When it comes to the Venza vs RAV4 debate, the choice isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Both of these SUVs hail from the reputable Toyota brand, boasting impressive features and performance. However, they each cater to slightly different tastes and needs making it difficult to decide which model is right for you.
Rest assured, I will help ease your decision with a simple but complete comparison between the RAV4 and Venza below. Also, See this in-depth review on whether or not the RAV4 is an all-around good car.
Similarities between the Venza and RAV4:
- Both the RAV4 and Venza are two-row SUVs.
- Both models have hybrid powertrains available.
- The RAV4 and Venza share the same TNGA-K platform.
- Both have a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors and a hybrid battery (RAV4 has a gas only version as well).
The biggest differences between the RAV4 and Venza include the following.
|Comparison||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Starting Price (MSRP)||Hybrid: $33,729 – $45,195Gas: $27,575 – $36,280||$35,656 – $46,912|
|Powertrain||Offers an optional hybrid drivetrain alongside a gas-powered engine||Exclusively comes with a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive|
|Design||More rugged design||Based on the global Harrier crossover, a sleeker and more refined design|
|Ride Quality||Smooth responsive ride but more road noise||Softer and more refined ride quality|
|Cargo Space||37.6 cubic feet of cargo space,, which increases to 69.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are down||28.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which increases to 55.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down|
|Unique Features||Trim packages for more sporty or outdoor uses||Fixed panoramic roof that goes from transparent to opaque on demand|
|Size||Shorter||Longer by 139 mm|
|Luxury Features||More utility||More Lexus-like luxury features|
Design and Size Dimensions: RAV4 vs Venza
The exterior design of both the Venza and RAV4 reflects Toyota’s commitment to style and functionality. The Venza, based on the global Harrier crossover, presents a sleeker and more refined look. Its design is meant to slot between the RAV4 and the larger Highlander, offering a balance of compactness and spaciousness.
The RAV4 sports a more rugged design, appealing to those who prefer a more adventurous and outdoorsy aesthetic.
Inside, the Venza leans towards luxury with Lexus-like features, providing a more premium feel. The RAV4, while still comfortable and well-designed, leans more towards utility, offering a practical and functional interior.
The RAV4 still offers many luxury features such as Toyota’s synthetic leather seats in some trims. For more in-depth details see our RAV4 leather seat guide.
When it comes to size, the Venza is slightly longer than the RAV4 by 139 mm, which may translate to a bit more interior space. However, both vehicles share identical widths (1,854 mm) and wheelbase (2,690 mm), indicating similar spaciousness in terms of width. The RAV4 stands taller by 27 mm and has a 10 mm higher ground clearance (see RAV4 ground clearance), which could be beneficial for off-road driving.
Below is a size comparison table of the Toyota RAV4 and Venza, helping you understand their size differences at a glance.
|Dimension||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Length||Shorter||Longer by 139 mm|
|Height||Taller by 27 mm||Shorter|
|Ground Clearance||Higher by 10 mm||Lower|
While the Venza and RAV4 share many similarities in design and dimensions, their differences cater to different preferences and needs. Whether you value luxury and refinement or utility and ruggedness, both models offer unique advantages to suit your lifestyle.
How much weight can a RAV4 rooftop hold? See the Toyota RAV4 roof rack weight limit before you overload it.
Performance and Drive: Venza vs RAV4
Both the RAV4 and Venza come equipped with Toyota’s reliable engines. The Venza exclusively features a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive, providing a smooth and eco-friendly driving experience. The RAV4 offers an optional hybrid drivetrain alongside a traditional gas-powered engine, giving drivers more flexibility in choosing the performance that suits their needs.
The driving experience in both vehicles is distinct yet equally enjoyable. The Venza is noted for its upscale feel, smoother ride, and, subjectively, better handling. It offers a more luxurious ride, leaning towards comfort and refinement.
The RAV4 is described as more fun to drive. It provides a balance between comfort and an adventurous driving experience, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a more engaging drive.
When it comes to hybrid performance, both vehicles excel in their own ways. The Venza’s exclusive hybrid powertrain provides excellent fuel efficiency without compromising on power. The RAV4 Hybrid, while optional, also offers impressive fuel efficiency and adds an extra layer of versatility to the RAV4 lineup.
Here’s a quick comparison table for the performance and drive:
|Aspect||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Powertrain||Optional hybrid drivetrain and gas-powered engine||Exclusive hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive|
|Driving Experience||More fun to drive||Smoother, more refined ride|
|Hybrid Performance||Hybrid is Optional, offers versatility||Hybrid comes Standard, excellent fuel efficiency|
Whether you prioritize a fun drive with the RAV4 or a smoother, more refined ride with the Venza, both vehicles offer impressive performance and driving experiences that cater to different driving preferences.
What’s the difference between the RAV4 Hybrid and Prime? See the RAV4 Prime vs Hybrid: EV mode compared.
