Those pesky touch controls are (mostly) gone!
Toyota has been slowly releasing pricing and information for its 2023 model year lineup, but some vehicles have received more attention than others. The 2023 Toyota Venza got a single press release in May announcing a new Nightshade Edition without any prices or interior photos.
As a little inside baseball, automakers typically put out press releases even when a new model year has minimal changes, as it gives media outlets like CarBuzz a reason to cover the brand. But with the Venza, nothing. It all went straight to the consumer website. There are still no press photos showing the updated interior with the new 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia display, which is a shame because it eliminates our single biggest gripe with the Venza... mostly.
The 2022 Venza (pictured below) featured touch-capacitive controls that were infuriating to use. Functions such as audio volume, fan speed, and temperature control were all handled by these touch sensors. We found them difficult to find without glancing down, making a basic task more distracting than it needed to be.
For the 2023 model (pictured above), the touch sensors for the climate still remain on the upper trim levels, sadly. However, the updated infotainment system now has physical buttons for volume positioned right below the touchscreen, which is a huge improvement. We'd much rather have a volume knob, but a win is a win.
If you want a Venza with more hard buttons rather than touch sensors, you'll have to get the base LE model. The LE drops down to an eight-inch touchscreen with an ugly black bezel rather than the fancy 12.3-inch one, but it still packs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. More importantly, it also gets more conventional climate controls with actual buttons and knobs. This change is less significant though, as last year's Venza LE also had buttons and knobs.
Since it wasn't in the previous press release, we can now mention pricing. The base Venza LE grade starts at $33,595, while the XLE is $37,805. If you want the sporty new Nightshade Edition, it costs $38,930 and the top Limited grade starts at $41,740.