10 Best & Worst Toyota Venza Years (Pictures & Stats)

The Toyota Venza was produced from 2009 – 2015 and made a return as a hybrid-only model for 2021.

Older models combined wagon attributes with a crossover SUV whilst newer models are small midsize SUVs.

In this article, we’ll be analyzing all of the best and worst model years of the Venza.

2023 Toyota Venza

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Toyota Venza Are:

The best Toyota Venza model years are 2024, 2023, 2022, 2015, 2014, and 2012. The worst model years of the Venza are 2009, 2021, 2010, 2011, and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Toyota Venza?

2024 and 2023 Toyota Venza

The 2023 and 2024 Venza’s are top SUVs with an emphasis on style, safety and fuel efficiency. There are no major differences between these two model years.

New for 2023 is the Nightshade Edition trim and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ safety suite was made standard, adding emergency steering assist and enhanced pedestrian detection.

There 4 available trims, LE, XLE, Nightshade, and Limited.

Starting prices for the various trims range from approximately $36,000 to $44,000.

The most in-demand trim is the midrange XLE, priced at $39,665. It comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, roof rails, and even keyless entry for the rear doors. 

Across the lineup all variants are equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with three electric motors (219 horsepower) and standard all-wheel-drive.

Fuel economy is excellent, with EPA estimates of 39 MPG for combined driving, 37 MPG for highway driving, and 40 MPG for city driving. 

2023 Venza:

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2023 Venza, Edmunds review:

“ … I have to say the 2.5 combined with the electric motors has more than met my expectations. The quality and features of this car are fantastic, near luxury without snobbery. My car has all features except the panoramic moonroof, while a really cool feature I figured I would be enamored with for about a month and then likely wouldn’t use it , similar to the panoramic roof on my former vehicle…”

2022 Toyota Venza

The 2022 Venza is the second installment of the second generation and is notably more reliable than its 2021 predecessor.

This generation of Venza models re-emerged from a 6-year hiatus a completely changed vehicle – exclusively hybrid, defined as a mid-size SUV and revamped styling.

The 2022 Venza is praised for its fuel economy, standard all-wheel-drive, safety tech and comfortable ride.

There are 3 trims to choose from: LE, XLE, and Limited.

All models are powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and three electric motors paired to a continuously variable-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is excellent – 39 MPG for combined driving, 37 MPG for highway driving, and 40 MPG for city driving.

Our favorite safety features are Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, and Lane Tracing Assist.

The 2022 Venza also received a perfect 5-star safety rating from NHTSA based on various crash tests.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2022 Venza, Edmunds review:

“We’ve owned our Venza for three months now and love it! The ride is smooth, comfortable, and quiet. It feels predictable and safe. We’re hitting 38-42 MPG around town depending on the trip, and 40-45 MPG on the freeway depending on speed and traffic…”

2022 Toyota Venza

2015 Toyota Venza

The 2015 Venza is a wagonlike alternative to a variety of crossovers. It is the final and most reliable model of the first generation.

It has a roomy cabin, a stellar optional V6, and offers easy ingress and egress. 

New for this 2015 is a 6.1-inch touchscreen with a split-screen option, a built-in navigation system, and mobile app functionality for the XLE and Limited trims.

There are 3 trims available, LE, XLE, and Limited.

Owners have praised this model for its comfort, spaciousness, appearance, reliability, manufacturing quality, minimal road noise, and ride quality.

It also received a perfect 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.6 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 86 / 100

2015 Venza, Edmunds review:

“Toyota had a real winner with the Venza model. This vehicle gives you the all wheel drive security in bad weather with the comfortable feel found in a Camry. The mistake that Toyota made was not continuing to offer this exceptional model. These comments are from an individual who has owned two Camrys and two Venzas. A 2016 and beyond Venza should still be offered to the motoring public.”

2015 Toyota Venza

2014 Toyota Venza

The 2014 Venza is practical, spacious, fuel-efficient, and offers a pleasant ride.

New for 2014 were a handful of equipment changes and revisions.

For the XLE trim, power-folding mirrors were introduced whilst the top-spec Limited trim received front and rear parking sensors.

According to the EPA, fuel economy is 23 MPG for combined driving, 20 MPG for city driving, and 26 MPG for highway driving for the 2.7-liter 4-cylinder version (181 horsepower).

Models with an all-wheel-drive get comparable fuel efficiency figures as well. 

If you are in need of more oomph, we recommend opting for the 3.5-liter V6 engine (268 horsepower).