Fuel Efficiency: RAV4 vs Venza
Fuel efficiency is a key consideration for many drivers, and both the RAV4 and Venza excel in this area, thanks to their hybrid powertrains.
Toyota RAV4 Fuel Efficiency
The RAV4 Hybrid is an optional variant that offers impressive fuel efficiency. It is rated to deliver an average of 40 miles per gallon, with a highway range of 551 miles. This makes it a great choice for those who frequently travel long distances or are conscious about their carbon footprint.
Curious about your RAV4’s fuel efficiency? We’ve got you covered!
- Want the numbers? Check out our RAV4 MPG calculator for city, highway, and combined mileage for any year and trim.
- Looking for real-world insights? See real-world RAV4 gas mileage data from fellow RAV4 owners and how far your RAV4 can take you on a full tank of gas.
- Ready to estimate your weekly gas costs? Dive into our Toyota RAV4 Fuel Consumption Calculator: Estimate Gas Costs and take control of your fuel budget!
Toyota Venza Fuel Efficiency
The Venza, on the other hand, exclusively comes with a hybrid powertrain. It is rated to deliver an average of 39 miles per gallon, with a highway range of 537 miles. While slightly less efficient than the RAV4 Hybrid, the Venza still offers excellent fuel economy that is competitive in the SUV market.
Here’s a quick comparison table for Venza vs RAV4 fuel efficiency:
|Aspect||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Average MPG||40 MPG||39 MPG|
|Highway Range||551 miles||537 miles|
Both the RAV4 and Venza offer excellent fuel efficiency, making them both great choices for eco-conscious drivers. However, the RAV4 Hybrid slightly edges out the Venza in terms of fuel economy and highway range.
What is the size of the RAV4 gas tank? See RAV4 gas tank size in all RAV4 models and years.
Features and Technology: Venza vs RAV4
Both the RAV4 and Venza come equipped with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver-assistance features. Both the RAV4 and Venza include:
- Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
- Lane departure alert with steering assist
- Lane tracing assist
- Automatic high beams
- Full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control
- Road sign assist
The Venza adds a few more advanced safety features, such as a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, as standard. Higher RAV4 trims also carry these same features but don’t come standard on the base LE trim.
The Venza and RAV4 both offer a modern infotainment system. The RAV4 comes with a 7-inch touchscreen as standard, while the Venza starts with an 8-inch screen. Both vehicles offer an optional 9-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility are standard across both models.
One of the standout features of the Venza is its Star Gaze fixed panoramic roof. This feature allows the roof to switch from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. However, the RAV4 does have a panoramic roof add-on option on higher trim levels (see more about the RAV4 panoramic sunroof).
The RAV4 offers Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims, which come with features like Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control for more adventurous drivers.
Here’s a quick comparison table for the features and technology:
|Feature||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Safety Features||Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert come on higher trim levels||Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, plus blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert comes standard|
|Infotainment System||7-inch or optional 9-inch touchscreen||8-inch or optional 9-inch touchscreen|
|Innovative Features||Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims||Star Gaze fixed panoramic roof|
Both the RAV4 and Venza are packed with modern features and technology, offering a blend of safety, entertainment, and innovation. Whether you prioritize off-road capabilities or unique luxury features, both models have something to offer.
Comfort and Space: RAV4 vs Venza
When it comes to seating comfort, both the RAV4 and Venza excel in providing a comfortable ride for their passengers. The Venza, with its more upscale feel, offers a smoother ride and, subjectively, better handling. The seats in the Venza are designed with comfort in mind, providing a plush and luxurious feel. On the other hand, the RAV4, while still providing a comfortable ride, leans more towards utility and practicality.
In terms of interior space, both vehicles offer ample room for passengers. The Venza offers just a little more front head- and legroom than the RAV4, providing the driver and front passenger a bit more room and comfort. However, both vehicles offer about the same room to stretch out for rear passengers, with comparable head- and legroom.
The RAV4 stands out when it comes to cargo space. It offers 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its raised back seat. In contrast, the Venza offers 28.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind its raised back seat. This difference in cargo space could be a deciding factor for those who frequently carry large items or go on long trips.
Here’s a quick comparison table for comfort and space:
|Aspect||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Seating Comfort||Comfortable, leans towards utility||More upscale feel, smoother ride|
|Interior Space||Comparable head- and legroom for rear passengers, slightly less front head- and legroom||Comparable head- and legroom for rear passengers, slightly more front head- and legroom|
|Cargo Space||37.5 cubic feet||28.8 cubic feet|
Both the RAV4 and Venza offer a comfortable ride and ample space for passengers. However, if cargo space is a priority, the RAV4 might be the better choice. On the other hand, if you value a more luxurious and smoother ride, the Venza could be the one for you.
As someone who values both comfort and practicality, I find both the RAV4 and Venza to be excellent choices. The Venza’s luxurious feel and smooth ride make it a joy to drive, while the RAV4’s practicality and larger cargo space make it a versatile choice for various needs.
