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2023 Toyota Venza gets Nightshade Edition and lots of tech updates

Toyota has been continually expanding its Nightshade Edition lineup with more vehicles. Last year, the Prius got the treatment, and now the 2023 Venza is the latest to receive the blacked-out treatment. However, your choice of exterior colors are limited to Celestial Black, Wind Chill Pearl, and Ruby Flare Red. The 2023 Toyota Venza Nightshade Edition gets the same treatment as other models with this option and is based on the XLE grade. That means the door handles, door sills, shark fin antenna, rear badges and side mirror covers are all painted in black. The front and rear bumpers feature smoked chrome moldings and you get 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels as standard equipment.

One big upgrade for the 2023 Toyota Venza is the addition of the new multimedia system from the Tundra and bZ4X. The base LE grade uses an 8.0-inch main touch screen while XLE and Limited get the larger 12.3-inch unit. This interface features over-the-air (OTA) update capability, Google points-of-interest data, and cloud-based navigation on certain trims. There’s also a built-in virtual assistant that you can activate by saying “Hey Toyota.” It can do everything from changing the climate controls to inputting navigation directions. The range-topping Limited trim swaps out the 7.0-inch instrument cluster display for a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with four modes.

The 2023 Venza also gets the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 (TSS 2.5) driver assistance suite replacing the older TSS 2.0. It now includes emergency steering assist, and intersection assist, which enables the front automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection systems to now work at intersections. This suite also includes features like lane centering, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, road sign detection, and cyclist detection. The rear seat reminder system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic emergency braking are also standard on the Venza. Toyota has also expanded the operational range of its front and rear collision prevention systems to include parking lot speeds.

Available exclusively as a hybrid, the 2023 Venza uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder coupled to a lithium-ion battery, a planetary gear set, and three electric drive motors. The combined system output is 219 hp. A second electric drive motor is mounted on the rear axle, effectively giving the crossover AWD. To give the Venza car-like handling, it gets Active Cornering Assist, which uses the stability control system to reduce understeer when cornering.

You get a more upscale experience in the Venza thanks to its swankier appointments. Upper trims get heated and ventilated front seats, and a 10.0-inch head-up display. For 2023, the Limited trim now has eight-way power front seats. Originally, it was only the driver’s side that had that level of adjustability.  A nine-speaker JBL audio system is also available on upper trims and was designed specifically for Venza’s cabin. Certain versions are also available with the Star Gaze panoramic sunroof that can block out the light by frosting the glass.

Pricing for the 2023 Toyota Venza hasn’t been released yet but expect it to remain similar to the previous model year. The Nightshade Edition should slot neatly between the XLE and Limited models thanks to its additional standard equipment and cosmetic tweaks. EPA fuel economy ratings should remain at 40/37/39 mpg city/highway/combined.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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