The Toyota Venza, offered exclusively as an EPA-estimated 39 combined MPG hybrid, brought a fresh approach to premium style and comfort in the midsize CUV segment when it arrived for 2022. Now, for 2023, Venza’s unique style gets an extra infusion of coolness with the new Nightshade Edition. Based on the XLE trim level and available in three exterior colors, all featuring blackout trim for a distinctive presence, the Venza Nightshade joins other Toyota models in offering this bold treatment.
The Venza’s undeniably distinct design packages an unquestionably fashionable and quiet cabin, all with unmistakable Toyota value. The Toyota Hybrid System II and Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive are standard on all Venza trims, which has a projected manufacturer-estimated 39 combined MPG rating.
The new Nightshade Edition is available in three premium exterior colors – Celestial Black, Wind Chill Pearl (replacing Blizzard Pearl for all 2023 models) or Ruby Flare Red, each boldly accented by an array of black trim for the interior. The Nightshade shows a true designer touch, starting with the acrylic front grille trim, black-painted outer mirror caps, door handles, rocker panels and available black roof rails. The lower bumpers are complemented in front and rear by smoked chrome moldings as well. The black shark fin antenna is, literally, a crowning touch.
For all three colors, the 2023 Venza Nightshade Edition rolls on 19-inch gloss-black multi-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and blacked out rear badges. LED fog lamps, now standard on XLE and Nightshade, shine extra light from the darkness. For Nightshade specifically, this can also be paired with the available Star Gaze™ Panoramic Roof.
Venza is assembled on the Toyota New Global Architecture K (TNGA-K) platform that underpins many of the company’s sedans and crossovers, including luxury models. As such, Venza delivers the best of both worlds: sedan-like driving comfort and CUV versatility.
Offering ample room for five in a highly maneuverable package, the Venza offers a host of available tech-focused features, including a 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia display with a nine speaker JBL Premium Audio system, 12.3” full digital instrument cluster, digital rear-view mirror and 10-inch color Head-Up Display.
One of Venza’s most dramatic luxury innovations is, fittingly, found on top of the vehicle: the available Star Gaze™ fixed panoramic glass roof – available on the new Nightshade trim as well as the Limited grade. The roof panel’s electrochromic glass technology allows drivers to switch from transparent to frosted modes within seconds using the ON/OFF button. In the frosted mode, Star Gaze™ brightens the interior while reducing direct sunlight, giving the cabin an even more open, airy and inviting feeling.
New to Venza: Toyota Safety Sense 2.5
In addition to collision protection provided by the TNGA-K platform, the 2023 Venza comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, Toyota’s suite of active safety systems. It includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection that features enhancements over the previous generation, including the ability to detect an oncoming vehicle or a pedestrian at intersections when making a turn. The Pre-Collision System is designed to detect vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists and provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Emergency steering assist is an additional function designed to detect pedestrians and stabilize the driver’s emergency evasive steering maneuvers and help prevent lane departure.
TSS2.5 on Venza also includes Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Lane Departure Alert is designed to notify the driver via audible alert if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist is designed to assist the driver by providing a slight steering force to help center the vehicle in its lane using visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle.
Automatic High Beams are designed to detect preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switch between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID).
Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder also comes standard on Venza. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened within 10 minutes of the vehicle being turned on, or at any time after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multitone chimes.
In addition to the TSS 2.5 system, other standard safety features include Blind Spot Monitor which is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is designed to provide warning and if needed, implement brake control when there’s a possibility of a collision with a stationary object or an approaching vehicle while parking.
High-MPG Hybrid as Standard
The Toyota Hybrid System II in the Venza combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with three electric motors and a lithium-ion battery in a highly compact system. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump and electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump further help improve engine efficiency.
Toyota’s proven hybrid tech seamlessly delivers 219 total system horsepower for lively performance in the Venza. As with all Toyota hybrids, the feeling of everyday acceleration and responsiveness is heightened by the way the electric motor boosts low-speed torque. The hybrid system optimizes the level of electric motor assistance and gas engine RPM without the engine running at high revs. Engine speed is synchronized with vehicle speed, yielding effortless and quiet acceleration.
