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Venza Complaints

33598 Views 166 Replies 46 Participants Last post by  chinna
Hey there, I just got a Venza, and here are a few of my complaints on the car. Before I get started, I do love the car, probably my favorite car I have ever owned, but here are just some small things I noticed that annoy me.

1. No heated rear seats. It is not available on the Venza, but it is on the rav4, a less luxurious car.

2. No windshield wiper de-icer available in the US. Not sure why Toyota did this, again this is available on the Rav4, but not on the Venza for US models, it is standard on Canadian cars.

3. Only Safety Sense 2.0, not 2.5/2.5+. This is super surprising to me, for a car that was redesigned for the 2021 model year, with ss 2.5+ already being offered on the Highlander and Camry, it is just dumb to me that the Venza, the most advanced Toyota on the market right now, doesn't have it.

4. The star-gaze moon roof dims every time you turn the car off, but stays dim when you turn the car on even if you had it on before you turned it off. Kind of stupid design, I don't want to click the button every time I get in the car.

5. The extra control panel always stays on screen, and there is no way to minimize it. This is such an easy fix with a software update, I really hope this post can bring attention to this, I don't need to have that screen there if I am not using it, and I want to use the full 12.3 inch touch screen with things like my apple maps so I can have a bigger view.

6. This is not a necessity, kind of my gripe with all cars that have wireless charging pads, but I wish that there was wireless apple carplay. I don't see the point for a wireless charger if you have to plug in the phone for apple car play. I understand that some people don't use apple carplay or android auto, but for those of us that do, it kind of kills the point for a wireless charger.

Other small note, I wish that toyota put the self parking that is found on the prius in this car too, would have been the icing on the cake.

Let me know what you guys think about what I said, and let me know if I may have missed anything. Like I said, I love this car, I rate it a 9.2/10, If these things were fixed, It would be a 10.
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There are 2 different features: Lane Assist keeps the car in the center of the lane and Lane Departure that works the way you describe (steers back the car in the lane when it hits the lines). For Toyotas, Lane Assist works only with the Cruise Control and Lane Departure works all the time.
Other cars have Lane Assist work without Cruise.
Venza has TSS 2.0 and has actual lane-keeping assist.
My Avalon has TSS-P and has only LDA. It'll bump back into the lane, but at that point it's at too sharp of an angle to correct on the opposite lane marking... it'll still alert, but can't correct.
Lane Departure is indeed active at all times above ~40mph. Lane Tracking, where it actually keeps you centered in the lane, is only available on TSS 2.0, and only when cruise control is armed and set.
I always use cruise control, no more tickets :). But I do not like the default mode (I prefer the long press mode. I wish I could change which is the default through Clarisa) because so many times I'm cruising along only to realize I'm traveling way slower then the cruise was set for because the care ahead or the car slams the breaks on because the car ahead of me departed the lane and slowed down. I'm really surprised it has not slammed the breaks on when a car enters my lane too close.
There is a little bit of intelligence in the dynamic cruise.
If a car cuts into your lane at a closer spacing than programmed, it also takes into consideration whether that car is accelerating or not. If it is pulling away from you, the system will maintain speed until it determines that the leading vehicle has stabilized their position, then it will slow/accelerate to adjust.

The danger in this is if you are programmed for 70, are cruising along tracking the vehicle in front of you at 60, and someone cuts in from the right, accelerating hard heading to the left lane, while the car in front that you were tracking brakes. That may result in your car accelerating, then braking hard when the merging vehicle moves out of the way.
I forgot to add another complaint: when you set the cruise control to a certain speed, the indicated speed is almost always 1mph less.

For example, when I get on the highway and set the cruise control to 65mph the car will generally maintain an indicated speed of 64mph. It will rarely touch 65mph. This happens in most conditions and even on an empty, flat road. WHY???
I've not noticed this on my wife's Venza or on my Avalon.
Sometimes it'll cruise at 1 over, sometimes at 1 under, sometimes dead-on.

All in all, the speedometer could be off by 5% anyways... 1mph either way is not going to get you a ticket or make a difference in your arrival time.
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by monitoring the position of the preceding vehicle." I also saw elsewhere a warning that under some circumstances, your car may end up following the car ahead even if the car ahead changes lanes!

Which is exactly why the system has the "nag" reminder if it doesn't think you're holding the wheel, and why the system reminds you to pay attention to surrounding traffic when you activate the cruise.

