The 2023 Toyota Venza is the latest to receive the Nightshade Editon package that adds dark styling elements to Toyota’s hybrid SUV. As usual, the Venza scores high in fuel economy with its standard hybrid powertrain derived from the Toyota RAV4. In other words, the new Venza is a RAV4 hybrid wrapped in a Lexus-esque body and infused with a more premium vibe and more desirable features than a comparable RAV4, like that groovy electrochromic glass roof.
Still, the 2023 Venza does have its fair share of drawbacks, mainly the tiny cargo area (courtesy of the hybrid-electric components) and sparse interior room. But if all you want is a decent crossover with good fuel economy, the 2023 Venza is worth considering.
2023 Toyota Venza: What’s New?
The 2023 Toyota Venza remains part of the second-gen variant that resurfaced in 2021. The Venza is now available with the Nightshade Edition Package based on the mid-level XLE trim. Standard fare for the Nightshade Edition is an acrylic front grille trim, smoked chrome moldings, and blacked-out trim for the mirror caps, door handles, rocker panels, roof rails, and sharkfin antenna. It also gets LED fog lights (now standard in the base Venza LE), 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels, and black badging.
Optional for the Nightshade is Toyota’s Star Gaze Panoramic Roof. Unlike ordinary glass roofs, Star Gaze has a glass that switches between transparent and frost at your behest. It also has an electrochromic sunshade that works like transition lenses. The Venza Nightshade Edition is available in Ruby Flare Pearl, Celestial Black, or Wind Chill Pearl paint.
Efficient Hybrid Powertrain & All-Wheel Drive
The 2023 Toyota Venza remains motivated by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and three electric motors that collectively develop 219 horsepower. There are two electric motors in the front and one in the back, effectively supplying the Venza with all-wheel grip via Toyota’s Electronic On-Demand AWD.
The drivetrain works seamlessly and varies the torque distribution depending on existing road conditions. Toyota claims the Venza can travel in front-wheel drive (100:0 front-rear torque distribution) at a constant speed, while the system can shift to 20:80 over slippery terrain.
You might think 219 horsepower is insufficient for a relatively large and hefty hybrid crossover, and you are right. It’s not the quickest of the lot, but the Venza is not about sporty driving. If you heed your right foot, the Venza has no trouble achieving nearly 40 mpg combined.
That would make the Venza superior to its contemporaries like the Honda Passport, but unlike the V6-equipped Passport that can tow 5,000 lbs., the Venza is not rated for towing, so keep this in mind if you plan on hauling toys or heavy gear.
2022 Toyota Venza Trim Levels
In addition to the new Nightshade Edition, the 2023 Toyota Venza is available in three other trim levels: LE, XLE, and Limited. Regardless of the trim level, sound-absorbing insulation and body sealing material have been placed throughout Venza’s structure to help reduce unwanted cabin noise.
In terms of cargo space, every 2023 Venza offers 28.8 cubic feet of carrying space behind the second row and 55.1 cubic feet total with the rear seatbacks folded. Furthermore, other goodies like USB Type-A and Type-C charging ports and wireless charging are standard across the lineup.
The base Toyota Venza LE remains well-equipped with LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, a power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with a six-speaker audio system, dual Bluetooth connectivity, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
On the other hand, Toyota has upgraded the Venza XLE with a new 12.3-inch infotainment screen with cloud-based navigation, destination assist, and over-the-air (OTA) updates. It also has keyless entry, front/rear parking sensors, heated front seats, and 19-inch alloy wheels, to mention a few. Standard to both Venza LE and Venza XLE is a seven-inch multi-information display.
The top-of-the-line Venza Limited has a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with a JBL premium audio system with nine speakers (including a rear subwoofer) and a 12-channel, 1,200-watt amplifier. The Limited also gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument display with four visual modes and a 10-inch color heads-up display.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5
The 2023 Toyota Venza comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, a collection of active safety systems like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and a rear-seat reminder.
The 2023 Toyota Venza has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a five-year/unlimited mileage perforation warranty. In addition, Venza’s hybrid-electric powertrain has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty with a 10-year/150,000-mile battery warranty.
An extended warranty could prove beneficial if you drive more miles than the average person. This comprehensive guide will help you discern whether a Toyota extended warranty is worth considering.
2023 Toyota Venza: Pricing & Availability
The 2023 Toyota Venza will arrive at dealerships near the end of summer or in early fall 2022. Pricing remains forthcoming, but we reckon base prices will start at $35,000 for the base Venza LE and about $42,000 for the range-topping Venza Limited.
Our free and easy search tools* show which Toyota dealerships have the best deals in your area. Those search tools will also help you obtain the invoice price to negotiate the best possible out-the-door pricing on a new Toyota Venza.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
Photos & Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
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