3 Month review of 2021 Toyota Venze LE

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It has been 3 months since purchase and it has been a positive experience.

Efficiency has been as promised. Overall average has been 41.6 mpg. This includes two long trips at 65-70 mph into extremely strong head and side winds. On those trips the mileage was 37.x mpg at 65-75mph. My current tank is being used in the quite cold conditions we have been experiencing since Jan 1st, the MID shows 39.0 mpg with 60 miles DTE.

Quirks and features are very interesting. There are things, that at this price point ($32.5K) that should NOT be included. These are the superb safety suite, power memory steering column, lots of soft touch materials, power fold-in heated side mirrors with puddle lamps, F & R electronic window defrost, power full function liftgate with kick function, that can lock the entire vehicle after it's fully closed, 8-way power drivers seat that is Toyota comfortable, adaptive & regular cruise control, nice leather steering wheel and the throttle pedal is large and hinged at the floor. I like it.

Then there are things that you wonder, where the heck are they. The top few "Where are They Items" include heated seats and steering wheel, a couple more storage nooks would have been nice, a bit nicer material for the cloth seats, tie down hooks behind the rear seats, maybe a power outlet of some sort back there also.

Performance has been impressive. It is quick off the line if you want it too be, also a superb passing vehicle. The instant torque makes passing from any speed seem effortless even in eco drive mode. The powertrain wastes no time as it doesn't downshift and gains speed instantly. I think all that the sport and normal modes do is make the throttle more sensitive. Have not noticed a change in steering effort or feel when using different modes. According to the power meter in the dash, full power is available in Eco Mode and it comes up to full power quickly. The engine oil level has not dropped in 2500 miles.

Ride and handling compromise is almost ideal. The Venza has a very comfortable ride. All but the largest craters in the road are absorbed nicely with a suppressed NVH. Suspension is soft enough that there is no head toss. Steering is moderately weighted but lacks any real tactile feedback. Tight curves at or even above marked suggestions on country roads, are easy with no nanny intrusions, such as not responding to throttle in tight curves or obvious automatic braking interventions. . Contributing to the nice ride and handling character is the rattle free interior. Tracking on interstates is hindered a bit by the truck groove in asphalt surfaces. On concrete it tracks great. Lane Keeping assist works good if you keep the sensor clean, makes a big difference.

Nice surprises include a reasonable sized 8 inch, fairly easy to use infotainment screen, with real knobs and buttons, albeit on the small side. So far Android Auto and phone connections have worked well and are stable in operation. The touch screen is not overly touchy and is reasonably quick from screen to screen, The 2.1 amp USB ports charge your phone quickly and there are 4 of them. Excellent side mirrors with all the bells and whistles. Surprised how easy it was to get familiar and comfortable with the Hybrid Powertrain. Having once owned a GM product with a 2-speed PowerGlide Transmission, it is how the E-CVT feels a lot of the time. You accelerate at the rate you chose to your desired speed and let up. Many times it feels like it shifted to the next gear. The Eco Mode on the HVAC works well. On real cold mornings you will want the Regular setting. Thankfully all of the HVAC controls are physical with good tactile feedback.

Disappointments include the dealer PDI. A lot of stuff was not done at all or not well. Lack of space in the storage nooks in the doors. Two 1/2 liter water bottles on their sides fill up the entire area. Although there are large pockets on the back of both front seats. The overhead light control panel is difficult to use, it is dark colored and so is the area it's in. That pretty red paint looks great but is very soft, chips easily.

Won't be commenting much on the tires. So far they have done well in rain and the small amount of snow we have had.

Last Saturday I drove on a snow and ice covered gravel road. I put the full size energy distribution screen up and indeed, the AWD was helping anytime I went uphill and used the throttle. Could fell it working as the steering straightened out under power when it was activated. It even worked in EV mode.


Would I buy another one? Yes
 
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Nice review. Getting the top trim would cost you another $8000 but then you would have the heated seats.
 
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Nice review. Getting the top trim would cost you another $8000 but then you would have the heated seats.
Another $11000 gets you the heated seats and steering wheel. Which, let me tell you, the heated steering is very nice on my wife's RAV4.
 
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My friend is looking to buy a car for her 50th birthday and the Venza is one of her top picks but she hates all the colors. Toyota never has a huge color palette for their bread and butter vehicles.
 

Hermann

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Another $11000 gets you the heated seats and steering wheel. Which, let me tell you, the heated steering is very nice on my wife's RAV4.
$350 gets heated front seat warmers installed. Coach Carriage Works also does Katzkin Leather seats. Mmmmm
 
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Another $11000 gets you the heated seats and steering wheel. Which, let me tell you, the heated steering is very nice on my wife's RAV4.
Crazy eh, the whole base car Elantra sold here for $18k, comes with heated seats, and if you get the semi fancy one for $22k you get the heated steering wheel too.
Shows that these featrues cost the manufacturer several dozen dollars to implement, but they differ on how they want to use the features to milk their customers for maximum profit...
Canuck base Outback's still come with heated seats, mirrors, and steel wheels!:love:
 
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Crazy eh, the whole base car Elantra sold here for $18k, comes with heated seats, and if you get the semi fancy one for $22k you get the heated steering wheel too.
Shows that these featrues cost the manufacturer several dozen dollars to implement, but they differ on how they want to use the features to milk their customers for maximum profit...
Canuck base Outback's still come with heated seats, mirrors, and steel wheels!:love:
You got that right! There's no reason that push button start shouldn't be on all trim levels these days. I rented a Mitsubishi SUV in Canada a few years ago and it had a key. The push button start outline was on the dash. It's like they just stuck a plug in it.
 
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Nice review. I believe we're the only two members here with a current generation Venza. I've had mine for almost a year with 12k miles and am very happy with it.
Another $11000 gets you the heated seats and steering wheel. Which, let me tell you, the heated steering is very nice on my wife's RAV4.
The 11k upgrade from base is for a fully loaded Limited trim with all the bells and whistles.
Another 3 or 4k above LE trim can get an XLE with heated and ventilated seats, and heated steering wheel.
 
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Nice review. I believe we're the only two members here with a current generation Venza. I've had mine for almost a year with 12k miles and am very happy with it.

The 11k upgrade from base is for a fully loaded Limited trim with all the bells and whistles.
Another 3 or 4k above LE trim can get an XLE with heated and ventilated seats, and heated steering wheel.
I'm only going by what is on Toyota.com: So for $7500 over the LE you can upgrade to Limited.

The LE is $32890
The XLE is $36425 which gets you heated seats but no ventilated seats or heated steering wheel.
The Limited is $40380 which gets you the ventilated seats and heated steering wheel
 

Zee09

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I drove one while in Florida.
Great value when they first hit the lots. I did think the road noise was a bit much but i am easily bothered by such things.
 
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I'm only going by what is on Toyota.com: So for $7500 over the LE you can upgrade to Limited.

The LE is $32890
The XLE is $36425 which gets you heated seats but no ventilated seats or heated steering wheel.
The Limited is $40380 which gets you the ventilated seats and heated steering wheel
Maybe things are different for '22 or it is entirely possible that l don't remember everything from when l did my research last year.
 
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Heated seats are one of those things where I never needed it and never considered it as an option. Then I got them standard on a vehicle I bought, and now it's more important than having a transmission.
 

Hermann

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Heated seats are one of those things where I never needed it and never considered it as an option. Then I got them standard on a vehicle I bought, and now it's more important than having a transmission.
My question about heated seats are two. Is there some sort of a "Response" that occurs when you "Fire Up Those Puppies" & will a seat warmer on high keep your fast food hot on the way home, assuming it was hot to begin with.
 
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