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.6 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2022 Venza, Edmunds review:

“January 2019 Update. This car continues to provide us with great performance & reliability. Another home run purchase for us, and my wife loves this car! Other than a couple of oil changes and tire rotations, we’re good to good! Bad move on Toyota’s part on the discontinuance of the Venza…”

2012 Toyota Venza

The 2012 Venza is a solid choice for those looking for a good balance of affordability and reliability. This model received minimal NHTSA complaints and can be picked up on the used car market at a great price.

Some describe it as a wagon whilst others call it a crossover – regardless, it’s a practical and comfortable family vehicle.

According to online reviews, the best aspects of this model are comfort, interior, appearance, spaciousness, handling, steering, fuel economy, value for money, and acceleration.

The entry-level LE trim and the midrange XLE trim come in either a 4-cylinder engine (182 horsepower) or V6 engine (268 horsepower) with either front-wheel-drive an all-wheel-drive.

The high-end Limited trim comes exclusively with a V6 engine in either front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. 

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.6 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2012 Venza, Edmunds review:

“Drove a Camry XLE V6. Adored that car, never had a problem, averaged 15K yearly, got better than EPA fuel economy. Considered new Camry when I bought the car on March 12, but a test drive of the Venza XLE V6 changed my mind. Incredible seat comfort, versatile storage, stylish interior, and magnificent stereo. Also exceeds EPA rating for fuel economy, just like my reliable Camry did. Not a jiggle or squeak in the body…”

2012 Venza

Consumer Scores For Best Toyota Venza Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2024 Toyota VenzaNANANA
2023 Toyota Venza4.2 / 5.04.7 / 5.084 / 100
2022 Toyota Venza4.2 / 5.04.7 / 5.084 / 100
2015 Toyota Venza4.5 / 5.04.6 / 5.086 / 100
2014 Toyota Venza4.4 / 5.04.6 / 5.087 / 100
2012 Toyota Venza4.1 / 5.04.6 / 5.084 / 100

Related: How Long Do Toyota Venza Hybrids Last? (12 Important Facts)

What Are The Worst Years For The Toyota Venza?

2009 Toyota Venza

The 2009 Venza was the first model produced, it is also the most problematic model year ever produced.

The most widely reported problem from owners was unintended acceleration – essentially the car would accelerate on its own.

Here are a selection of complaints filed on the NHTSA website:

“Merging onto freeway and getting up to speed, the accelerator pushed to the floor and continued to take over the car and rev up to 7500rpms. I was unable to disengage the throttle as it took me at full speed into traffic.”

“I own a 2009 Toyota Venza and on sept 24 , 2009 my car accelerated through a Chinese restaurant in my town. Two people in the restaurant were slightly injured, I was not injured, the passenger was not injured, but it could have been worse.”

Owners also reported that the roof seal would leak when it rains and more commonly that the sun visor would drop down obscuring the drivers vision.

The 2009 Venza had a total of 207 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 46 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Car accelerates on its own
  • Steering rattle
  • Roof leaks
  • Sun visor drops down
  • Paint chips extremely easily 
  • Transmission failure
2009 Venza

2021 Toyota Venza

The 2021 Venza, which is the model year that marked the long-awaited return of the Venza line (which halted in 2015), is the second-most problematic model ever produced. 

The major problem experienced by owners was related to the windshield.

Numerous owners have reported that the windshield would crack easily after little to no impact and the crack would then expand.

“A crack in the windshield appeared at approximately 13,000 on June 20, 2022. It appeared after a short local trip-seemingly out of nowhere. Initially the crack was about six inches long, ending at the bottom of the window pane. Minutes later, the crack continued an additional foot. The crack has continued to grow…”

“Front windshield struck by a rock creating a dime sized crack on the upper driver side windshield and within days an approximately one foot long horizontal crack extended toward the center.”

Another common complaint was that the headlights were not effective, here’s what owners had to say:

“You just cannot see with these headlights. I cannot drive the car at night. No crashes but we live in the country with no added light and these light don’t work. This is a problem since we bought the car a year ago.”

“Low beam led headlights have shadows and dark spots projecting on to the road. Very distracting and looks very similar to animals or people as they come into view in the dark. Have had to swerve several times only to realize it’s the shadows in the headlight units.”

The 2021 Venza had a total of 144 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 3 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Defective windshield
  • Trouble fueling up to capacity
  • Center console lid gets stuck on closed position
2021 Toyota Venza

2010 Toyota Venza

Owners of the 2010 Venza have experienced a variety of issues, including the car alarm going off, random vehicle stalling, and water leaking through the panoramic sunroof.

Owners also experienced unintended acceleration, a fragile windshield, and sunroof explosion, although less frequently than the problems mentioned above.

