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2011 Toyota Venza

Overview
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2011 Toyota Venza Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

Slotting between Toyota's best selling Camry Sedan and its Highlander SUV, the 2011 Toyota Venza is part crossover, part wagon and part family sedan. Unlike many compact crossovers, the Venza's wide body creates a spacious interior with plenty of room for five passengers and their gear. Long rear doors make for hassle free entry and exits (not to mention securing in place those bulky child safety seats) and the Venza's impressive ground clearance and available all-wheel drive helps it traverse deep snow with ease. Because it blurs the line between wagon and SUV, the Venza can be cross shopped against a number of competitors including the Nissan Murano, Mazda CX-7 and Subaru Outback. Its choice of four or six-cylinder engines, along with a healthy roster of available equipment, give the Venza a leg up on many challengers, as does Toyota's reputation for quality and stellar resale values.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a fan of vehicles that offer a commanding view of the road, but no fan of high step-in and loading heights, the Venza will sufficiently satisfy your needs. With the interior quality and detail of the most lavish Camry, the Venza will also satisfy your need for comfort and luxury.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With no third-row seat, the Venza is at a distinct disadvantage against such competitors as the Chevy Traverse, Hyundai Veracruz, Honda Pilot or Mazda CX-9. Those impressed by maximum fuel economy will find the Subaru Outback bests the Venza by a wide margin.

What's New for 2011

Outside of a simplified option package list, there are no major changes for the 2011 Toyota Venza.

Driving the Venza

Driving Impressions Not quite sedan soft, but not quite SUV harsh, either, the Venza performed much as we expected on both city and highway roads. Although most felt the Venza to be...

a smooth operator, some of our editors did feel the stylish 19- and 20-inch wheel/tire combo creates some noticeable road noise and telegraphs road imperfections to the passenger compartment. While the 2.7-liter in-line four easily tackled some rather steep hills without too much gear searching or audible strain, the more robust V6 is definitely the engine you'll want. During some sportier driving moments, the Venza's chassis made it apparent this is not a vehicle meant to be driven aggressively around curves. Still, we think that most buyers will be perfectly pleased with the way the Venza handles around-town jaunts. As for long term comfort, our staff found both rows of seats to be comfortable and spacious enough to accommodate a vehicle full of adults or older children, so much so that no one riding in the second row ever complained after a long road trip.

Integrated Sliding Center Console
Comprised of a set of cup holders and a padded arm rest that slides independently of each other, the center console provides up 14.7 liters worth of storage space. This space also hides the auxiliary input jack cable, which can be left in the console or fed into an mp3/phone holder situated in the center stack.

Power Rear Liftgate
Helpful for anyone who's ever found themselves alone in the rain with two arms full of groceries, the power liftgate can be operated with a simple push of a key fob mounted button.

2011 Toyota Venza Details
Interior

The Venza is as big inside as it appears outside. Seating is offered in either a breathable soft cloth or available leather, the latter heated, while the driver is treated to an eight-way power adjustable seat with power lumbar support. Because there is no third-row seat, the Venza offers an impressive 70.1 cubic-feet of cargo space. Head, hip, leg and shoulder room are all excellent, and the Venza's sliding center console can accommodate all manner of gear, from a large purse to a plethora of portable electronics. A set of sliding cup holders allow easy access to the console, which also houses an auxiliary audio input jack and a small pass-through allowing a cord to attach to your device when the lid is closed.

Exterior

Despite glimpses of Camry styling peppered all about the Venza's exterior, the overall design is one of the most daring to come from Toyota in a decade. The Venza's standard 19- or 20-inch wheels, wide wrap-around grille and stunning paint color options give the vehicle a bold, solid presence, while its impressive 8.1-inch ground clearance makes traversing unruly surface a bit more reassuring. Contrary to the Venza's imposing height, the vehicle's low step-in height makes it decidedly easier to load in kids, groceries or whatever you need to place inside the vehicle, another plus over some crossover SUVs.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Toyota Venza is offered in one well-equipped trim. Inside, standard equipment worth mentioning includes audio, climate and cruise controls on the steering wheel, a 3.5-inch multi-function display, dual zone automatic climate control, iPod connectivity, tonneau cover, Bluetooth, auxiliary input jack, and six-disc in-dash CD changer with integrated satellite radio and six speakers. Outside, integrated fog lights, a chrome exhaust, color-keyed spoiler and 19-inch (20-inch on the V6) wheels can be seen. To keep all occupants safe and sound, seven airbags, stability and traction control, and anti-lock brakes are standard fare.

