Best & Worst Toyota Venza Years

We have ranked all Toyota Venza models for each generation so you can avoid picking the worst Toyota Venza years and pick the best one.

In this guide, I’ll break down all Toyota Venza generations, unveiling the best years for the Toyota Venza to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Drawing insights from reputable sources like NHTSA and Consumer Reports, this article offers a comprehensive view of Venza’s journey, supported by thorough research and reliable data sources.

Focusing on Venza’s most and least reliable years, I’ll uncover the nuances like engine performance, technology, safety, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and resale values.

Let’s dive right into it.

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Table of ContentsShow

Toyota Venza Generations

The Toyota Venza was first introduced in 2008 with its 2009 model. It blended a sedan’s design elements with an SUV’s functionality.

This crossover was designed for consumers seeking a vehicle with higher ride height, all-wheel-drive capability, and a comfortable, car-like ride.

Here’s a table showing the Venza’s generations from 2009:

1st generation (AV10)2009-2015 (AV10)
2nd generation (XU80)2021-Present (XU80)

It’s important to note these generations to understand the significant changes and improvements made over the years, as they might influence your decision to purchase a Toyota Venza.

Toyota Venza Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

Our categorization considers a comprehensive range of factors when evaluating the Toyota Venza’s best and worst years across different generations. These include:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

This graph combines all ratings, clearly representing the Toyota Venza’s performance across different years.

Toyota Venza Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

This table categorizes each Toyota Venza model year into the best, neutral, and worst categories based on comprehensive ratings and reviews.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (AV10)2014
2nd generation (XU80)2022

“Neutral years” don’t stand out as particularly problematic or exemplary but offer satisfactory reliability and performance.

Some factors, like NHTSA recalls, can significantly impact a vehicle’s ranking. A higher number of complaints and recalls usually indicates lower reliability.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years of the Toyota Venza.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Venza 1st Generation (2009-2015)

Toyota Venza 1st generation 2009 model
The 2009 Toyota Venza

The Toyota Venza, launched in 2009, was a unique blend of an SUV and a wagon. Its design catered to those seeking a vehicle with substantial interior space but with a car-like driving experience.

2014 and 2015 are the best Toyota Venza model years of the generation, while 2009 and 2010 are the Venza years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2014, 2015

The 2014 and 2015 Toyota Venzas are the best model years of the first generation, appreciated for their reliability and feature-rich offerings.

These models came with two engines: a 2.7L I4 engine offering 182 hp and a more robust 3.5L V6 engine delivering 268 hp. Both engines were paired with a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel efficiency was reasonable for its class, with the four-cylinder engine offering around 20 city/26 highway mpg. The V6 engine had slightly lower fuel efficiency.

Safety features included electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and airbags.

The available trim levels were LE, XLE, and Limited, each progressively adding more luxury and technological features like heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a premium JBL sound system.

The Neutral Years: 2011, 2012, 2013

The 2011, 2012, and 2013 Toyota Venza models are considered neutral, providing a reliable but less refined experience than the best years.

These models continued with the same powertrain options as the best years, ensuring adequate performance. However, the 2011 Venza owners reported issues with heated seats and brakes.

Notably, the 2012 and 2013 Toyota Venza models were part of a recall related to the airbag module, which could short circuit due to water leaks, potentially leading to unintentional airbag deployment.

These years offered decent fuel efficiency and came equipped with standard safety features, making them a safe choice but without the refinements seen in later models.

The Worst Years: 2009, 2010

What are the Toyota Venza years to avoid? Our research concludes that 2009 and 2010 are the Venza model years to avoid. Here is why:

The 2009 and 2010 Toyota Venza models encountered several issues, primarily in the electrical system, powertrain, and service brakes, leading to multiple recalls.

The most concerning problems were leaking sunroofs, transmission glitches, unintended acceleration, and malfunctioning speed sensors.

These models were also part of significant recalls, including those for stuck acceleration pedals and inoperative brake lights, posing serious safety risks.

The initial years lacked refinements and reliability improvements in later models, making them less desirable choices for potential buyers.

See NHTSA 2009, 2010 Toyota Venza recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Venza 2nd Generation (2021-2024)

Toyota Venza 2nd generation 2021 model
The 2021 Toyota Venza

After a hiatus, the Toyota Venza returned in 2021 (XU80), reimagined as a mid-size, two-row crossover SUV. This second generation focuses on hybrid technology, showcasing Toyota’s commitment to environmentally friendly vehicles.

2021 is the second generation’s worst Toyota Venza model year, while the best Venza years span between 2022 and onwards.

The Best Years: 2022, 2023, 2024

What are the most reliable Toyota Venza years? The 2022, 2023, and 2024 Toyota Venza models represent the best of the second generation, exemplifying significant improvements in technology and reliability.

All these models feature a 2.5L A25A-FXS I4 engine coupled with three electric motors, delivering 219 hp and an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT), optimizing fuel efficiency and performance.

These models boast impressive fuel economy, averaging around 40 city/37 highway mpg.

Safety features include Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, offering a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, and full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control.

The Venza is available in LE, XLE, and Limited trim levels, each offering increasing luxury and convenience features like a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, JBL audio system, and a panoramic glass roof with electrochromic shading.

The Worst Years: 2021

The 2021 Toyota Venza, despite being the revival year, faced some initial **growing pains**, particularly with visibility.

Numerous owners reported issues with cracked windshields, leading to a class-action lawsuit.

The 2021 model was also recalled for stability control deactivation on startup, which could potentially impact vehicle handling.

Despite these setbacks, the 2021 Venza still offered the hybrid powertrain and advanced safety features of its successors, but these initial problems make it a less favorable choice compared to the subsequent model years.

See NHTSA 2021 Toyota Venza recalls and complaints.

Toyota Venza Resale Values

Analyze the graph below to understand the average resale values of Toyota Venza across different years.

Toyota Venza Average List Price


In conclusion, 2014, 2015, and 2022-2024 are the best model years for the Toyota Venza, offering improved features and reliability.

At the same time, it’s wise to avoid the 2009, 2010, and 2021 models due to their noted issues.

What specific features do you look for when choosing a reliable car model?

Comment your thoughts in the section below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.