These cars are not yet self-driving. Even Tesla isn't fully autonomous yet.
Right. I can only imagine how much testing this required to get approval. Imagine - there is a motor directly connected to your steering wheel, actively adjusting it. I can only imagine that, even in the event of a complete 'worst case' failure, the force applied is very minor. But imagine - even a 'feather weight' of force applied when you are doing 80 mph could be catastrophic! I tend not to let my mind go there while flying along the freeway ... and I don't even use the adaptive cruise control / lane centering.
These systems do sometimes fail.
One of the "Customer states" YT channels... I think "Just Rolled In", showed a clip of a car (not Toyota) where the steering wheel was spinning back and forth, lock to lock... as if someone was pushing the front wheels back and forth, but they weren't.
Only a week in,
1. I miss knobs for the volume and tuning on the radio
2. Not the car specifically, but the inability to set the cabin temp via the app when you remote start is ridiculous. You should be able to set an internal temp, turn on defrost. At $10 CDN a month I doubt I'll subscribe once my free year is up.
I agree on setting temp or defrost. We rarely get ice here, but dew is common.
The system will automatically turn on the AC (even if off) if the interior temp is above 85f, and it will turn on the defroster if temps are below 41f, so at least in icy conditions, you're covered.
Right on the money with all of these. How about no fog lights. The holes are there, (the international Harrier version has them), but we don't get fog lights. I'm on the fence between the RAV4 Limited and the Venza. I'm thinking RAV4 now given some of these complaints, no fog lights and less cargo room.
It really comes down to the style you prefer.
As a passenger in my wife's vehicle, both the Rav4 and Venza were not the greatest. The seat is pretty high, so I was bending down a lot to get in.
Neither has a power seat option for the passenger (maaaybe on the Limited?).

But overall, after test driving, we went with the Venza XLE over the Rav4 XLE Premium. It's a more car-like ride and experience, it feels more stable on the road, probably due to the marginally lower stance.
But it's not as off-road capable as the Rav4 is. Granted, neither is an FJ Cruiser or Tacoma, but if we lived in the mountains with gravel roads, mud, and snow, we'd probably have a Rav4 and 4-Runner rather than a Venza and Avalon.

Each vehicle has its trade-offs that are going to come down to what the buyer prefers.
Complaints related to the safety sense and other tech features are likely going to be common to both models.... and the Venza XLE does have buttons and knobs. The touch-panel is the Limited, or maybe the models with the JBL, but that is a feature of the larger display. My wife's XLE has the same Audio-Plus that I have on my Avalon.... and the Audio Plus was not available on even the Rav4 Premium, it was basic audio or JBL.

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Thanks, Rich... I realize you get the knobs with the smaller display on the XLE, but I was thinking of the Limited for other reasons so was looking at the bigger display with the touch controls. I have a few more days to decide. I drove a RAV4 the other day and was happy with the ride, but we'll see when I try the Venza.
We gave them both a fair shot.
Wife went into the experience expecting the Rav, and she liked it after the test drive, but ended up deciding on the Venza.

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Doesn't 'mode' just switch to the 'next' source option in sequence? So depending on what you are listening to, pressing 'mode' may or may not take you to a 'silent' source? Or is this a case of 'long press' vs. 'short press' or something?

EDIT - I see from another thread that you press the 'mode' button for 0.8 secs to get 'mute'. I presume '0.8' secs is really, 'at least' 0.8 secs, and is what we might call 'long press'? So a 'long press' on 'mode' will do a mute function, and NOT change modes.
Correct... "Long press" goes to mute, while "tap" goes to the next source.
The XM subscription that we have has a "rollback" feature... ever notice when you turn it on it's always right at the beginning of the song?
So it would make sense that the "mute" would be a "pause" for that or playing an MP3.
But on AM and FM radio here in LA, it's purely a mute, so I can skip the KARS-4-KIDS jingle and political ads.
That's a nice feature. We have the Audio-Plus in both the Avalon and Venza and all it does is buffer XM from the start of the song so you don't drop into a channel in the middle of a tune.
First time to drive our Limited at night. We were out in the country with no houses or street lights and we noticed 2 darked out areas in the distance coming from the left head light. After some investigation it seems that both projection head lights have part of the high beam shutters blocking the light beams at the top. The darked out or shadowed areas disappear when you flip on high beam and the shutters open. Kind of distracting on a really dark road like an interstate late at night.
That's normal for projector lights. It takes some getting used to when you've only had reflector lights in the past, as the cutoff is much sharper.
Take advantage of the automatic high beams and it won't be a concern out on dark deserted roads.


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I believe this is anything BUT normal, and the picture you posted is not at all like what we see in our Venzas. Is your picture of a Venza XLE or Limited? If so, then they've fixed the problem and I want mine fixed like yours! But if you've posted a picture that is not from a Venza XLE/Limited, that's misleading. Here's what mine look like:
View attachment 348494

View attachment 348495

The first is of the headlights pointing at a distant wall (showing just one of the two 'tags'), the second is of the headlights pointing at my garage door, maybe 10' away. The little black 'tags' you see grow in size and become big (but noticeable) 'blobs' on the road surface, off to the left. They constantly make me think something is coming into my path, out of the freeway median.
That was a generic shot of projectors (Morimoto from my '08 Tacoma) intended to show the sharp cutoff, which is a common complaint about projectors by people used to driving with reflector headlights.

