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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.
Favorite Features

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 170 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Outstanding Vehicle

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling, response, interior comfort, appearance"

Cons: "A bit too much road noise."

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

"My only slightly negative about this car, is that it has a bit too much road noise. I wish it were a bit "quieter". Other than that, this is the best (favorite) car I've ever owned. I've had at least 12 new cars."

Best Luxury Mini Crossover

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,257

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
9/10

Pros: "Automatic everything, interior design, handling,"

Cons: "Low visibility"

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

"We bought our first Toyota automobile in 1992 was a Camry XLE V6 than kept buying them over and over because trust the reliability history and low maintenance cost. Drove a 10yr old vehicle traded because was time on more upgraded features and having better interior quality. The Venza Limited is amazing similar to a Subaru Outback and Chevy Equinox our new Toyota is best in luxury. Top of the line in a navigation, heated front seats, moon roof, 20'' wheels, keyless access, extra 3rd row seating, rearview camera, blind spot detection, larger space in trunk and rear cabin of crossover. Have the most excellent value ever handles very well. Controls are simple using this SUV has a better ride its quiet in every available option. It was standard best in all the latest features navigation system is excellent along audio with iPod connectivity and great sound system from speakers. Toyota is best for us never had no issues out of none all were well maintained and oil changes done every 4k miles. We are counting more years on our Venza because its been absolutely the greatest on a smooth ride and has the best handling ever. Tailgate is automatic as doors are built great opens wide enough with interior seats are comfortable got 3rd row seating the 2nd row slides well and folds down into 60/40 split for having more room space. Passengers will feel really comfort on a smooth quiet drive and relaxing while having great support on all. Venza is an excellent SUV there are too much luxurious on a small crossover but worth being at higher price because have a excellent value in all that is standard."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Worth serious consideration

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellent value for the money........."

Cons: "None"

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

"This is one of the best Toyota's that I have owed. I have had two Camry's and a Corolla and the Venza is tops!! If your looking for lots of room, reliabilty and a comfortable driving experience look no further. The service that I have recieved is also TOP NOTCH, very worthy SUV, Crossover.........."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Surprisingly comfortable and spacious

By on Saturday, February 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth ride."

Cons: "Turning radius"

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

"There s a ton of space in the front as well as the front. The car handles very nice although compared to a performance vehicle, i.e., BMW, the steering feels a little loose. It just takes a little getting used to it. The car rides smoothly and the sound level is good. It's high enough off the ground that the front bumper does not scratch the concrete parking stones when pulling onto a parking spot. The only drawback is the turning radius. Making u-turns almost always require a 3-point turn."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best car I ever had.

By on Thursday, January 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Great to drive. Turning radius is superb. Could use more styling on the exterior but the interior is "sharp" Has great electronics."

It's a 6

By on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It's roomy and easy to get in and out."

Cons: "None"

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

"I hadn't bought a new car in over 13 years when I saw the Venza. I was looking for a larger car with pickup and decent gas mileage. The Venza fit my requirements. It's fun to drive and I can carry lots of stuff in it. I definitely think the V6 performance was worth the additional cost."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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