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2011 Toyota Venza

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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 247 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

Great value, room for 4 adults and bags

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Roomy, drives well, good fuel econ"

Cons: "sun visors don't extend"

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

"This car has exceeded my expectations. Nice ride, very comfortable, lots of leg room front and back. Many trips with four adults and bags for a weekend, works well. Have had zero mechanical issues. Original tires lasted 80K miles. Pulls a small fishing boat with the 4 cyl engine and it does just fine."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Bye BMW... Hello toyota...

By on Thursday, June 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

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: "solid build, realiability, stylish, comfortable"

Cons: "none I can think of"

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

"I had two used bmw sedans... a 5 series and a 3 series and I put thousands of dollars into each of those cars the first few months I owned both of them. Just as I'd fix one issue... another would soon turn up and cost $1,000 or more to resolve. The 5 series engine blew with little over 125,000 miles on it just after being serviced by the bmw dealer. The 3 series I purchased to replace it was in the shop literally three days after I purchased it for a solenoid issue that cost $450.00 to resolve. The four years I owned that car I put over $5,000 in repairs and it still had maintenance issues. I got fed up with the constant maintenance and decided to check out the Venza after doing a lot of research against the rival models. I ended up purchasing a used 2009 V6 AWD fully loaded with just over 79,000 miles on it. I've had the car for 11 months and not one problem what so ever with it! The ONLY service I've had done on the car is two oil changes since I took ownership. I was fortunate that the previous owner fully loaded the vehicle with everything you can add on. I always found the body style of the Venza very attractive and when the opportunity arrived to own one I jumped on it. This is my first AWD vehicle and I will never go back to two wheel drive again. Both BMW's had HORRIBLE RWD traction in the snow but the AWD on the venza handled great. I love this car and plan to keep it for a very very long time. I'm just now hitting 89,000 miles and feel comfortable I'll get between 200,000 - 300,000 out of it. Toyota is notorious for making high mileage reliable cars and from my experience that reputation has been rightfully earned. The Venza being a crossover vehicle makes the ride height perfect for entering and exiting at my height of 5'6"."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Thursday, June 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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: "Solid as a luxury car"

Cons: "No longer made"

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

"Love this car, it is my second one. My first one was blizzard pearl and I loved it. This one is metallic gray and I do not like the color. I would love to trade for a new one, but I am so upset that they are not making them any more. Would love to stay with toyota brand - love the toyota care, but would have to settle for a Hilander which is too big for my needs or a Rav, which may not be as comfortable (cushie) as the Venza."

great car

By on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "ALL AROUND GOOD"

Cons: "SPOUNGE BRAKES"

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

"MOST COMFORTABLE CAR EVER. EASY IN EASY OUT. TOO BAD TOYOTA DISCONTINUED THE LINE . WOULD HAVE BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE"

Excellent interior room and plenty of power!

By on Friday, March 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,750

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Value, safe, and fun to drive."

Cons: "None"

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

"We traded our Lexus 470 SUV and soon missed the room for trips. I drove and researched many smaller SUVs and cross overs. The Limited Venza fit all of our needs. Now almost 12000 miles later we are delighted with our choice. We love the way the back seats fold down easy and flat, the sky roof with panorama window, the sound system is like being at a recording studio and it handles snow well with it's all wheel drive too. The V-6 takes our mountain and the freeways with ease and still gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway. The Limited comes with all the upgrades and options with one exception. I would have added blind spot warning. The only negative is that Toyota discontinued this model in 2016. Over all i think this car is terrific."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Next Best Thing to a Highlander

By on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Plenty of power, comfortable, stylish, reliable"

Cons: "Rear blind spot, high beam indicator"

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

"I love this car so much that I drove 7 hours to buy one of the last new 2015 XLE AWD in my state. This car is perfect for the person who wants a car with power and spacious room for driver and passengers. I had a Highlander before this car but don't need the extra seating now since my kids are grown. Everyone I've met who owns a Venza seems to love them. Don't understand why they were discontinued."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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