2022 Toyota Venza
2022 Toyota Venza Review
- High fuel economy
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Luxury-level interior quality
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- One of the smallest midsize SUVs
- Higher cost of entry
- Not rated for towing
- No significant changes expected for 2022
- Part of the second Venza generation introduced for 2021
When the Toyota Venza resurfaced for 2021 after a six-year hiatus, the midsize two-row SUV placed very favorably in Edmunds' rankings. In large part, that's because it's a hybrid with an impressive EPA-estimated 39 mpg in combined driving. Other SUVs in the class are estimated to return only 20 to 25 mpg. On top of strong fuel economy, the Venza comes standard with all-wheel drive, and its hybrid powertrain keeps things quiet and calm for a more luxurious experience.
As a hybrid, the 2022 Toyota Venza can be more expensive than some rivals, but owners are likely to recover the initial cost in the form of savings at the gas pump in a short time. In terms of utility, though, the Venza isn't as strong as the competition. The interior space is smaller than average and the Venza's not rated for towing duties.
If you put a higher priority on spaciousness and hauling, you might be better served by one of the Venza's chief rivals — the Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe or Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. Our Expert Rating below spells out in detail where the Venza shines and where it could use some improvement. But overall we consider it a great choice for those looking for more efficiency and luxury.
7.8 / 10
The Toyota Venza's aggressive new styling borrows cues from Lexus and other luxury brands. Its interior design is upmarket too. On the downside, the Venza doesn't offer as much passenger and cargo space as its rivals, and it's not rated for towing. But if you value comfort, technology and great fuel efficiency, the Venza is an excellent pick.
How does the Venza drive?
The specs for the Venza's four-cylinder hybrid powertrain don't look like much on paper, but this SUV is adequately quick in real-world acceleration. In Edmunds' testing it covered 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds. That's a second behind the Honda Passport but quicker than a V6 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The Venza's handling doesn't quite match its sporty looks, but it is tidy and confident as you go around turns. When you're just commuting around town, Toyota's mastery of blending gas and electric power shows through and the Venza delivers smooth and virtually lag-free acceleration.
How comfortable is the Venza?
Toyota paid special attention to dialing up the comfort level in the Venza. The cabin is well insulated from the sounds of the outside environment, and the engine doesn't have the annoying drone that it does in the RAV4 Hybrid. The Venza also delivers excellent ride comfort, feeling more like a Lexus in the way it dispatches bumps and handles highway dips.
The front seats are both comfortable and supportive. Our Limited trim test vehicle featured front seats with heat and ventilation, but we didn't find the seat ventilation to be all that effective. Thankfully, the dual-zone climate control provides more than adequate cooling. Rear passengers have pretty comfortable seats as well, with reclining seatbacks and climate control vents to ensure good air flow.
How’s the interior?
We consider the Venza a rival to other midsize SUVs such as the Honda Passport and Subaru Outback. However, it has less interior space than those vehicles and generally matches the RAV4, which is a class size smaller. This isn't to say it's cramped inside; it's just that it's not as roomy as other SUVs in the same price range.
The rest of the interior is quite good. Toyota's latest (optional) 12.3-inch infotainment screen offers a user-friendly interface and menu structure. Below this screen are upgraded touch-sensitive controls for the climate control and radio. They work OK and are responsive, but we'd still prefer standard push buttons and knobs.
The Venza's sleek body is relatively easy to climb in and out of and offers excellent forward visibility. The thick rear roof pillars obscure some of the natural view over your shoulder, but blind-spot monitoring is standard to help you out while changing lanes. Our Limited trim came with a 360-degree parking camera system that takes much of the guesswork out of maneuvering in tight spaces.
How’s the tech?
Toyota has finally caught up with the industry on smartphone integration, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features in the Venza. The projection of your phone's apps doesn't use up all of the space on the optional 12.3-inch touchscreen, but it spans a good amount and leaves room for additional on-screen controls. The native navigation system isn't as elegant, quick or easy as phone-based navigation apps, but it's nice to have in case you don't have a cell signal. Four USB ports plus a wireless charger provide power on the go for all devices on board.
Toyota has also come a long way with its advanced driver aids, and many come as standard equipment. Adaptive cruise control works down to a full stop, and lane-centering assist keeps you in bounds without ping-ponging off lane markers. It's one of the more comprehensive and well-executed systems in the segment.
And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the Venza's optional tint-on-demand electrochromic panoramic sunroof. With the push of a button, you can switch from clear glass to opaque white. It effectively blocks out much of the direct sun and heat but maintains a bright cabin space.
How’s the storage?
Size matters when it comes to storage, and the Venza is smaller than most in the class. The cargo area is usable and doesn't look that small in isolation, but at 28.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, it trails the class by a good margin (even the RAV4 offers more space) and has a slightly awkward liftover height. The 60/40-split seats fold flat, and you can store the cargo cover under the load floor when it's not in use. A hands-free tailgate is standard, something some competitors only offer on top-trim models.
