2023 Toyota Venza

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2023 Toyota Venza Review: Frugal And Fancy

The Toyota Venza isn't the first car that comes to mind when one thinks of dream machines, but this second-generation midsize crossover holds its own in one of the most competitive classes in the USA's automotive market. Based on the RAV4, the Venza is endowed with the RAV4 Hybrid's 2.5-liter powertrain that produces a middling 219 horsepower. What the Venza might lack in power when compared to V6 competitors such as the Honda Pilot or turbocharged rivals such as the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, it makes up for with excellent fuel economy. The Venza comes packed with loads of tech and safety equipment you'd expect to see in this class and has an overall feeling bordering on that of a premium vehicle. Throw in Toyota's legendary reliability and ability to hold value, and you're onto something.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 10 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2023 Toyota Venza Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Venza?

For the 2023 model year, Toyota refreshes the infotainment software and while the LE still has an eight-inch screen - and other models get a 12.3-inch display - the new system features improved processing speeds, improved voice command, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Venza's wireless charging system also gets an upgrade to its fourth generation version.

For those looking for a bit more attitude, the Venza XLE is now offered in Nightshade configuration, which adds cool-looking appearance enhancements such as black wheels and black exterior trimmings. The Nightshade car can be had in Ruby Red Flare, Celestial Black, and Wind Chill Pearl.

Pros and Cons

  • Fuel-saving engine
  • Mature design
  • Toyota reliability and build quality
  • Improved infotainment system
  • It's not much fun to drive
  • Nor very powerful
  • Tight cabin

What's the Price of the 2021 Toyota Venza?

The 2021 Toyota Venza's price starts at $36,470 in LE guise, putting it approximately $4,000 over the MSRP of a RAV4 Hybrid. Stepping up to the XLE grades costs $36,000 even while the top-tier Limited is priced at $39,800. Fully-equipped, the Venza Limited tops out around $42,000, making it a little over $2,000 more than the most well-optioned RAV4 Hybrid. So if you are opting for the top-spec RAV4 Hybrid, it could be worth it to step up to the Venza so long as you are willing to sacrifice cargo capacity for a more luxurious interior.

Best Deals on 2023 Toyota Venza

2023 Toyota Venza Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
Nightshade Edition
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Toyota Venza Trims and Specs

2023 Toyota Venza Handling and Driving Impressions

The Toyota Venza is based on the much-loved RAV4, which means it inherits some of its fleet-footed character. The Venza is physically a larger car, so it doesn't feel entirely as engaging as its smaller sibling, but for its size, it's easy to navigate around tight city streets. Around faster corners, the Venza controls body roll with impressive confidence thanks to its all-wheel-drive system, and the additional sound-deadening material inside the cabin makes highway cruising a surprisingly serene experience. The hybrid powertrain isn't the most potent powertrain out there and can feel a bit buzzy at highway speeds, but the fuel economy figures make the trade-off worthwhile.

There are three driving modes to choose from - Eco, Normal, and Sport - but the enthusiastic-sounding one doesn't really make much of a difference. This isn't supposed to be a performance SUV, but if you expect a comfortable, pleasant way to get the kids to school, you won't be disappointed.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Toyota Venza A Good SUV?

The midsize crossover class is packed with all kinds of offerings, ranging from rugged and active to mature and refined, and the Venza finds itself somewhere in the middle. The hybrid SUV is more well-rounded and refined than the car it's based on, but not quite as luxurious as its high-end relatives from Lexus. This makes the Venza an attractive choice for young professionals looking to start their journey into the world of nearly-premium automobiles. The Venza is all about comfort; the added sound cladding, generous cabin features, and niceties such as a large panoramic roof make this crossover feel more upmarket than it really is. A review of crash test results show the Toyota Venza is a good bet safety-wise, too . Combined with a fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain and the confidence of an AWD system, results in one fine package that will be hard to ignore.

What Toyota Venza Model Should I Buy?

To receive the full effect of the Venza, we suggest stepping up to the most luxurious Limited trim level. This rolls in the larger touchscreen, better audio system, and luxury touches like leather seats with heating and ventilation. The only options on this trim level are the Advanced Technology Package, which bundles the 10-inch HUD and rain-sensing wipers, and the Star Gaze roof. We think the Star Gaze roof is a must-have option, though it should be noted that it does not slide open. Still, your passengers will be amazed when you show them how the glass becomes frosted at the press of a button. In the described configuration, the Toyota Venza will cost you around $42,000.

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