My how time flies! It's already the third model year of the 2023 Toyota Venza that re-launched in 2021 as a hybrid-only model. Still, this is a two-row SUV that continues to impress with its design comfort, ride and drive and most definitely fuel economy.
2023 Toyota Venza
The 2023 Venza lineup is available in four trims: the LE, XLE, the Nightshade Edition and my test vehicle, the top-of-the line Limited.
If you're concerned about fuel economy you may look to the Venza since it's only offered as a hybrid. A 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with three electric motors delivers a total of 219-horsepower. You'll get great off-the-line acceleration thanks to Toyota's Electronic On-Demand AWD system that can preemptively distribute up to 80 percent of driving force to the rear wheels.
My review vehicle in Coastal Gray Metallic rides on 19-inch Super Chrome alloy wheels. A multi-layer dark gray front grille with chrome accents is flanked by LED headlights, dual LED daytime running lights and the Limited adds LED fog lights as well as front and rear bumpers with chrome accents.
The Limited is equipped with color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators, and puddle lights with a Venza logo.
On the tail end, you find LED tail lights along with a gloss-black-accent rear spoiler with full-width LED center stop light. My test vehicle's optional Star Gaze panoramic roof means you don’t get the low profile silver roof rails.
Standard lineup features include black rocker panels and a dual chrome-tipped exhaust.
The Venza’s roomy two-toned cabin features a mix of soft-touch and textured trims that give it a modern, polished vibe. Materials include wood-grained style trim and silver accents.
The Venza's perforated SofTex-trimmed heated and ventilated seats with contrast stitching get my two thumbs up for comfort. Side bolstering is quite cushiony. The driver and passenger seats are both 8-way power adjustable.
Beforewarned, the front-seat heated and ventilated controls aren't immediately easy to spot. You'll need to slide the large center console bin back to access them.
A heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with chrome accents hosts steering-wheel mounted controls that you can use to scroll through info on a fully digital 12.3-inch digital driver display, a great upgrade since my 2021 review.
The center stack incorporates touch capacitive controls for climate and audio settings. Below those you'll find a large push-button start that I found perfectly within reach.
I'm impressed with the soft-touch center console. The material looks and feels really nice, as does the cushiony center console bin. The console itself houses cup holders and a short leather-wrapped gear shift knob, along with controls for the drive modes, electronic parking brake, EV mode, and auto brake hold.
A cool cabin feature is the optional Star Gaze fixed panoramic glass roof that uses electrochromic glass technology to switch from frost to transparent modes.
In the second row, stadium seating means you lose some head room which could be an issue for tall people. Back seat passengers get their own A/C vents, grab handles and drop-down center console with square-shaped cupholders.
The Limited grade offers a lot of soft-touch materials in the back seat, most notably the envelope seat backs. This really helps create a quiet cabin. There is plenty of light back there as well - thanks to the Star Gaze roof - even though the rear door windows slope up slightly so you lose some window real estate there.
The Limited comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display that's responsive with quality graphics. The Limited is also equipped with a Panoramic View Camera.
Connectivity features include wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa and Bluetooth. You’ll get HD Radio too. While I couldn't check out Navigation in this model as it required an unactivated Drive Connect subscription, I've spent time with it in other recent Toyota models and think highly of the system.
The Limited’s standard premium nine-speaker JBL sound system sounds great and is specifically designed for the Venza’s cabin.
Wireless charging is standard across the Venza lineup as are 4 USB's.
A hands-free lift gate is standard across the Venza lineup. The Venza offers plenty of cargo space and the Limited's cargo area has three silver scuff plates with a leather deck board strap as well as a cargo area tonneau cover.
Ride and Drive
The Venza delivers a pleasant, confident ride and drive. It's smooth, comfortable, and on the quieter side. I enjoyed its steering feel especially in Sport mode. Acceleration is good both in city and highway merging traffic, off-the-line, too, thanks to the aforementioned eAWD system. Thanks to the hybrid engine, you'll also enjoy great fuel economy at 39 MPG combined.
New for 2023, the Venza lineup comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+. (Note, it's not the latest system, Toyota Safety Sense 3.0.)
TSS 2.5+ includes PreCollision System w/Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Road Sign Assist. Rear Seat Reminder, Blind Spot Monitor with Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking are also standard.
What You’ll Pay
Options on my test vehicle include the Star Gaze moonroof ($1400), Carpet Floor Mat/Carpet Cargo Mat ($309), and integrated Dash Cam ($375). With destination, the MSRP rings in just north of $45,000.
Since I last reviewed the Venza in 2021, the Limited grade has added some welcome standard features: a 10-inch Head Up Display and rain sensing wipers. This could help explain the slight bump in price.
The Toyota Venza boasts some of my favorite Toyota seats in terms of comfort. Thanks its its excellent ride and drive, technology, and fuel economy, it's an ideal two-row candidate in the segment.
- What I liked most: Comfortable upscale cabin with quality materials, Star Gaze roof, sound system
- What I would change: The steering wheel feels a little ho-hum to me.
- MSRP: Base price: $41,740; as equipped $45,159.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 40 City/37 highway/39 Combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 165 miles.
- Weight: 3,913 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Temporary spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 186.6” long/73” wide/65.9” tall.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 with filler on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Coastal Gray Metallic.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
2023 Venza Limited in a few words: A terrific and stylish two-row SUV.
Warranty: 36-month/36,000 mile Basic Warranty, 60-months/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, 60-months/unlimited miles corrosion perforation warranty, 96-months/100,000 mile hybrid components warranty; 120-months/150,000-mile hybrid battery coverage.
- Final Assembly Location: Toyota, Aichi, Japan.
- Manufacturer's website: