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2023 Toyota Venza: The Budget-Friendly 'Lexus' Alternative!

Taking out the price out of the equation, prospective buyers say they prefer the 2023 Toyota Venza over the 2023 Toyota RAV4 because it’s a “budget Lexus.”


The 2023 Toyota Venza is a very underrated SUV which isn’t being talked about much. The recent refresh of the SUV has seen a pretty significant uptick in sales with more people choosing the Venza over other models in its class. Now in theory you can’t really compare the Venza to the RAV4 because they are not considered in the same family of SUV. However it’s important to know why people are choosing the Venza over the RAV4.

On paper, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is an affordable mid-sized SUV with an MSRP of around $40,000. Of course, in this day and age you cannot find one for less than $60,000 due to the insane market adjustments some dealers make. The hybrid drive train provides a reliable and efficient way for an SUV to be very good on gas. Mind you this is till the RAV4 hybrid, the RAV4 Prime can get you almost 90 mpg with its electric/hybrid drivetrain.

Price Aside, Toyota Venza Seems to Be Car of Choice for Prospective Buyers

On Facebook’s Toyota RAV4 Hybrid group, Kimberly Hunt asked, “I am trying to decide between Venza and RAV 4 Hybrid.” Now you’ll still need to wait as for the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the supply cannot meet up with the demand. Interestingly enough, people preferred the Toyota Venza over the RAV4 Hybrid for a few reasons. Again this isn’t a comparison but rather a “what would you have” scenario.

Of course, in that scenario most people would choose the option best mutually prosperous right? Almost like asking would you rather have $1 or $1 million. However, this scenario is unique given that the two options are not as far apart as ever. Yes you are paying a little more for the Venza but the question is, is the difference worth the luxury?

Short answer yes with some owners saying it’s basically a budget Lexus. We all know and love Lexus for its reliable luxury but can we really see that in a Toyota? Well, the Venza offers more space in all compartments, and a better choice of materials used in the interior, etc. One very big noticeable difference is the lack of road noise in the 2023 Toyota Venza compared to the RAV4 Hybrid.

A lot of drivers have complained about the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s highway noise. Toyota is known to keep the highway noise level a really low priority. In my 2012 Prius I sometimes have to shout on the highway so my passengers can hear. The loud hybrid drivetrain doesn’t help either.

In any other instance, both cars are great vehicles with excellent ratings and sky high sales numbers. If it really comes down to it, if you are a lover of luxury, then you should choose the Venza. If you just want a nice Hybrid SUV to take you from point A to point B without a worry, then the RAV4 is the one for you.

What do you think? Which would you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun and on YouTube at Toyota Time for daily Toyota news.


Rick Bingham (not verified)    January 15, 2023 - 12:16PM

Having driven virtually every vehicle Toyota makes in the course of my job over the last several years, I have to say that, as a reasonably sized SUV and having 3 family Toyotas in the driveway (Corolla Hatch, Rav4, and Tacoma, I must say, I highly recommend the Venza for its quietness, comfort, roominess, power, fuel mileage and general design. If you have the extra bucks, spend them on the Venza. You won't be disappointed.

Ron M (not verified)    January 17, 2023 - 11:09PM

I own a 2021 Venza yes it's a Lexus with a Toyota badge great Quite ride 45 mpg, fun to drive . Would I buy another one Yes . If you decide to get on you will love it.