Optional Equipment

Unlike some competitors that bundle high-end options only with their V6 models, the Venza's numerous options are available regardless of engine choice or drive configuration. The most noteworthy packages include leather seating surfaces, push button start, backup camera, HID headlamps with Automatic High Beams and a power open/close hatch. Those who enjoy listening to music may enjoy the JBL Synthesis surround sound system with six-disc in-dash CD changer, Bluetooth streaming audio capability, satellite radio and 13 speakers, while those who like to feel the sun on their shoulders can opt for the panoramic moonroof. Also available is a voice-activated touch-screen DVD navigation system, although it only offers a four-disc CD changer.

Under the Hood

Powering the Venza is either a 182-hp 2.7-liter in-line four cylinder or a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine. Both engines come with standard six-speed automatic transmissions that offer uphill/downhill shift logic to minimize gear hunting. Those who do more highway driving should opt for the in-line 4; rated at 27 mpg in FWD guise, this engine is the more financially sensible choice. However, if having AWD or the need to tow 3,500 pounds is a priority, you'll be happy to know that choosing this system will only penalize you by one mpg with either powertrain choice.

2.7-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
182 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 (FWD), 20/25 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
246 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 (FWD), 18/25 (AWD)

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2011 Toyota Venza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 219 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Comfortable Car Needs Updates

By on Thursday, April 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very comfortable, fast acceleration"

Cons: "Bad turning radius Needs updated"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought this car for driving through Amish country back roads in OH. It's great for dealing with the snow, and braking is terrific. Comfort level is +++, and minimal road noises compared to other makes I tried. I love the backup camera, and would probably not buy another car without it. Cons: Gas mileage is not that great, compared to other makes in it's class; Turning radius is AWFUL. Does not come standard with remote-start, so I paid dealer over $1000 to install. This is standard in other brands. Also, personal preference, but I would never buy another car with Keyless Entry. I understand the security features by not allowing you to lock the car and leave it running; but preference is sometimes to leave Air Conditioning running while you go into a convenience store with door locked."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Extremely smooth ride. Very reliable.

By on Thursday, April 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very comforatble and reliable"

Cons: "only get average of 23 mpg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Spacious front and back. trunk space very large. comfort package is great CD, Bluetooth, Nav pack, sound system, rear camera etc."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Versitile, comfortable car good on snow.

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reasonably priced."

Cons: "Gas mileage less than I expected in city driving"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Good midsized vehicle with great versatility. Has good (but not excellent) back seat leg room, is easy to get in an d out, can be converted to a cargo carrier in seconds by folding down the back seats. Tolerates slippery surfaces and tire chains. Only gets fair gas mileage (20c, 28h)."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Totally pleased with the quality and reliability

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable reliable "tight""

Cons: "NO heated steering wheel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Would buy another one today. Stable and dependable in icy and snowy conditions. One of the safest driving cars I've owned."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Our 3rd Toyota

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Lots of room, ease to reach bluetooth and controls"

Cons: "blind spots when backing. nosie when on long drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Venza has too many blind spots. A bit noise on long drives. We bought used. City driving is a bit sluggish when needing extra oomph. Overall very "good" vehicle."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

very comfortable and ez in and out

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fast, comfortable, and stylish"

Cons: "Wind noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"My 2015 Venza stands out in 2 areas. The first is its look and second is its comfort and convenience. I have a pearl white with ivory interior. It is so beautiful and eye-catching inside and out. It is so pleasant to look at it. Getting in and out of the Venza is effortless even though I am only 5 feet 5. The doors open wide and the chairs are not too high or too low, which make it ez to get in and out. The feeling is like I had a walk-in closet for the first time every time Iget in the car. The bad is that the wind noise is quite noticeable at speed greater than 50mph. The steering may be a bit too light. You have to hold it tight at 60+ mph. Comparing the Venza with my Lexus sedan, the faster I drive, the more stable and quiet the Lexus is. The Venza, on the other hand, is more bouncy at higher speed on the highway. Other than that, the Venza handles and corners well on local streets. Ride is not stiff for me. The Venza V6 is reponsive and powerful. I love the acceleration. If any of you knows how to reduce the wind/road noise, please let me know."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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