Not what you expect
Leased Venza XLE for my wife, she is excited about many things in it. Comfortable seats, nice tech features, AWD that you can even feel that it works like it should in poor road conditions.
But there are several things that may make you think you've made a mistake buying it, and the first and the worst is the sound insulation. I've owned several different vehicles from this price range and driven much more from that. Poor sound dampening reduces admiration gauge of this car. The wind noise breaks into the interior just after 40mph and driving 70 on a highway in addition to buzzing from the wheels on a large-fraction asphalt or whistling on a concrete will make you head blow in just couple of hours. I felt like I was piloting a plane. We did not pay much attention to it on test-drive and regret about that. Other than that the interior started squeaking after less than 3 months and 3k miles. Never expected this from Toyota. If you drive it in the city with radio on this is not a problem, but that is not true for long highway trips and not what you expect from the car of this price range.
The second tricky thing it is the navigation. Poor POI, tricky routing compared to smartphone, and sometimes hazardous paths: it led me to an UNBUILT ramp in Corpus Christi on 65mph which could be fatal if I was driving at nighttime and trusted the navigation. Fortunately it was day, I was focused and knew that navigation is awful. The construction barriers were not visible till the last seconds because of the traffic. That is nonsense, but Toyota thinks that this particular road is completely built, however there is only ramp skeleton there and there was NO road before cause the ramp goes over another highway. Me and my wife are using only smartphone navigation after that moment. I bet this is not the only hazardous path in this navigation system and other recent Toyota models could be affected.
By the way, the only place you can put your phone without obstructing the view or screen is the vent left to the steering wheel, which is not that comfortable. Or use the CarPlay. And you cannot buy a normal tech package without navigation, at least there was no such option when we leased our Venza, so we are paying for things that are dangerous to use in certain circumstances.
Lane keep assistance is buggy too, I have driven tons of rental Corollas and they just keep you in the center like they should. Our Venza jumps from one markup line to another and you have to force steering every second with LKA turned on which makes no sense compared even to the cheaper Corolla. Other safety features work great: speed limit sign recognition, blind spot monitors, adaptive cruise and so on work perfectly in any weather and lightening conditions. But Lane Keep Assistance is something we turned off in the first couple days and never used again.
The interior looks great from the first sight, and from the second. But after 3 months the black interior is covered in scratches on the cheap crappy plastic below the line of sight. Kids will damage the interior very quickly. The vinyl seats also get damage from kids much more that any leather or cloth. This is not a big problem, but it is the thing that definitely could be better especially in the above-lowest trim. Also there is no sunroof you can open to let fresh air inside, there is no such option at all. I do not know why designers thought that looking at the sky is much more important than fresh non-AC air but this is fact. You definitely can open the windows, but on the highway speed they will make much-much louder noise than any average sunroof.
Other than above it looks nice, drives like you expect and feels reliable. At least feels, time will show but people used to trust Toyota and hope this model will not become an exception. Even such a simple thing like spare wheel which is not available in many modern SUVs of this class makes you feel more comfortable on the long trips. It has a good and enough large trunk space, the rear bench is comfortable to seat even for 6ft+ persons, and the driver's visibility is much nicer than in some rivals of this class and even upper classes.