Selectable NORMAL, ECO and SPORT driving modes let the driver tailor the Venza’s performance personality. SPORT mode enhances and sharpens throttle response, making fuel efficiency more fun. ECO mode changes the throttle and environmental logic to help the driver focus on maximizing mileage from the fuel and battery, while NORMAL mode is ideal for everyday driving. Additionally, EV mode allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.
Regenerative braking captures the energy of the turning wheels as the vehicle slows, sending it to the hybrid battery. To foster greater control when driving in hilly areas, the driver can use a sequential shifting feature to “downshift” to increase regenerative braking in steps. Befitting a premium vehicle, the hybrid system enhances ride comfort by finely controlling the drive torque to suppress vehicle pitch under acceleration and deceleration.
Reading the Road for Maximum MPG
Venza’s Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) technology uses navigation system operation to analyze driving habits and memorize road and traffic conditions to help optimize hybrid battery charging. When the driver selects PED, the system learns repeating routes and is designed to predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. Then, through optimum accelerator pedal release timing guidance, PED can help the driver to reduce energy consumption.
PED can also help optimize battery charging and discharge ahead of hills or traffic congestion. When approaching a downhill section, for example, the system is designed to apply additional engine braking force to charge the hybrid battery more efficiently after the accelerator pedal is released.
Smooth, Confident Driving
Extensive use of high-strength steel gives the TNGA-K platform inherent strength to allow front strut and rear multi-link suspension tuning that fosters handling agility while providing a quiet, supple ride. Bolstering Venza’s handling, an electronically controlled brake system features Active Cornering Assist (ACA) that engages the stability control to reduce understeer in certain cornering situations.
The hybrid system uses a differential torque pre-load function, which enhances acceleration and deceleration controllability when starting off or cornering. The feature also helps enhance steering performance at higher speeds, as well as straight-line stability and controllability on rough roads.
The 2023 Venza LE rolls on 18-inch multi-spoke two-tone alloy wheels, while XLE and Limited come standard with 19-inch multi-spoke super chrome finished alloy wheels. The new Nightshade Edition features exclusive gloss black versions of the 19-inch wheels.
Hybrid All-Wheel Drive
Taking maximum advantage of the hybrid powertrain’s benefits, the standard Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. The system works seamlessly and transparently, preemptively distributing up to 80% of driving force to the rear wheels to help suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts. The system also enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer.
Torque distribution varies with conditions, from 100:0 in constant-speed driving to 20:80 on slippery surfaces. The driver can view torque distribution on the Multi-information Display and audio system screen.
Calm and Collected for the Long Drive
The 2023 Venza provides a gratifyingly quiet cabin atmosphere. Critically, Toyota engineers focused on creating a calm interior conducive to enjoying easy conversation or hearing music in cleaner detail.
The high-strength TNGA-K platform is the first defense against noise intrusion, curbing vibration through the steering, floor and structure. Suspension tuning resists road surface disturbances, helping to reduce tire noise via strategically placed insulation. An acoustic glass windshield helps minimize wind noise intrusion.
Sound-blocking and absorbing insulation and body sealing material are placed throughout Venza’s structure, under the carpeting and above the headliner. The materials and their placement were optimized to minimize noise in the frequencies that typically interfere with conversation.
As one example, the floor silencer pad is one large piece rather than separate segments, resulting in 92% coverage. Holes and gaps between parts are filled in with sound-damping material for greater road noise reduction. Under the hood, sound-absorbing insulation around the engine compartment helps reduce intake noise, assisted by the placement of two special resonance chambers that help minimize air noise in the 530Hz and 650Hz ranges.
Venza provides exemplary comfort with a standard 8-way power driver’s seat on all grades, adding an eight-way power passenger seat on Limited (new for 2023). The power driver’s seat automatically moves to its rearmost position to make entering and exiting the vehicle easier. The next time the Venza is started, the seat moves to the last position set by the driver.
