2022 Toyota Venza Review

2022 Toyota Venza - Toyota Venza scores in many areas


Price: $40,380

Pros—Stylish. Upscale roomy interior. Decent acceleration. Smooth ride. Stable handling. All-wheel drive. Good fuel economy.  

—So-so cargo area. High cargo opening. Outside mirrors partly block vision.

Bottom Line
—Pleasant and easy to live with.

The  2022 Toyota Venza Limited midsize hybrid crossover looks faster and more aggressive than it is with its shark-like front and rakish side view. But it’s just moderately fast and mainly designed for room and comfort. Driving fun isn’t on the menu.

Not that this second-generation $40,380 Venza Limited is a bore. It’s fairly fast with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors, which generate a combined 219 horsepower and 163 pound/feet of torque.

The Venza has virtually no changes from 2021, when it was introduced as the all-new second-generation Venza. It does 0-60 m.p.h. in 7.6 seconds with its smooth CVT automatic transmission. Merging and passing times are more than acceptable. After all, this crossover weighs 3,913 pounds.

A driver has a good view of the road, but large automatic outside mirrors block vision when, for instance, turning street corners. However, at least the mirrors fold in toward the front door-side glass when the Venza Limited is parked to prevent costly damage to them.  

Estimated economy is an impressive 40 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on highways. Only 87-octane fuel is needed for its 14.5-gallon tank. I got a steady 40 m.p.h. on highways at a constant 70 m.p.h.

You can select these driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport vis a console switch. I didn’t bother much with “Eco,” but “Normal” provides an impressively smooth ride, although some bumps and road dips can be felt. “Sport” tightens things up a bit and doesn’t hurt the ride much, but really is for winding roads.

I didn’t notice all that much difference between Normal and Sport modes. Both allow a moderate amount of body lean around entry and exit expressway curves at above-average speeds, but there always was a feeling of security, thanks to a good suspension and the standard all-wheel-drive system. Steering is quick and accurate, although largely lacking in feel, and the brake pedal has a smooth, progressive action.

However, of course, the Venza Limited isn’t meant to be driven like a sports car. It mostly resembles a laid-back GT (Grand Touring) vehicle for relaxing long trips.    

Four tall adults can sit comfortably in the Venza Limited’s upscale interior, which has great-looking wood (or simulated wood) trim and high quality materials. But leave the stiff rear center seat for the fold-down armrest with its twin cupholders unless a fifth occupant needs a ride.

The large touchscreen takes time to learn, and it’s annoying that there is no knob for the radio volume and tuning. At least there are manual dashboard controls for such items as the heated steering wheel, trunk opening and rearview camera.

The cargo area has a high opening beneath the power hatch but is just adequately sized for a 187-inch length vehicle, although the split rear seat backs easily slip forward and sit flat to enlarge the cargo area from 28.8 cubic feet to 54.4 cubic feet.   

The top-line Venza Limited can touch $45,000 with options, but has plenty of standard equipment. It includes such features such as a high-line (near-Lexus) interior, automatic climate control, CarPlay and Android Auto, large console storage bin, deep door pockets, rearview-camera and larger (12.8 inch) touchscreen than the 8.3-inch screen in the entry level $32,890 Venza model.

One especially standard noteworthy feature is a large electrochromatic glass roof that can be turned from clear to opaque to keep out direct sunlight. It also has a power sliding cover.

It’s a small touch, but I liked the separate control for the rear windshield wiper. That control often is combined with the control for the front wipers and that can make it hard to stop the rear wiper while turning off the front ones.

Safety items include front/rear parking sensors, cross-traffic assist, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, head-up display, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and a 360-degree surround-view camera.

The Venza Limited is suited to compete with harder-edged upscale German imports. After all, how many autobahns do we have in this country?

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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