Pricing and Value: Venza vs RAV4
When it comes to pricing, both the RAV4 and Venza offer great value, but they cater to different budget ranges.
Toyota RAV4 Pricing
The RAV4 offers a range of trims to suit different budgets and needs. The starting price for the 2023 RAV4 ranges from $27,575 MSRP for the LE trim up to $45,460 MSRP for the RAV4 Prime XSE trim. This makes the RAV4 a more affordable option, especially for those looking for a versatile and reliable SUV.
Are you interested in the base RAV4 trims? See a detailed comparison of the differences between the RAV4 LE vs XLE.
Toyota Venza Pricing
The Venza, on the other hand, starts at a higher price point. The starting price of the 2023 Venza ranges from $35,455 MSRP for the LE trim up to $42,265 MSRP for the Limited trim. While the Venza is more expensive, it offers more standard features and a more luxurious feel, providing excellent value for those willing to spend a bit more.
Here’s a quick comparison table for the pricing:
|Aspect||Toyota RAV4||Toyota Venza|
|Starting Price||LE: $26,975 MSRP||LE: $35,455MSRP|
|Top Trim Price||Prime XLE: $45,460 MSRP||Limited: $42,265 MSRP|
Both the RAV4 and Venza offer great value for their respective price points. If you’re on a tighter budget, the RAV4 might be the better choice. However, if you’re willing to spend a bit more on additional luxury and standard features, the Venza could be the one for you.
Why is the RAV4 Prime so expensive? See 7 reasons why the RAV4 Prime is so expensive.
Consumer Reviews and Ratings
Toyota Venza Reviews
The Venza has received positive reviews from consumers. On Edmunds, it has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 based on 140 reviews. Consumers have praised the Venza for its modern feel, smooth ride, and upscale interior. On Kelley Blue Book, the Venza has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on 42 reviews, with consumers appreciating its quiet and upscale cabin.
Toyota RAV4 Reviews
The RAV4 also has favorable reviews from consumers. On Edmunds, it has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews for the 2022 model. Consumers have praised the RAV4 for its functional interior, good performance, and excellent gas mileage. On CarMax, the RAV4 has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 702 reviews, with consumers highlighting its good gas mileage and ample legroom.
Why is the Toyota RAV4 so popular? See 9 reasons why it is the most popular SUV in America.
Both the RAV4 and Venza have received positive reviews from consumers. The Venza is praised for its modern feel and upscale interior, while the RAV4 is appreciated for its functional interior and excellent gas mileage. Both vehicles offer a blend of comfort, performance, and efficiency, making them excellent choices for a wide range of consumers.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of each vehicle:
- Luxurious Feel: The Venza offers a more upscale and refined ride compared to the RAV4, providing a luxurious driving experience.
- Hybrid Powertrain: The Venza comes exclusively with a hybrid powertrain, offering excellent fuel efficiency.
- Advanced Safety Features: The Venza comes with more advanced safety features as standard, including a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
- Innovative Features: The Venza’s Star Gaze fixed panoramic roof is a unique feature that enhances the driving experience.
- Higher Price Point: The Venza starts at a higher price point compared to the RAV4, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious buyers.
- Less Cargo Space: The Venza offers less cargo space compared to the RAV4, which could be a downside for those who need to carry large items frequently.
- Versatility: The RAV4 offers a balance between comfort and an adventurous driving experience, making it a versatile choice for different driving preferences.
- Optional Hybrid Drivetrain: The RAV4 offers an optional hybrid drivetrain.
- More Cargo Space: The RAV4 offers more cargo space compared to the Venza, making it a practical choice for those who frequently carry large items or go on long trips.
- Affordability: The RAV4 starts at a lower price point compared to the Venza, making it a more affordable option.
- Less Upscale Feel: The RAV4 leans more towards utility and practicality, which might not appeal to those looking for a more luxurious feel.
- Fewer Standard Safety Features: The RAV4 comes with fewer advanced safety features as standard compared to the Venza.
The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are the top competitors in the compact SUV market but which is better? See which is more reliable, the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the Venza is as good as the RAV4, but in different ways. The Venza offers a more luxurious and refined driving experience, with a focus on comfort and advanced safety features. The RAV4 provides a more adventurous and versatile driving experience, with a focus on utility and cargo space. If you value luxury and advanced safety features, the Venza would be the better choice. If you prefer versatility and more cargo space, the RAV4 would be the better choice.
In terms of length, the Venza is bigger than the RAV4 by 139 mm. However, both vehicles share identical widths and wheelbase, indicating similar spaciousness in terms of width. The RAV4 stands taller by 27 mm and has a 10 mm higher ground clearance, which could be beneficial for off-road driving.
The main differences between the RAV4 and the Venza lie in their design, performance, and features. The Venza offers a more luxurious and refined design, an exclusive hybrid powertrain, and advanced safety features as standard. The RAV4 offers a more rugged design, an optional hybrid drivetrain, and more cargo space. The choice between the two would depend on your personal preferences.