The available heated front seats can be adjusted in three levels. Ventilated front seats, standard on Limited, draw cool air from the air conditioning system into the seat for added comfort. Venza employs S-FLOW air conditioning technology that first appeared on Lexus models. The system directs cooling air only to occupied seats, enhancing comfort and helping to reduce energy consumption. On the Limited and XLE with a 12.3-in display, the climate control system is operated with Intelligent Touch capacitive controls.
Space for What Matters
The Venza doesn’t take up a lot of space outside yet provides generous space inside. Venza offers 28.8 cu. ft. of carrying space behind the second row and 55.1 cu. ft. total with the rear seatback folded. When not in use, the standard tonneau cover can be stored in a space beneath the cargo area deck. Cupholders can accommodate large drink sizes, while the center stack tray can handle the largest iPhone models. Door bottle holders can take 24-oz bottles.
Toyota Audio Multimedia on A Big Screen
The 2023 Venza offers cutting edge entertainment and connectivity through intuitive and versatile Toyota audio systems. The 8-in. Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen is standard on LE including a 6-speaker audio system with 4-channel amplifier for clean, powerful sound for all types of music. For 2023, XLE will be upgraded to a 12.3-in Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen as standard. Additionally, for 2023, all Venza models have the new Toyota Audio Multimedia system, upgraded USB ports with one USB Type-A and two USB Type-C ports as well as an updated fourth-generation Qi wireless charger. Qi wireless charger in the form of a fourth-generation version.
Thanks to the Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team, Venza drivers will be at the ready thanks to a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls. With the available Connected Service Drive Connect trial or subscription, drivers and passengers have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awaken the system for voice activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more. Cloud Navigation, the available onboard navigation solution, utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic and routing information. To ensure users have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate the next destination.
The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility. With further connectivity, the Venza has an available Wi-Fi Connect subscription that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices – turning the Venza into an AT&T Hotspot. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription, Wi-Fi Connect trial or subscription also enables the new Integrated Streaming feature, providing the ability to link their separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.
JBL Premium Audio System, optional on XLE and standard on Limited, features a stunning 12.3-inch touchscreen display. Ardent music buffs will love this sonically stunning system, uses 9 speakers, including a rear subwoofer, powered by a 12-channel, 1,200-watt amplifier. The system was designed exclusively for Venza with unique speaker architecture and specifically tuned to the cabin space.
The Venza LE and XLE grade now feature the same 7-inch color Multi-Information Display. In either display, a Hybrid System Indicator shows the driver system output and regeneration status to encourage eco-driving habits. The display suggests the optimal acceleration amount for eco driving and provides a game-like scoring function for the driver. Limited will be upgraded to a 12.3” full digital instrument cluster that features four different visual modes for a personalized touch: Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty mode.
The previously available 10-inch color Head-Up Display is now standard on Limited grades for 2023 which projects vital information at eye level, including speedometer, hybrid system indicator and TSS 2.5 functions. The Venza’s available digital rearview mirror with HomeLink universal transceiver helps the driver see what’s behind the vehicle. At the flip of a switch, the mirror provides the driver with a wide, unobstructed view from a rear camera. The mirror also helps reduce glare from headlights. To further aid outward visibility, the Limited grade comes standard with Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, which provides a panoramic overhead view of the vehicle’s surroundings. Rain sensing wipers are also now standard on the Limited grade for even more convenience in 2023.
The standard backup camera features projected-path and dynamic gridlines, while an available rear camera cleaning system sprays washer fluid to clear away water droplets, mud, snow and snow-melting road treatments from the lens. A standard hands-free power liftgate can be set to lock automatically upon closing. For additional convenience, XLE and Limited grades come standard with a Smart Key System that works on all five doors.
Toyota Limited Warranty
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against perforation from corrosion for 60 months with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. The HV battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferrable across ownership.
The 2023 Venza also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.