2023 Toyota Venza
We enjoyed our first laps in the current Toyota Venza so much that we wanted more. We heard that you did, as well.
To refresh your memory, the Venza is now in its third model year, slotted between the popular RAV4 and the Highlander. It is a two-row all-hybrid model that is designed for efficiency and comfort for 4-5 passengers.
What first attracts customers to the Venza is its stylish good looks. The design is mainly angular, starting with a sharp-nosed front end and a large lower grille, leading to a contemporary angular profile and glass silhouette. The roofline ends with a fastback-esque look leading to a short “shelf” and full-width LED taillights. The profile angles back to the bumper.
Our XLE Nightshade tester adds a set of 19-inch black finished alloy wheels, along with both blacked out and smoked chrome finishes throughout the exterior. Overall, the Venza is a very handsome and quite distinctive SUV.
Once you open the wide doors, you are treated to a very contemporary cabin. The instrument binnacle is tucked behind the steering wheel with two large analog dials and an equally large digital information screen that offers a lot of information to read through. The entire dashboard is dominated by a very large 12.3-inch infotainment screen with touch-capacitive controls for audio, navigation, and climate controls.
We found the center console very interesting. That is where you find the large starter button, as well as the electronic parking brake and wireless smartphone charger tucked away underneath the center stack. The shifter is chunky, however. In all, we found the quality of this cockpit at its highest level.
The luxurious SofTex seats are large and comfortable. They are also supportive with deep bolstering in the seatbacks. Second-row seat room is very good for two-to-three average size adults. Cargo space is generous, starting with a 28.8 cubic feet space behind the second-row seats, expandable to 55.1 cubic feet with those seats folded down.
The only driveline available on the Venza is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, connected to two electric motors, a continuously variable transmission, and an electronic all-wheel-drive. All told, the system yielded a combined net 219 horsepower.
The hybrid driveline in the Venza does a great job motivating this 3,891-pound SUV swiftly and smoothly around town and on the highway. In turn, it is a very efficient vehicle, turning in an average fuel economy figure of 36.8 MPG.
The ride quality is exceptionally smooth. The Venza reacted to rougher roads with ample dampening. In all, this SUV offers a nice ride for its passengers. Handling is managed well with minimal roll and lean through evasive maneuvers. Cornering is controlled, but the Venza has a soft feeling when it reaches its limits.
The Venza’s steering system felt a bit artificial, but it was also very responsive. Turns were tight, giving us good maneuverability when we needed it. On-center feel is solid. We also liked the brakes with its large pedal that felt very good for us. Stopping power is really good that you forget what braking felt like in older hybrids. We experienced sure stops in normal and panic situations.
Pricing for the 2023 Toyota Venza starts at $34,620. Our XLE Nightshade Edition tester came with a sticker price of $42,349. There are three trim levels – plus the Nightshade Edition - to choose from. All trims have standard all-wheel-drive.
The Toyota Venza may be unique as it is exclusively powered by an electrified driveline. Therefore, various consumers will cross-shop it with an eclectic field of rivals. In all, we found that consumers have compared the Venza with the Ford Escape PHEV, Honda CR-V Hybrid, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe Hybrids and PHEV, Kia Sportage and Sorento Hybrids and PHEVs, Lexus NX PHEV – just to name some.
As electrified SUVs become the norm, you cannot go wrong with the Toyota Venza. This vehicle continues to be a very good efficient and comfortable two-row SUV that fits all lifestyles. You’ll love the premium feel and smooth ride, too!
Credits: CarSoup Editors