Here is one complaint shared by an owner concerning his vehicle’s sunroof:

“I was driving my vehicle to work with the sunroof closed and the sun visor open when suddenly I heard a loud bang, like a gunshot, and my sunroof shattered. It scared me and nearly caused me to run off the road; thankfully there were no other cars anywhere near me. I am certain it wasn’t hit by a rock or something as there were no cars in front of me and also I wasn’t near any overpasses. Upon research, this issue seems to be common with Toyota..”

The 2010 Venza had a total of 99 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 32 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Intake valve spring cracked
  • Unintended acceleration
  • Rotors went bad
  • Check engine light on
  • Trac off light on

2011 Toyota Venza

Much like its predecessor, the 2011 Venza had a variety of issues although none were hugely widespread.

The most commonly reported problems are battery drain, malfunctioning seat heaters and unintended acceleration.

A number of owners also experienced multiple warning indicators illuminating on dash, as expressed in the reports below:

“The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Venza. The contact stated that the air bag, abs, slippery road, and all wheel drive warning lights illuminated.”

“My Toyota Venza 2011 has electronics problems – all the lighting in the dashboard are on.”

The 2011 Venza had a total of 78 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Warning lights illuminated
  • Driver seat heater not working
  • Brake failure
  • Mirrors not heated

2013 Toyota Venza

Owners of the 2013 Venza suffered from airbag system issues, including an illuminated airbag warning light that would stay on.

A recall campaign was instituted to solve this issue but many Venza owners were left to wait for unreasonable periods of time before the necessary repairs were done.

A number of owners also reported braking issues, as described below:

“The vehicle had 5900 miles when a loud screeching started coming from the front driver side. The brake wore unevenly and damaged the rotor.”

“While coming to a stop after dropping off my daughter the brakes started making a loud clicking noise. Later while coming to a stop at a red light the brakes acted like they did not want to stop and as I pressed as hard as I could the brakes locked and the car slid into the back of a truck stopped at the red light.”

“While driving 60 mph with the cruise control activated, the brake pedal was depressed, but failed to respond without warning. As a result, the contact crashed into another vehicle.”

The 2013 Venza had a total of 76 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 12 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Moonroof/sunroof exploded
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Radio static
2013 Toyota Venza

Related: 17 Hybrid SUVs with Head-Up Display (With Pictures)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints(CarComplaints.com)Problems(CarProblemZoo.com)Recalls(NHTSA.gov)
2023 Toyota Venza130
2022 Toyota Venza160
2021 Toyota Venza31441
2015 Toyota Venza8301
2014 Toyota Venza3301
2013 Toyota Venza12764
2012 Toyota Venza13324
2011 Toyota Venza16786
2010 Toyota Venza32999
2009 Toyota Venza462078

What Problems Do Toyota Venzas Have?

  • Defective windshield
  • Moonroof/sunroof imploded
  • Steering rattle
  • Paint chips extremely easily 
  • Transmission failure
  • Defective windshield
  • Trouble fueling up to capacity
  • Center console lid gets stuck on closed position
  • Intake valve spring cracked
  • Rotors went bad
  • Check engine light on
  • Trac off light on
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Brake failure
  • Mirrors not heated
  • Radio static

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Toyota Venza?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Sportage Hybrid8.7$27,490 – $36,390City: 38 – 42 /Highway: 38 – 44
Mazda CX-90 PHEV8.5$47,445 – $56,950City: NA /Highway: NA
Honda CR-V Hybrid8.3$32,450 – $38,600City: 40 – 43 /Highway: 34 – 36
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid8.3$35,660 – $41,320City: 33 – 36 /Highway: 30 – 31
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid8.2$30,225 – $38,530City: 41 /Highway: 38
Toyota Highlander Hybrid8.1$40,220 – $52,425City: 35 – 36 /Highway: 34 – 35
Toyota RAV4 Prime8.1$41,590 – $45,460Electric: 94 /Gas: 38
Kia Sorento Hybrid8.0$36,590 – $49,890City: 36 – 39 /Highway: 33 – 35
Kia Niro7.9$26,590 – $39,590Electric: 105 /Gas: 46 – 53
Ford Escape Hybrid7.7$29,345 – $40,500City: 26 – 42 /Highway: 32 – 36
Subaru Crosstrek7.7$36,845Electric: 90 /Highway: 35
Toyota Venza7.6$33,595 – $41,740City: 40 /Highway: 37

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 20 Hybrid SUVs With Ventilated Seats (With Pictures)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/venza

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/toyota/venza

https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/venza/

https://www.kbb.com/toyota/venza/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/toyota/venza

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/Venza/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/toyota/venza/

https://www.cars.com/research/toyota-venza/recalls/

NHTSA.gov 

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...