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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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 228 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "beautiful, comfortable, feels safe, lots of room"

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

"I love this vehicle! It is so easy to enter and exit. It is the perfect height just to slide in. The AWD is incredible. It just takes over when needed and I can't feel it, I just know it's happening because the AWD light is on. It's totally unbelievable how much this car can carry. I do home decorating and must carry a lot when I'm doing a "whole house staging". I have been literally stopped by two separate women to ask what my car was. Not only does it look great but it is very comfortable!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Wish it would still be made!

By on Saturday, June 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,570

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
10/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Very spacious,convenient controls, fail mpg's (should probable be better for a vehicle of it's size. Holds 4 golf bags and people easily, with room for more. Wide rear door entry. Love the auto-dimming headlights! Very rough, stiff ride with Michlin factory tires that got better with Yokohama Prada Spec x along with better traction in ALL driving conditions. Sorry to see this car go...wish Toyota would have made it better instead of stopping production."

22 people out of 38 found this review helpful

Outstanding reliability and conveniece

By on Sunday, June 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,772

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Performance, convenience, fun."

Cons: "Road noise"

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

"Trips to the dealership were strictly for scheduled maintenance or driver education. Car handles well on highway, hugs curves and accelerates with spirit. Controls on dash and steering wheel positioned well and ample storage at fingertips. Very convenient auto hatch operation and can haul all sorts of oversize goodies.Heavy-duty hitch to pull boat or trailer. Some road noise is only minus. Very good-looking car!"

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

great gas milage -30 hw-27.5 overall-comfortable-g

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "gas milage , comfort ,utility"

Cons: "not great in pick up department"

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

"good and easy getting in and out,quiet,very good storage,right size.good traction in snow.memory and heated seats."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

First Toyota also maybe last one.

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "price, power, mileage, reliability on road"

Cons: "brake, painting, heater...less than expection"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"problems after 3+years use: painting start rusting (wt), cold weather lost power at start, uncomfortable seat, slow brake action (braking distance too long), transient lack control between brake and off transmission (automatic transmission), slow heater start on."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very good car overall

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

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
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Value, comfort, styling, space, economy"

Cons: "Controls not as user friendly, accelerator jumpy"

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

"Enjoyed this car. Biggest criticism is its tendency to surge forward and backward. We have to touch the accelerator peddle lightly. The controls are more difficult and not as easy to find than the Toyota Prius we owned. The car is very comfortable for driving, rides well and the four cylinder has adequate pick-up and gas mileage (we achieved 23.5 mpg overall driving city and highway over the time we have owned the car). We liked the styling of this car and found it to be very adequate for space when we took long trips. Overall, this is a very good car and would not hesitate to recommend it to others."

14 people out of 27 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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