The Venza is an all-wheel-drive hybrid crossover that’s made in four grades: LE, XLE, Nightshade, and Limited. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine collaborates with two electric motors to form the powertrain (the same one found in the RAV4), with another motor powering the rear axle. Their combined output is 219 horsepower. The EPA has determined that, regardless of trim level, the Venza achieves class-leading fuel economy of 40 mpg around and 37 mpg on the highway.
LE buyers will get an array of convenient features not often seen on a base trim, such as SmartKey proximity keyless entry, a hands-free liftgate, wireless phone charging, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. It also has push-button ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, ambient interior lighting, a 7-inch multi-information display, a 60/40-split second-row seat with a fold-down center armrest and cupholders, rear privacy glass, a cargo-area cover, and heated exterior mirrors with driver’s-side auto-dimming, turn-signal indicators, and puddle lamps. There are plenty of USB ports for the occupants: four charging and one data).
The XLE adds simulated leather seats (heated in the front row), wood-look interior accents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, position memory for the steering wheel, LED fog lights, low-profile roof rails, and touch-capacitive controls in the center stack. The Nightshade trim is distinguished visually from the XLE with blacked-out elements on the exterior, plus it qualifies for the available Star Gaze fixed-glass roof (the low-profile roof rails are eliminated when this roof option is selected). The Limited is also eligible for the Star Gaze roof. As the highest trim, it gets the most standard features, adding perforated simulated-leather seats (heated and ventilated in the front row), a heated steering wheel, a power passenger’s seat, a head-up display, a digital rearview mirror, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a 12.3-inch multi-information display.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ is installed on every ’23 Venza to supply full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, road sign assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Front and rear parking sensors with reverse automatic braking are added to all but the base LE. The Limited is the only trim that gets a panoramic view monitor.
For infotainment, the base system has an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone connection (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth for hands-free phone calls and audio streaming, Amazon Alexa, and an audio setup with six speakers. The higher trims have a 12.3-inch touchscreen. A top-quality JBL sound system with nine speakers is standard on the Limited and available on the XLE. Buyers of all trims can subscribe to Drive Connect, which includes Intelligent Assistant advanced voice recognition, cloud navigation with Google Points of Interest, and destination assist.