Car Reviews

Want a more luxurious RAV4 Hybrid? This is it

Professionals: Extra luxurious than mechanically similar RAV4 Hybrid; wonderful gas economic system for an SUV; Lexus-like seems and high quality

Cons: Much less spacious and versatile than mechanically similar RAV4 Hybrid; wonky contact controls; a bit sluggish

Whereas the RAV4 received extra rugged and SUV-like for its present era, the 2023 Toyota Venza is for individuals who’d quite have their compact SUV be extra refined and opulent. It doesn’t must take them tenting or a minimum of seem like it may. It has a refined look outdoors and an opulent inside with prominently featured expertise. Mechanically, nonetheless, the Venza is sort of similar to the RAV4 Hybrid. And sure, particularly the hybrid, as each Venza is a hybrid. They’re all all-wheel-drive too. Contemplating the hybrid is the RAV4’s higher powertrain choice, there’s actually no downside there.

What in regards to the Venza’s positioning within the larger compact SUV section? Properly, it positively has the next worth, as its base LE begins nicely within the 30s, with the range-topping Restricted cresting $40,000. It’s extra luxurious, nonetheless, and regardless of its “compact” measurement, has a extra upmarket feel and appear indicative of some midsize SUVs like a Chevy Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. As such, you possibly can consider the Venza as a extra environment friendly various to these, or as a extra luxurious and refined various to the RAV4 Hybrid and different compact SUVs.

Inside & Know-how   |   Passenger & Cargo House   |   Efficiency & Gasoline Economic system

What it is wish to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Scores & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

The Venza’s commonplace suite of driver help and security applied sciences is upgraded with improved automobile, pedestrian and bicycle detection. It additionally provides emergency steering help. Characteristic updates embrace all trim ranges getting an improve to Toyota’s newest infotainment system, whereas the XLE additional will get the 12.3-inch touchscreen commonplace. There are additionally new USB ports, an upgraded wi-fi charging pad, and additional commonplace gear for the Restricted: a head-up show, an eight-way passenger seat and automated wipers. Lastly, there’s a brand new trim degree for 2023: the Nightshade Version (pictured above), which provides plenty of black trim, 19-inch gloss-black wheels and LED foglights. It’s accessible in Celestial Black, Wind Chill Pearl (a brand new shade for ’23) and Ruby Flare Pearl.

What are the Venza inside and in-car expertise like?

Much like its exterior styling, the Venza’s inside design is a key space the place it differentiates itself from the RAV4. As a substitute of a blocky, off-road look, the Venza encompasses a sharp, fashionable and extremely styled inside. It’s getting into Lexus territory in its highest trim. Distinctive shade schemes, distinction sprint/seat stitching, and distinguished expertise assist carry the design collectively. Functionally, the XLE and Restricted are hamstrung versus the LE, although. Each the mid-grade and high trim have touch-capacitive controls for the audio and local weather techniques, that are tough to establish and function whereas driving. The bottom LE makes use of bodily buttons, that are a lot simpler to make use of even when they do not look as fancy. 

The large dash-top display is the inside’s centerpiece. It measures 8 inches on the LE, however the XLE and Restricted get a 12.3-inch unit. For 2023, they run Toyota’s newest infotainment software program that typically impressed within the Tundra and bZ4X. It continues to run commonplace Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa come commonplace. There’s an extra show within the gauge cluster measuring 4.2 inches within the LE and seven inches within the others. Basically, the Venza’s tech choices are up-to-date with the competitors, if surpassing some rivals when outfitted with the massive, up to date touchscreen.

Be aware that Toyota has not revealed footage of the 2023 Venza inside with the upgraded infotainment system. Under proper, you will see an image of this technique within the Toyota bZ4X. Under left is the display housing in final 12 months’s Venza.

How large is the Venza?

Toyota considers the Venza to be a midsize crossover competitor, however our spec comparability reveals it’s on the smaller facet of this class versus automobiles just like the Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe and Chevrolet Blazer. Consider it extra as a glorified, style-first RAV4 than a very utilitarian household crossover.

On account of this style-over-utility alternative, the Venza has considerably much less cargo area (28.8 cubic toes behind the second row) than the RAV4 (37.5 cubic toes) regardless of being 5.7 inches longer general — see our Toyota cargo take a look at comparability for extra on what suits within the cargo space. Rear legroom is similar between the 2 (37.8 inches), however that claims extra in regards to the RAV4 given their equally beneficiant quantity. Fortunately, the Venza’s roofline doesn’t minimize into rear-seat headroom sufficient to be bothersome until you’re particularly tall. The larger concern is the non-compulsory Star Gaze mounted glass roof, which drops rear headroom by a major 2.1 inches.

The Venza additionally doesn’t have roof rails. There are mounting factors for aftermarket attachments, however these aren’t as handy as what you’d discover on varied RAV4 trim ranges.

