Toyota’s stylish 2022 Venza is a fuel-efficient offering in the mid-size SUV arena, but it’s smaller and less practical than boxier crossovers, some of which cost less money. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder and three electric motors comprise the Venza’s all-wheel-drive, hybrid powertrain, which sips fuel better than V-6–powered rivals such as the Honda Passport and the Nissan Murano. Toyota offers a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features as standard and a host of modern amenities—including a slick electrochromic panoramic sunroof—are available, too. The Venza’s interior is strictly a two-row affair and passenger space is adequate, but buyers will find more rear-seat space in the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
What’s New for 2022?
The Venza enters 2022—its second year on sale since its revival for the 2021 model year—with no significant changes.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The best value of the bunch is the XLE model, which comes standard with front and rear parking sensors, passive keyless entry, and 19-inch aluminum wheels. All Venza models come standard with all-wheel drive, so those who want that feature aren’t forced to shell out extra to have it.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Venza is offered exclusively as a hybrid, powered by a setup comprised of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and three electric motors which together develop 219 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard: One of the electric motors powers the Venza’s rear wheels while the gasoline engine and the other two motors work to spin the fronts. During our test drive of the Venza, we found ourselves disappointed by its driving dynamics, and it didn’t deliver the smooth and even ride that we expected. At our test track, its acceleration was also mediocre at 7.6 seconds to 60 mph, putting it 1.5 seconds off the pace set by the Passport.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the Venza will deliver 40 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, which is almost double the ratings of other two-row mid-size SUVs such as the Passport and the Ford Edge. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, we recorded 36 mpg. For more information about the Venza’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Based on its dimensions, we expected the Venza’s cabin to be slightly roomier than the smaller Toyota RAV4’s in terms of spaciousness, but in reality we found the Venza slightly less roomy. Not only is passenger space tighter here than in the RAV4, cargo capacity suffers as well, although most buyers will find it perfectly adequate. We fit seven carry-on suitcases behind the rear seat and 18 in total with the rear seats folded, versus 10 and 22 for the RAV4. The Venza is the first Toyota to offer the optional electrochromic panoramic sunroof that the company calls Star Gaze. With the flip of a switch, the sunroof’s glass panels go from transparent to opaque; this impressive feature is something (until now) that we’ve only found on luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz SL-class.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard on the Venza and stands proudly atop the SUV’s dashboard; a larger 12.3-inch display is optional on the XLE and standard on the Limited. No matter which display is chosen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa connectivity are all standard, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio. Upgrading to the larger of the two displays also unlocks in-dash navigation and adds a nine-speaker JBL premium stereo system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Toyota includes a suite of driver-assistance features as standard on all Venza models. For more information about the Venza’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Toyota’s warranty coverage is fairly standard when compared with other mainstream brands, but it sweetens the deal with two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance. The Venza’s hybrid components will be covered by a special eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty, and the battery is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Hybrid-component warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles
2021 Toyota Venza
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$43,045 (base price: $33,590)
DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4, 176 hp, 163 lb-ft + 3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, front: 118 hp, 149 lb-ft; rear: 54 hp, 89 lb-ft (combined output, 219 hp); 0.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
continuously variable automatic
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.0-in vented disc/11.1-in disc
Tires: Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus, 225/55R-19 99V M+S
Wheelbase: 105.9 in
Length: 186.6 in
Width: 73.0 in
Height: 65.9 in
Passenger volume: 95 ft3
Cargo volume: 29 ft3
Curb weight: 3879 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.6 sec
100 mph: 20.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec
1/4 mile: 15.8 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 118 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 179 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.79 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 36 mpg
Highway range: 520 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (MFR EST)
Combined/city/highway: 39/40/37 mpg
More Features and Specs