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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 185 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

The best car on the road

By on Sunday, July 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000

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: "smooth ride, reliable, attractive"

Cons: "none"

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

"I can't say enough good things about the Toyota Venza. It is the best car I've ever owned. My husband puts over 100 miles a day on this car and it still runs like it is brand new. I feel safe and confident in the Venza that it will get me where I need to be. My next car will be a Venza too. Why try something different when you have found the best."

A Non-Minivan with "Bling"

By on Friday, July 25, 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
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "All around great vehicle, very easy entry/exit"

Cons: "Lousy front console cup holders"

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

"After 2 1/2 years I sold my retirement gift to myself a 2012 Premium Mustang Convertible. I loved it, but with 31,500 miles it was coming close to the end of its warranty. I knew if I wanted to sell it, late Spring/Early Summer was the time to do it. What to get? I wanted a pickup, but did not need a pick up. My significant other kept pointing out the "16" overall MPG. While walking around dealership on a Sunday when they were closed, I came across two nearly identical (2011 & a 2012) Toyota Venza. I had never even considered such a car, nor a used car, but both of them looked brand new. I think the owners of this class of vehicles take good car of them. It was SO EASY to get in and out of. It has TONS of ROOM. The front (and the back) seats are excellent. The back seats are roomy for two or three people. I finally decided on the 2011, with the lower mileage and navigation with the large back up camera screen, though I miss the marking of the Mustang's back up screen. Love, absolutely love the keyless entry and start up bottom. One locks the car by squeezing the door handles - how cool and never needing to fish for your keys. Love the panorama roof. Don't like the shallow and to large diameter coffee cup holders, but love the console. There are bottle holders in the doors. While I wanted a vehicle with a bit of "bling", red color, tinted windows, panorama roof and the 20" Wheels, give it "bling", I dislike the price of replacing 20" tires and they do the ride no favors. Overall, I love the car. I really liked the Mustang, but I love the Venza. The overall MPG is about the same, 22-24 overall, 25 and sometime more MPG on the HWY with the V6 and AWD."

Sleek looking and comfortable ride

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,400

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "design, interior room and storage, comfort"

Cons: "gas mileage"

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

"This car has so much interior room! Nobody ever feels squished. I am 5'5" and when we went looking for cars, I was almost too tall to fit in many of them, especially the rear, but the Venza is roomy in both width and height, especially in the rear. Plenty of room for my 90lb German shepherd. I love the dual moonroofs and the leather seats are very comfortable and easy to clean. My previous car was a BMW sedan so I was used to a high performance car handling. At first the Venza felt like I was driving a bus or truck, but now I am totally used to it and I can handle the turns well. We have the V6 - good acceleration when needed. Once you get up to speed, this car cruises well and I have to watch myself as I can get up to 75-80 without realizing it. The ride is so smooth and the engine and transmission operate so quietly. At first I did not like the stereo system, it may have been using Sirius which we stopped. But after being in an area with HD radio and putting in my own CDs, I liked the stereo sound more. The ergonomic design of the interior dash, gear shift and entertainment controls are excellent. I don't use the bluetooth feature, I hate talking on the cell while driving (even hands free) so I can't comment on this. There are so many well thought out storage spaces, even for sunglasses so I never forget them now. My only complaints so far are the gas mileage, I mostly do city driving and so far barely 19mpg. Highway driving in the Venza does not improve the average mpg much. The interior can be a bit noisy. I have no issues with rear visibility as others mentioned, using the reverse camera is easy. Steering radius could be improved. Overall I would recommend this stylish, space age looking car. It has the large interior feel of a full SUV, but the ease of driving a regular sized sedan."

Stylish, dependable all weather car.

By on Thursday, July 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,200

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Looks great."

Cons: "Could have better fuel economy."

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

"This is a great looking car. Very comfortable and reliable. Awesome in bad weather (with AWD). The car feels heavy, but it is nimble with the 20" wheels. It's not a sports car. Fuel mileage is my only complaint. Gets about 24 mpg on the highway. Overall great car and I would but another one with AWD."

Best vehicle I ever owned

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,300

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: "Easy to drive - easy to operate - love it."

Cons: "Blind spots & cup holders that are not deep enough"

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

"I love this car for ease of getting in and out - for driving comfort. The minus on this car - blind spots."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Only 1 Issue!

By on Thursday, June 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,250

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
8/10

Pros: "Almost everything"

Cons: "Rear visibility"

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

"This is the best car that I've ever owned. I really enjoy driving the Venza. It is very stylish inside and out. The rear cargo area has a good opening and lots of space, especially with the seats folded. The seats are very comfortable. The sliding center console is very helpful. The only issue that I have is the rear visibility. Not really an issue now because I got used to using the rear-view camera."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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