2023 Toyota Venza Hybrid Picks Up More Tech and a Cool New Trim
The Nightshade Edition takes things a bit darker, while a new infotainment system marks a major tech upgrade.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
The Toyota Venza hybrid crossover isn't old enough for a midcycle refresh, but that's not going to stop Toyota from making sure this vehicle gets some updated kit. For the 2023 model year, the Venza steps into some fresh new duds and gets a few key upgrades that are worth your attention.
Toyota on Thursday announced a raft of updates for the 2023 Venza. Perhaps the largest single upgrade is the addition of a Nightshade Edition. This model is based on the mid-tier XLE trim, and it's available in black, white or red. Both the interior and exterior are treated to black trim, and the exterior also gets optional black roof rails and some dark chrome elements on the lower bumpers. 19-inch alloy wheels are standard, and you guessed it, they're gloss black.
The other changes to the 2023 Venza can be found inside. Here, the most important upgrade is the addition of the automaker's flashy new Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment system, which can also be found on new Lexus models like the NX and RZ. Standard in an 8-inch display on LE and a 12.3-inch display on XLE and Limited, the new getup offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Google-based mapping, over-the-air updates and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The Venza's USB ports have been updated too, now offering one USB-A and two USB-C ports. A previously optional head-up display is now standard on Limited trims, as are rain-sensing wipers.
Toyota also upgraded the Venza's safety suite from Safety Sense 2.0 to Safety Sense 2.5. The changes here are incremental. For example, automatic emergency braking can now help prevent collisions when making unprotected left turns through an intersection, and the evasive steering assistant has been beefed up a bit. The suite also includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, but blind-spot monitoring, a rear seat reminder and parking sensors are also included.
Otherwise, the song remains the same. The 2023 Venza gets its power from a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle inline-four gas engine mated to three electric motors. Throw 0.9 kilowatt-hours of battery into the mix and you've got a hybrid that produces 219 horsepower and mates to a continuously variable transmission. EPA figures shouldn't change much or at all; for context, the feds currently rate the Venza at 40 mpg highway, 37 mpg city and 39 mpg combined.
While Toyota did not offer an on-sale date for the 2023 Venza, it's likely that we'll see it some time before this calendar year wraps up. Pricing is still TBA as well, but for context, a base 2022 Venza will set you back $34,455 (including $1,215 for destination), while a range-topping Limited model will cost you $41,945.