Driving the Toyota Venza across the Foothills in 75-mile winds last week made me very fond of this 2023 SUV. While the winds could be felt, the all-wheel drive Venza just cut through them with ease.
This is a hybrid Toyota that has four drive modes, EV, Eco, Normal, and Sport. I used all four drive modes and found that sport mode was great in hill climbs and eco was the way to descend. The combined 2.5L engine with the hybrid system delivered a very adequate 229 combined horsepower and an overall 39-mile fuel consumption. Hybrids are the way to go with the combined systems. Toyota electronic versatile transmissions are remarkable and the Venza is an all-wheel drive vehicle.
I missed the heated steering wheel but enjoyed the heated front seats and smart phone charger station. Selling at an attractive price, the Venza has a manufacturer’s suggested list price of $39,930. The price includes all the options except the Star Gaze roof at $1,400.
The vehicle is loaded with safety equipment that is vital to a safe ride and drive. The lane departure warnings are significant, and the rear and front cross traffic alerts appreciated. The Venza has the entire Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 program that is now becoming standard. These safety features has earned the Venza an all-around five-star safety rating.
The “Nightshade” model has 19” multi-spoke black alloy wheels.
Not a huge SUV, the XLE model is mid-range in size and price. It is a well-equipped vehicle for work and winter driving. The style is modern, the “Ruby Flare Pearl” paint is modest, and the interior has black seating. The electronics offer all radio channels and are controlled by the center console and the steering wheel. I would prefer dials for sound and stations, but computers have taken over that role.
I liked this vehicle, especially the hybrid aspects, the Toyota Safety Sense programs and safe driving features, and a warning screen notice for entering school zones.
Very good all-around family car for work or play with great fuel economy. Hybrids are here to stay.