles, and it is easier to lease a vehicle with a higher trim level because the depreciation cost is spread out across the monthly lease payments.

Brand reputation often plays an important role in vehicle depreciation. Hyundai has a reputation of building reliable vehicles, but it's not certain if the Venue will be affected by this as it is built in India and not Korea. Foreign vehicles built in India often have a bad reputation of being less reliable and having poor build quality compared to those built in other countries.

There are various factors that affect resale value in new vehicles. Historically, vehicles that are released in new segments suffer less depreciation than those released in segments that are already established. This could mean that the Kona will depreciate slower than the Tucson, and it may result in a considerable depreciation difference compared to the Nissan Kicks, which is a segment veteran.

It is likely that the Venue should have relatively good resale value in the subcompact SUV segment. Since the Venue's base MSRP is cheap, it should theoretically depreciate less due to increased demand for used vehicles. This is as opposed to inexpensive vehicles that depreciate more because they are seen as disposable transportation and have less demand in the used car market.

Resale value is widely regarded as one of the most important considerations when purchasing a vehicle. Typically, vehicles with resale value around 50% or higher after 3 years are considered good.

4. Choosing the best fit for your needs

A retired friend would desire a small reliable vehicle to tow behind his RV, but his primary car is shared with his wife. This kind of couple's dual vehicle use is an ideal fit for the Venue due to ease of parking and notably its light SUV style, opposed to a larger version. According to the vehicle comparison page, the SEL seems to be the best option for towing as the limited weights significantly more due to added features. The final choice comes from my friend, which is why considering long-term satisfaction is in the same section.

With regard to the all-new Hyundai Venue, a teacher who is currently in school, I have multiple jobs and a long commute. The most emphasis is placed on vehicle affordability and fuel economy. While I would like some of the limited trim options in the compact size, safety and technology are still priorities.

First and foremost, you need to evaluate how the car will be used. Who will be driving it? What will the primary use be? Which features are most important? Answering these questions will help you identify the must-have terms and which are just nice to have.

People have a lot of reasons to buy a car. Maybe you are moving downtown, where a car is not required, or your situation is different because you changed jobs. You may have the weekend avocation of home remodeling and need to tow a trailer or a small boat.

Identifying your priorities

4.1. Identifying your priorities

Be sure to consider the features important to the primary driver of this vehicle. Differing opinions on features can be a deal breaker in a purchase or lease. It may be helpful to compile a list of all driver's "wants" versus "needs". For example, if you know you need an all-wheel drive vehicle for your ski trip adventures, this would be considered a "need". A "want" can be defined as a feature that is not crucial to the global function of the vehicle, but would hold significant value. An example might be a sunroof or a "cool" new tech feature such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This exercise will help determine whether the Sel or Limited model will be the best fit, keeping in mind the variance in features and price point.

When deciding on the model that would best fit your needs, keep in mind the primary reasons you are "in the market" for a new vehicle. Will this be a commuter car for a teenage driver? A second vehicle for errand running? Will it be used primarily for long commutes to work or to transport your active family to and from various activities? The answers to these questions will help clarify what features are most important in your prospective new vehicle.

4.2. Evaluating your budget

Depending on how customers plan to compare the car may make the Limited a sweeter deal. If consumers plan to simply compare MSRPs, then they may find a better overall price with the Limited. This is because the SE price includes the destination charge, whereas the destination charge is added on for the Limited pricing. With the destination fee, the SE price comes out to be $17,350 ($16,750 MSRP + $600 destination fee) compared to the Limited $18,750 MSRP + $1,200 destination fee. Without accounting for any specific reason the extra money is used, buyers who want to keep the destination fee and MSRP as close as possible will probably grow.

A selection between the Hyundai Venue SE and Hyundai Venue Limited unavoidably comes down to price range. The lowest starting rate for Hyundai Venue SE is $17,350 compared to the $18,750 starting fee for Hyundai Venue Limited. The $1,400 is a significant amount if you're tight on money and do not want to finance too much. The Limited, on the other hand, offers much more for adding the $1,400 from the SE. If you're someone that takes long traveling trips, the Limited may be well worth the $1,400. With added features like cruise control, wireless device charging, and dual-zone temperature control, these are standard features you will find in a rental car. Although it will not be a substantial addition, dual-zone temperature control may also help improve long trips with ease of access.

4.3. Considering long-term ownership satisfaction

Once the need for a new vehicle has been identified, on the premise that the decision involves a purchase and not a lease, the next step is to take a good hard look at whatever vehicle(s) are under consideration and think seriously about what it is that the buyer does and does not like about their current vehicle. One way to do this is to make a mental (or written) list of both the good and bad attributes of their current vehicle and come to a conclusion as to whether they like it more than they dislike it. Then the attributes of the current vehicle should be compared to those of the potential new vehicle and a projection can hopefully be made about whether the new vehicle will be more or less satisfying than the current one. If the attributes of the new vehicle are a compromise over the current vehicle, then it may be best to hold off on a purchase until another vehicle comes along which is closer or equal to what the current one offers. Optional features and equipment can also have an impact on long-term satisfaction. A buyer who wishes to have a manual transmission or a spare tire hung from the rear with a body-on-frame SUV may not be too pleased with a crossover that only offers automatic transmissions and a donut spare, which is becoming increasingly more common as crossovers are more car-like than the SUVs of old. Therefore, an older used body-on-frame SUV may actually be a better fit for someone who desires that specific type of vehicle.

Learn More About Hyundai Models and Comparisons

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