Cabin storage for small items is also limited. Most bins are smaller than those you'll find in the average midsize crossover, and the Venza even lacks overhead space for sunglasses. For those with child seat needs, things are considerably better. Anchors are easy to access and we didn't have any issues installing a large rear-facing infant seat. But drivers over 6 feet will likely need to locate the seat on the passenger side.
It should also be noted that the Venza has not been rated for towing.
How’s the fuel economy?
The EPA estimates the Venza gets 39 mpg combined. However, we observed an impressive 44.3 mpg over our 115-mile real-world evaluation route. Granted, the Venza only comes as a hybrid, but it obliterates everything in the segment in efficiency. The next most efficient SUV is the Subaru Outback (which is considerably slower) at 29 mpg combined. If our result is an accurate representation, we expect the Venza to routinely match or exceed its EPA estimate.
Is the Venza a good value?
While the Venza's cost of entry is higher than most in this segment, it has the interior quality and exterior styling of a Lexus. You won't be able to get into a Venza for less than $33,000, but it does come with a significant number of standard features such as a full suite of advanced driving aids, LED headlights and taillights, and a hands-free liftgate. The fully loaded Limited trim is competitively priced with segment leaders too.
Additional benefits for the Venza beyond Toyota's basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty include hybrid powertrain coverage for eight years/100,000 miles. Toyota also recently extended its battery warranty coverage to 10 years/150,000 miles. Free scheduled maintenance is included for the first two years/25,000 miles, and there's roadside assistance for the first two years of ownership.
The Venza has returned with a healthy amount of personality. It's destined to be more popular than its predecessor just based on its aggressive new design alone. But that sportier look isn't backed up by athletic performance. Sure, it's adequately quick and very fuel-efficient, but it's not the weekend-joyride type unless the point is seeing how far you can get on a tank of gas.
But if, like us, you value substance, then the Venza excels in almost all the important areas for this midsize SUV class and rewards you with a well-rounded driving experience.
Which Venza does Edmunds recommend?
Toyota Venza models
[Editor's note: The following information is based on last year's 2021 Venza. We expect the 2022 model will have a similar lineup and we'll update this section once we have complete information.]
The 2022 Toyota Venza is a midsize SUV that comes with more standard features than most in its segment. It's offered exclusively as a hybrid with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (219 hp total output) and all-wheel drive. It comes in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited. Highlight features include:
The base LE gets you started off nicely with:
- 18-inch wheels
- LED headlights
- 8-inch touchscreen display
- 4.2 multi-information display
- Push-button ignition and keyless entry (front doors only)
- Power-adjustable driver's seat
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
You also get:
- Wireless smartphone charging
- Four USB ports
- Hands-free liftgate
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility
- Six-speaker sound system
All Venzas come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 that includes:
- Adaptive cruise control (uses front-mounted radar and camera to maintain a preset speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. Operates down to a stop.)
- Lane centering assist (works with adaptive cruise control and keeps the vehicle centered in the lane with small steering inputs)
- Forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection (warns you of an impending collision and can apply the brakes if you don't react in time)
- Lane departure alert (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
The XLE takes things up a notch with:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Roof rails
- Auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink
- Projector-style LED headlights
- Heated front seats
- Simulated leather and cloth seats
- Keyless entry for rear doors
- A larger driver information display
- Front and rear parking sensors
The Limited trim bumps the Venza up to the luxury class by adding:
- 12.3-inch touchscreen
- Nine-speaker premium JBL audio system
- Digital rearview mirror (allows you to see out the back even with a fully loaded cargo area)
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Full faux leather upholstery
- Power-adjustable front passenger seat
- Heated steering wheel
- 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Venza and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
Some of the features on the Limited are available on the XLE as options. For the Limited you can also get:
Advanced Technology package
- 10-inch color head-up display
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers
Star Gaze panoramic roof
- Glass switches between clear and frost-tinted with the push of a button
- Electrochromic sunshade (think transition lenses)
- Removes the roof rails if equipped
Toyota Venza vs. the competition
2022 Toyota Venza
2022 Honda Passport
Toyota Venza vs. Honda Passport
Compared to the Honda Passport, the Venza enjoys a fuel economy advantage and sharper styling. After that, however, the chips tend to fall in favor of the Passport, with its quicker acceleration, spacious cabin and more accessible price. If you want to learn more about what the Honda Passport is like to live with, read Edmunds' long-term Passport road test.
Toyota Venza vs. Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
The VW Atlas Cross Sport provides an abundance of interior space, offers plenty of comfort, and features sharper handling than other midsize SUVs. Unfortunately, when stacked up against the Venza, it comes up well short in regard to fuel economy (22 mpg combined compared to the Venza's 39 mpg estimate). The VW has enough going for it to edge the Venza out in Edmunds' rankings, but if eco-friendliness is one of your priorities, the Venza may be a better pick for you.
Toyota Venza vs. Hyundai Santa Fe
As is the case with almost any Hyundai, the Santa Fe comes with a very generous features list for the money and an appealingly long warranty. In the drawbacks column, the infotainment system is slow to respond at times and the handling is a bit sloppy. The Venza edges out the Santa Fe in our rankings, but if you're on a tighter budget, the Hyundai remains a solid alternative.