Flash Drive

2023 Toyota Venza

Model Tested: 2023 Toyota Venza XLE Nightshade Hybrid AWD

The 2023 Toyota Venza XLE Nightshade Hybrid AWD comes in three distinctive colors including Ruby Flare Pearl.

Engine: 2.5-liter I-4 hybrid, 219 horsepower and 163 lb.-ft torque

Transmission: CVT automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

EPA Rating: 40-mpg city, 37-mpg highway, 39-mpg combined

Base Price: $38,930

As Tested: $41,665


Hybrid feature standard on all Venza models

Standard AWD

Three electric motors–two for front axle, one for rear

Smooth highway ride

The Toyota Venza is a two-row SUV with standard AWD and standard Hybrid drivetrain.

Drive modes: EV, Eco, Normal, Sport

Excellent hybrid fuel economy

Great standard safety features


Comfy, well-appointed interior

Stretch-out front legroom

Excellent headroom

Driver power lumbar support

Heated front seats (3 temps)

Power tilt/telescopic column

Medium thick leather steering wheel

The Venza interior is spacious and well-appointed with supportive front seats.

Ample auxiliary controls

Good adult-size rear seat room

Pretty tall floor hump

Center position adult hits ceiling


Big flat cargo area

Wide opening no lift-over

Kick to open power hatch

Hatch opens very high

Moderate slope to folded rear seats

Medium size front door bins

Toyota calls the optional panoramic roof the Star Gaze Fixed Panoramic Roof and it’s a great feature.

Big non-locking glovebox

Medium size console bin

Large infotainment screen

Two big seatback pouches

WOW Factors:

Lexus build quality and interior materials

Great panoramic roof

Toyota’s latest infotainment system

Handsome styling


Engine buzzy under aggressive acceleration

The split rear seats fold flat for added cargo capacity.

Coupe-like roof line affects cargo sizes

Too many basic controls accessed by touch screen

Bottom Line:

The 2023 Toyota Venza XLE Nightshade Hybrid AWD is a mid-size two-row SUV that’s based on the popular Toyota RAV4 Hybrid platform. The Venza comes standard as a hybrid and uses three electric motors to augment the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine. The Venza occupies a unique position in the Toyota/Lexus lineup finding a sweet spot between the similarly based Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the upscale Lexus NX Hybrid. The new

The Venza Nightshade Edition comes standard with the hands-free power liftgate feature.

Nightshade Edition offers three unique colors with black trim accents and an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.