Video: The Others Have Tried It Out…But Here’s MY Take on the New Toyota Venza Nightshade

Yup, I’m the last schlub at TFL Studios who got to drive the new Toyota Venza Nightshade edition, and it was better than I thought. So much so, that it dawned on me that it has a lot to offer for the price. That’s especially true for folks who are getting frustrated trying to locate a new Toyota RAV4 hybrid. No, not the might RAV4 Prime (PHEV), that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

Is the new Toyota Venza a better choice than the RAV4 hybrid?

Seriously, take a look at the powertrain. While both the RAV4 hybrid and Venza share many mechanical components, the Venza makes up to 219 (net) horsepower, which is 13 more than the RAV4 hybrid. Also, the Venza gets 39 mpg combined, which is two mpg better than the RVA4. It also provides a better (read: quieter) ride, and is more comfortable than the RAV4 hybrid.

Why do I keep talking about the RAV4 hybrid? A 2023 Toyota RAV4 hybrid Limited with a few high end options has an MSRP of just over $43,000. That’s easily in the same ballpark as a fully-equipped 2023 Toyota Venza Nightshade edition. The “Nightshade” package is essentially a black out trim, tire and unique (painted) wheel option. There are no real performance, or tech gains with this package.

Still, folks think it livens up the looks, which the Venza needs. Honestly, it’s not as visually interesting as the RAV4, and it’s a bit smaller both internally and externally. Unlike the RAV4, there’s no trim choice that could help it off-road. On top of that, it’s not recommended to tow with the Venza. The RAV4 can tow.

Still, the new Toyota Venza has a lot going for it. That’s especially true if you want almost Lexus-levels of interior feels, at a reasonable price.

Check out the video and tell us what you think!