Other than the dark spots, the pattern does look similar. I've only driven/ridden in my wife's XLE at night a few times, and I've not noticed anything "disturbing" about the pattern when on the freeway, but I can see how the spots might be distracting.
The issue is most noticeable when driving along a dark freeway (no streetlights) and where the median is full of random growth - bushes, shrubs, trees, etc - because the 'dark blob' interacts with these random shapes to give the impression of something moving. I drove non-stop from SF to PHX in winter, and the entire 6+ hours on I-10 through the desert was in the dark, and that's where it drove me crazy.
Been on that road many, many times... from LA to San Antonio and all over Texas Hill Country. We'll typically do LA to Las Cruces non-stop.
Use the automatic high beams and it's not an issue unless you are following another vehicle.
If it's that dark, you need the high beams anyways... there are critters out there that you won't be able to stop for using only low beams.
It's just how Toyota is. It's not the end of the world and really it "helps" you not get pulled over. Doing 75 on a 65? Well you are doing 72 and they may not care.
1mph either way is certainly not going to be a ticket anywhere in the US.
There are some small towns along highways where the limit drops from 55 to 35 or 25... and 5 over will get you, but 1mph is "beatable" in court (if the ticket is worth fighting)

It could be due to European standards.
Motorcycles are particularly bad. US standards allow for a speedometer to be off by as much as 10% (thus, the 1mph ticket is easy to fight because the legally allowed error is more than that), but in Europe, the speedometer may display a speed lower than the actual speed under no conditions, thus the reason Japanese motorcycle makers tent to calibrate for 10% over actual.

There could be some nuance that is the same for cruise control... where if you are set to 65, it may climb to 66 before the system pulls it back, so it cruises at 64 to prevent that?
Dunno, and it's unlikely, because my Avalon and wife's Venza do not do that.
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The LE has knobs and buttons. We preferred this over the XLE and Limited.
Wife's XLE has them as well.
The touch-scree is a feature of the Premium audio with the 12" screen, dynamic Nav and JBL.
The basic XLE package has the Audio-Plus with the smaller screen, and still has knobs and buttons.

Wife's XLE has this head unit and console, but she does have the same instrument cluster display as my Avalon XLE, so I assume this picture is from an LE model.

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We only have had it one wee

Ya. Think you're right. It will auto relock if you unlock the doors and never actually open a door within a specified number of seconds.
You have automatic lock on leaving "P" or when forward motion begins, but there is no "walk-away" auto-lock option, just the re-lock.
Helps if you accidentally actuate the remote without realizing it... or if someone else happens to have the same code (unlikely these days)
Since I've had a 2019 and a 2021 of similar make and model, it's night and day. I'm convinced there is something wrong with our 2021 Venza. But how to convince the dealer is another story. It does not stay in the lane 50% of the time. Crosses the yellow center line 50% of the time. Does not even attempt to steer into a curve 50% of the time. The 2019 Rav4 was about 98-99% reliable if I needed to take 2 hands off the wheel (not recommended) for a few seconds to change eyeglasses or to pop the top on a can of soda. (Opening a can with one hand is possible, but also not recommended.)
You are aware that the LTA only operates when the cruise control is engaged, right?
LDA is active at all times, but it only provides a gentle "nudge" and will not keep you in the lane.
Ha ha… I was assuming that he knew how the system works. But maybe safest not to assume!
If you don't read the manual, it's not obvious.
I thought he did as well having had the '19 Rav... but the description of the problem sounds indeed like LDA and not LTA.
Wow, I thought I understood this at this point, but reading this, I need to read up on it again! You are referring to
  • LC (Lane Centering)
  • LTA (Lane Tracing Assist)
  • LDA (Lane Departure Alert)

But reading this page from Toyota, and specifically for the 2021 Venza - Toyota Safety Sense , they talk about

  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
No mention of 'LC' (Lane Centering), but a mention of 'SA' (Steering Assist)

Confusing indeed! Has the terminology changed for 2021 perhaps?
"Lane Centering" is under the "Lane Tracing Assist" function
Only active when cruise control is set.

The SA is only a gentle "bump" if it detects an impending lane departure, but it's not enough to keep you in the lane.... it will effectively overcorrect, so it may keep you from drifting off of the right side, but the correction will put you at a sharper angle on the left side and you'll get an alert, but it won't pull you back into the lane. This function is active full-time, regardless of the cruise control setting (unless you turn it off).

The LTA on my wife's Venza seems to work wonderfully, even tracing around (gentle) curves in the road that I would have expected to take over manually.
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