The Venza might be the most misunderstood member of Toyota’s lineup, but it’s shockingly good and is getting a handful of updates for 2023.
The biggest news is the addition of a Nightshade variant, which is based on the Venza XLE. It embraces the blackout trend as buyers will find black accents on the grille, mirrors, door handles, and side skirts. They’re joined by smoked chrome accents, black badging, and 19-inch aluminum wheels with a gloss black finish.
The Nightshade Edition will be available in three different colors including Celestial Black, Ruby Flare Red, and Wind Chill Pearl which replaces Blizzard Pearl for all 2023 models. It’s also worth mentioning the 2023 Venza XLE gains newly standard LED fog lights and they can also be found on the Nightshade.
An Upgraded Interior With New Tech And Equipment
Putting the Nightshade Edition aside, 2023 Venzas gain 8- and 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment systems. They’re a significant improvement over their predecessors as they offer over-the-air updates, cloud-based navigation, and an Intelligent Assistant that responds to the “Hey Toyota” wake word. Buyers will also find wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as integrated Apple Music and Amazon Music streaming with the available Wi-Fi Connect subscription.
The changes don’t end there as the crossover features upgraded USB ports and a fourth-generation Qi wireless smartphone charger. Buyers will also find better equipment as the entry-level Venza LE trades its tiny 4.2-inch multi-information display for a larger 7-inch screen.
Most of the equipment changes are focused on the range-topping Limited, which now boasts rain sensing wipers, an eight-way power passenger seat, and a 10-inch color head-up display. Limited buyers will also find a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that offers Casual, Smart, Tough, and Sporty display modes.
On the safety front, the 2023 Venza now comes equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite of driver assistance systems. It’s an upgrade over the previous 2.0 system as it features an improved Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, which can detect oncoming vehicles and pedestrians at intersections when making a turn.
Drivers will also find Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Road Sign Assist. Other safety features include a Rear Seat Reminder, a Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Front / Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking.
The Venza’s hybrid powertrain carries over and consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a lithium-ion battery, and three electric motors. This gives the all-wheel drive crossover a combined output of 219 hp (163 kW / 222 PS) and an estimated fuel economy rating of 39 mpg combined.