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2013 Toyota Venza

Overview
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2013 Toyota Venza Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

During another era the 2013 Toyota Venza might well have been called a Camry Liftback. With today's Venza Toyota incorporates a crossover utility's higher seating position and good outward vision with expressive sheetmetal, an aggressive footprint, generous cargo capacity and a choice of two powertrains. And it puts the end result, the 5-door Venza, in the same showroom as another Camry-based SUV, the Highlander. There are, of course, options beyond its own showroom; shoppers will find Nissan's Murano and, more recently, the Dodge Journey offering similar fare. If looking for a "soft-road" option it's an embarrassment of riches.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you enjoy the utility and versatility of an SUV while preferring the car-based platform of the crossover SUV, the Venza will provide a credible menu of platform and features, along with its own, singularly stylistic agenda.

You May Not Like This Car If...

A prospective customer might find Toyota's 2013 Venza falling into a middle ground, neither fish (an upright, practical SUV) nor fowl (the wished-for aggressive sports sedan or hatch).

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Toyota Venza's enhanced exterior styling (Toyota's descriptive) includes a new upper and lower grille, fog lamps and taillights. With a new 19-inch wheel design and three new exterior colors (Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica), your neighbor with the '12 will probably wish he had waited. The 3-trim-level strategy (introduced last year) continues, albeit with updated option packages.

Driving the Venza

Driving Impressions In the time-honored tradition of offering a car-based platform powered by car-based drivetrains while suffering from SUV-induced weight, those opting to equip their 2013 Toyota Venza with Toyota's DOHC inline-4...

will learn to be patient when merging onto a freeway. Check the V6 box and you'll immediately benefit from more horsepower, torque and refinement. Both engines, notably, hook up to 6-speed automatic transmissions and operate on regular unleaded gasoline. The power rack-and-pinion steering is reasonably well connected, as is the all-independent suspension. One negative associated with the Venza's generous rubber – in either 19-inch or 20-inch sizes – is the harshness transmitted to the interior. Were these 17-inch or 18-inch tires more road irregularities would be absorbed by the tire/wheel combo, and less would be transmitted into your backside. As with most Toyota vehicles the overall over-the-road impression is rather benign, but given the long ownership history most Toyota owners enjoy, that needn't be a bad thing.

AVAILABLE ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
It's rare that a manufacturer will offer all-wheel drive (AWD) across the board, often reserving the option – if it is an option – for only the high-horsepower, top-of-the-line trim levels. Toyota provides it throughout the 2013 Venza range, from the base LE, where it can be purchased for around $30,000, to the top-of-the-line V6 Limited.

ONE-TOUCH FOLD-FLAT SEATS
If you use a sport-oriented utility for its utility, there are few things more frustrating than loading gear at the rear hatch only to discover that you can't fold the rear seats from that position. Toyota's 2013 Venza supplies an all-too-logical cure with one-touch fold-flat levers located in the cargo area. It ain't rocket science, but given the feature's relative scarcity (on competitive vehicles) you'd think it was.

2013 Toyota Venza Details
2013 Toyota Venza photo Interior

The 2013 Toyota Venza's interior is big in all directions. Comfortable seating choices include cloth or leather upholstery (trim dependent), heated front seats and a power driver's seat with power lumbar support. With no 3rd-row seat to take up space, the Venza offers an impressive 70.1 cubic feet of cargo space, while figures for head, leg and hip room are all near the top of the segment. We especially like the 1-touch fold-flat feature for the rear seats. Located in the cargo area, folding either one or both sides is easy and intuitive. Optional features to make the interior more luxurious include a huge panoramic glass moonroof and a premium HDD navigation system with Entune and JBL audio. Pet-friendly accessories include a liftgate pet ramp, booster seat with harness, pet buckles and rear-seat zipline-style harnesses.

Exterior
2013 Toyota Venza photo

On the street the Toyota Venza is immediately recognizable as something different. In point of fact, it's sufficiently different to be virtually unrecognizable as a Toyota. Its expressive face and flanks are an obvious departure from what is frequently known as "Asian generic," while even its standard rubber – all 19 inches of it – provides the Venza with an athletic footprint. And while its profile allows for a high seating position to better see what's around you, the step-in height remains low, making it far more convenient for smallish adults and the elderly. We like its wide, athletic stance, and applaud the U.S.-based design team for its effort, providing – as it does – the Venza with visual differentiation from both the Camry and Highlander.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All three trim levels offered on the 2013 Toyota Venza provide a comfortable level of accommodation. On the outside that up-market attitude is evident with 19-inch alloy rims and generous 245/55 rubber. Inside, even the base LE offers dual- zone automatic climate control; an AM/FM/CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity and control; and a 3.5-inch LCD multi-information display. Seats are fabric in the LE, while leather covers the seating surfaces in the mid-level XLE and up-market Limited. And all 2013 Toyota Venzas enjoy Toyota's comprehensive Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology, plus seven airbags.

Optional Equipment

For those residing in the Snowbelt, or those in the Sunbelt wanting the assurance of all-wheel drive, Toyota provides all-season traction as an available option on all trim levels and powertrains. In short, if you want to spend under $30K for a base Venza LE, but wish to enjoy the security that comes only with AWD, you can do it. And while the standard 2.7-liter inline-4, available in both LE and XLE trims, is a well-respected powerplant, Toyota's 3.5-liter V6 is (again) available across the board.

Under the Hood

Propelling the 2013 Toyota Venza wagon is either a 181-horsepower 2.7-liter inline 4-cylinder or 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Both engines come with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission that offers uphill/downhill shift logic to minimize gear hunting. Those who do more highway driving should opt for the inline-4; rated at 27 mpg in front-wheel-drive (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 the V6 will result in only a small fuel economy penalty.

2.7-liter inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
182 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 mpg (FWD), 20/25 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
246 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (FWD), 18/25 mpg (AWD)

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2013 Toyota Venza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 184 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

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

Love this car!

By on Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable ride, tons of storage, great mileage"

Cons: "Sun visor not long enough"

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

"I've driven this car for over 3 years now, and I can say this is by far, the best value you can get in a vehicle. This car is so versatile. Great gas mileage, smooth handling and comfortable ride for long trips, very roomy, tons of room for storage, while also being realistic for everyday driving. My one and only minor complaint is that the sun visor doesn't cover enough when it's over the side window (but I'm just nitpicking). Truly a great car that I hope to have for many more years to come!"

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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