Occupying opposite ends of the midsize SUV size spectrum, the 2022 Toyota Venza and 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport both offer ample space for five passengers. Let’s compare them.
2022 Toyota Venza
2022 Toyota Venza Starting Price: $32,890 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Fuel economy; standard all-wheel drive; good safety features.
Below Average: No plug-in hybrid option; small hatch opening; smaller than previous Venza.
Consensus: A 5-seat midsize hybrid SUV, the 2022 Toyota Venza is comfortable, quiet, and fuel-efficient. It only offers a single powertrain choice, but the Venza is easy to drive, and boasts a Sport mode for extra fun.
2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Starting Price: $32,775 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Roomy interior; sporty look; good handling.
Below Average: Weak engines; mediocre interior quality in lower trims; fuel economy.
Consensus: With a sportier look than its three-row sibling, the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a handsome and spacious 5-seat midsize crossover. Neither engine is particularly strong, but handling is impressive.
Venza vs. Atlas Cross Sport: Distinctive Silhouettes
Sized between the smaller RAV4 and the larger Highlander, the 2022 Toyota Venza is a midsize SUV with a spacious cabin that comfortably seats five. It offers only one drivetrain, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid connected by a CVT to all four wheels. It boasts different modes ranging from Normal to Eco to Sport, and in Sport mode, the Venza actually has some snappy driving feel. Standard all-wheel drive translates to stability in any conditions, and the hybrid returns 40 mpg in the city.
Inside, the cabin is clean and spacious, with a quality of materials that could easily be found in one of its Lexus cousins. The base model has a power-adjustable driver seat, and rear passengers sit three across on a 60/40-split-folding bench seat. Cargo space with all seats up is 28.8 cubic feet, which trails some of its competition. We also don’t love the small rear hatch opening. The exterior look is at once elegant and athletic.
Even in base form, the 2022 Venza is well equipped. Standard features include 8-way power driver’s seat, 6-speaker AM/FM audio system and 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. The base model Venza also comes standard with the Safety Sense 2.0 suite, with other safety features including blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
Upper trims get a premium JBL audio system with navigation and a 12.3-inch touchscreen, fixed panoramic roof with photochromic glass, and power passenger seat. The top Limited trim gets heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seats throughout.
Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
While the regular VW Atlas has three rows of seats, the sleeker and sportier 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport only offers two. Its sloped roof also cuts into cargo space a bit, but the Cross Sport is priced lower than the regular Atlas as well. We’re not fans of the VW’s base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as it delivers neither performance nor fuel economy. Mildly better, though still underwhelming is the 3.6-liter V6. Front-wheel drive is the default, with all-wheel drive optional, so while the Atlas Cross Sport may not be powerful, it handles very well, feeling like a smaller vehicle on winding roads.
While most “coupe-like” crossovers take a hit in cargo space, the Cross Sport has a roomy interior and decent-sized cargo area boasting nearly 78 cubic feet with all seats folded. The rear quarters provide ample space for full-size adults. Outside, the VW has a look that is both stylish and conservative. If you prefer a sportier appearance, the R-Line trim has different bumpers and badging.
Standard features include LED headlights and taillights, heated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s seat, V-Tex leatherette upholstery, 8-inch information screen, and pushbutton start. Infotainment comes via a 6.5-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and safety tech includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Given that we’re not particularly impressed by the quality of the materials in the base trim, we would suggest upgrading to at least the SE with Technology trim, which not only offers the V6 but comes with more safety features, a larger infotainment screen, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The top SEL Premium R-Line, which starts just shy of $50,000, has all the bells and whistles, including the V6, Vienna leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, Fender premium audio system, and 360-degree camera.
Starting price; safety rating; good handling.
2022 Toyota Venza Advantages
Much better fuel economy; standard all-wheel drive; more luxurious interior.
2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Advantages
Cargo space; base power; optional upgrade engine; legroom and shoulder room.
Which One is Right for Me?
If you’re looking to step up from the RAV4, the 2022 Toyota Venza is not only larger but more fuel-efficient. Plus, it has a style all its own and an interior worthy of a premium nameplate. And, the driving manners may make you forget it’s a hybrid.
If you like the sleek look and don’t need the 7-passenger capacity of the Atlas, the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is worth a look. The sloped roof doesn’t significantly diminish its cargo capacity, and while the engines may not be particularly powerful, handling is fun, and upper trims offer some nice luxury.
Ready to buy a Toyota Venza or Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport? Shop for one on sale now near you
|2022 Toyota Venza||2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport|
|Engine||2.5-liter I4 hybrid||2.0-liter turbo I4|
|Horsepower||219 hp @ 5,700 rpm||235 hp @ 4,500 rpm|
|Torque||163 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm||258 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm|
|Transmission||Continuously variable||8-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||39 mpg (40 city/37 hwy)||22 mpg (21 city/24 hwy)|
|Also Available||n/a||3.6-liter V6; AWD|
|Basic warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||105.9 inches||117.3 inches|
|Overall Length||186.6 inches||195.5 inches|
|Width||73.0 inches||78.4 inches|
|Height||65.9 inches||68.3 inches|
|Turning Diameter||36.1 feet||40.5 feet|
|Headroom, Front||38.6 inches||39.4 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.0 inches||37.8 inches|
|Legroom, Front||40.9 inches||41.6 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||37.8 inches||40.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.4 inches||61.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||56.9 inches||60.6 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||98.3 cubic feet||112.0 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||28.8/55.1 cubic feet||77.8 cubic feet|