Specifications of Toyota Venza II (XU80) 2.5 (219 HP) Hybrid AWD eCVT
General characteristics of Toyota Venza II (XU80) 2.5 (219 HP) Hybrid AWD eCVT
Although classified as a midsize crossover by Toyota, the Venza isn't much bigger than the RAV4, sharing the same wheelbase and width, while being lower. The Venza is a couple of inches longer, though, with a length of 186.6 inches, though that's mostly because of the front- and rear-end designs. It is 73 inches wide, has a wheelbase of 105.9 inches, and a height of 65.9 inches including the antenna. The Venza has a maximum ground clearance of 7.8 inches. With a starting curb weight of 3,847 pounds, the Venza is 92 lbs heavier than the lightest RAV4 Hybrid. The range-topping Venza Limited weighs in at 3,913 lbs.
The Venza is only available with one powertrain. The hybrid combines three electric motors with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC engine to produce a combined 219 hp, with the gas engine making 176 hp and 163 lb-ft on its own. Electric motor output is rated at 118 hp/149 lb-ft in front and 54 hp/89 lb-ft at the back. Toyota says that the lithium-ion battery, which is installed below the rear seats, is a more efficient design than the nickel-metal hydride battery used in some previous hybrids. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT) is used and features a sequential shift mode. It all combines to provide the Venza with reasonable responsiveness and power off the line and around town. An EV driving mode is available for driving on electric power alone for short distances at low speeds.
We would have liked to see Toyota incorporate the plug-in hybrid drivetrain out of the RAV4 Prime or the gutsier system out of the Highlander Hybrid. These powertrains would increase total output to 302 or 243 hp respectively. Toyota likely chose the 219 hp output to achieve the best fuel efficiency and to save the more powerful drivetrains for the Lexus brand. As for the RAV4 Prime, its PHEV system is already suffering from production delays, so adding a second model with a plug likely wasn't in the cards for Toyota.
EPA reviews of the Venza return 40/37/39 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles, which falls just short of the 40 mpg combined rating for the RAV4 Hybrid. Toyota hybrid models typically outmatch their EPA mileage estimates in our testing and during our time with the car with mostly in-town driving, the Venza achieved just over 41 mpg. With a 14.5-gallon gas tank, a theoretical mixed range of around 565 miles should be achievable. The 2.5-liter engine's recommended fuel requirement is 87-octane or higher.
Despite its extra length over the RAV4, the Venza's trunk is smaller. It measures 28.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats as opposed to the 37.5 cubes of the RAV4 Hybrid, which is quite a big difference. This is mainly due to the Venza's car-like sloping roofline. It will still be enough for a weekly shop or a small family's paraphernalia for a weekend away, though. Toyota has not yet provided a figure for the cargo capacity with the 60/40-split folding rear seats folded, but this should expand cargo room appreciably to accommodate larger boxes and other items. A standard hands-free power liftgate makes loading heavier items less of a hassle.
Interior storage space is good, with four cupholders and four bottle holders, including cupholders in the rear center armrest. There is also a center console that includes a 12V input and a removable utility tray. The front seats have seatback pockets and all models get an overhead console but you will lose the dashboard cubby areas found on the RAV4.