What are the Venza gas economic system and efficiency specs?

The 2021 Venza is simply accessible as a hybrid. It’s virtually a direct elevate from the RAV4 Hybrid, with the principle variations being its battery pack chemistry (pricier lithium-ion as an alternative of nickel-metal hydride) and remaining tuning. In any other case, you get the identical 2.5-liter four-cylinder aided by a trio of electrical motors, one in every of which powers the rear axle to successfully present commonplace all-wheel drive. Whole system output is 219 mixed horsepower, which is fairly weak for a midsize crossover.

On the upside, gas economic system is sort of similar to the RAV4, that means the Venza returns distinctive gas economic system for a automobile of its measurement that completely demolishes its midsize, non-hybrid competitors (the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe supply hybrid trims). EPA estimates for 2023 weren’t accessible on the time of this writing, however we doubt they’d be a lot completely different (if in any respect) from these in 2022: 40 mpg metropolis, 37 mpg freeway and 39 mpg mixed.

What is the Venza wish to drive?

The Venza could seem like a sporty crossover, nevertheless it’s not notably invigorating to drive. Toyota doesn’t present a 0-60 mph estimate, however the RAV4 Hybrid will get there in 7.8 seconds and the Venza is roughly 130 kilos heavier. It ought to due to this fact be even slower, placing it nicely within the rearviews of most opponents. No less than it feels faster off the road than the numbers recommend as a result of electrical motors, however like all Toyota hybrids, there’s loads of droning below full acceleration that does little to convey a sporty intent.

The Venza rides on the identical TNGA-Okay variant of Toyota’s company platform and even shares the RAV4’s 105.9-inch wheelbase (the Lexus NX is mechanically associated as nicely). Highway imperfections and potholes are soaked up admirably, and freeway cruising is each quiet and comfy. Nonetheless, the wind and street noise isn’t decreased to Lexus-quiet ranges of serenity.

At no level does the Venza ever encourage the driving force to push it by a winding street. The rear electrical motor does a bang-up job of preserving the entrance wheels from being overwhelmed, however that is no performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system. The eco tires hand over rapidly, and you may actually really feel the heft of the tall physique round corners. In case you’re searching for a extra partaking driving expertise in Toyota’s lineup, the RAV4 Hybrid XSE and new RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid do a significantly better job. 

What different Toyota Venza opinions can I learn?

2021 Toyota Venza First Drive | It’s again!

Our first spin within the revamped Venza. Right here we go over the design, engineering and supply additional driving impressions.


2021 Toyota Venza vs Toyota RAV4 Baggage Take a look at | Which one suits extra?

Our West Coast Editor compares the bags area of the brand new Toyota Venza with that in a RAV4 to indicate the real-world variations between the 2.


Toyota hybrid crossover comparability | How the Venza, RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander evaluate on paper

We pit all three of Toyota’s standard hybrid crossovers in opposition to one another to see how the brand new Venza compares. Be aware that the RAV4 seems a bit completely different now, however its specs are principally the identical.


2021 Toyota Venza vs midsize crossovers: How they evaluate on paper

This is how the brand new Venza stacks up versus the opponents in its section just like the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Honda Passport.

What’s the 2023 Venza worth?

Though we all know how the Venza has been upgraded for 2023, we have no idea how a lot it would value (a minimum of on the time of this writing). Pricing will virtually actually go up from ’22, however we doubt it might be by way more than a pair hundred bucks.

For reference, costs for 2022 had been: LE at $34,455, XLE at $37,990 and Restricted at $41,945. All these included the vacation spot cost. The brand new Nighshade Version’s pricing will slot in between the XLE and Restricted.

Which model would we select? The bottom mannequin’s ample gear and bodily controls would make us strongly think about going with it, nevertheless it’s additionally exhausting to argue with the XLE’s simulated leather-based upholstery (versus material), heated seats, upgraded inside supplies and new, jumbo touchscreen. We’d most likely skip the Restricted, as a result of when you cross over the $40,000 threshold, it looks as if the mechanically associated Lexus NX 350h hybrid could be a greater wager.

What are the Venza security scores and driver help options?

Toyota makes its full suite of driver help techniques commonplace within the 2021 Venza. These embrace automated emergency braking (with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection), emergency steering help, lane departure warning and lane-keeping help, adaptive cruise management with lane-centering steering help, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, auto excessive beams and street signal recognition. Parking sensors and reverse automated braking are additionally now commonplace on each Venza.

The NHTSA gave the Venza 5 out of 5 stars for general crash safety, together with 4 stars for frontal safety and 5 stars for facet safety. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security named it a Prime Security Decide for its sufficiently excessive scores in crashworthiness, crash avoidance and headlight efficiency. The latter did not web a best-possible “Good” score, that means the Venza missed out on the best-possible Prime Security Decide+ score.

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