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The Toyota Venza is an intriguing product because it slots into the company’s range with a slightly different role to that of its SUV/crossover stablemates. Toyota likes to think of the Venza as a cross between an SUV and a stylish station wagon (remember those?). It’s a high style, premium product that’s widely popular despite the difficulty of classifying it.


The Venza is certainly a good-looker with its sculpted body and tapering roofline and seems to sit lower than most midsize SUV/crossovers. It’s a great choice for buyers who want something a little different in their utility vehicle. It’s certainly very car-like to drive, being based on the Toyota Camry sedan.


Over the years, the Venza has been available with a variety of powertrains but now there’s just one. Thankfully, it’s a variant of Toyota’s outstanding Hybrid Synergy Drive – a system that must have outsold any rival drivetrain by many millions. The basis of this power system is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with three high-torque electric motor-generators and an electrically controlled continuously variable transmission. With 219-horsepower, this is a peppy engine that also gives the driver the benefit of extra torque thanks to the electric motors. There’s no loss of fuel economy with this power level and the Venza will give a very impressive consumption figure of just 6.1-litres/100km, combined city/highway. All Venzas come with all-wheel drive.



Buyers can choose from three trim levels, though it’s worth emphasizing that all Venzas boast premium specifications. The basic model is the LE and moving up to the XLE you get goodies like a new multimedia system with a 12.3-inch touch screen; LED foglamps, 8-way power front seats, kick sensor rear door (very handy), driver’s seat memory and Softex upholstery. The top Venza is the Limited which features even more advanced technology. The package includes a head-up display, digital display rear view mirror, birdseye view camera, Star Gaze fixed panoramic glass roof and other desirable features.


The spacious cabin has a wonderful ambiance and feels very upscale. An ambient lighting system enhances the well-being of occupants and there are lots of storage spaces around the interior – something often overlooked by less thoughtful automakers.



The Venza is a vehicle that somehow stands out in a market packed with appealing products. It does cost a little more than some products that might be considered competitors but we must remember that even the LE is a very opulent vehicle with lots of features aimed at optimal driver and passenger enjoyment. It’s the perfect utility vehicle for buyers who seek something with a little more individuality that the average SUV/crossover.



BODY STYLE: 5-seat SUV/crossover

ENGINE: 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid

TRANSMISSION: CVT, all-wheel drive

TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500-lbs when appropriately equipped

FUEL ECONOMY: 6.1-litres/100km combined

PRICE: Starts at $40,050, MSRP

Categories: New Car, Vehicle Reviews, OpenRoad Toyota Richmond, Drive News, Blog, 2023 Car Reviews

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