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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 189 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

Overall excellent vehicle for the price

By on Sunday, August 10, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lots of room, good gas, comfortable"

Cons: "A bit noisy for a toyota"

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

"I purchased this car new. It came with a the towing package. I used to have a Tundra. The towing package has come in very handy. It has a 4 cylinder and it has been just fine. I was a bit skeptical about the 4 and thought about the 6 cylinder but the price for a 6 was pretty high at the time. With the towing package it has been all I needed. I have moved 3 times and I have hauled a number of trailers with no issues. I moved from Fayetteville NC to Raleigh NC, NC to AL and AL to Florida. Plenty of room in the back seat for tall people. The rear seats come down flat in the back so you can haul lumber (up to 8 feet) but watch the width. I go to the local Lowe's and Home depot a lot and there is not much I cannot fit in there. Mine is a 2009 so I have a plug in for my Iphone so I can hear the music from my internal speakers. Works great. I get about 26-28 MPG on the highway (no trailer). I get about 21-24 around the city. I live in a small town so a lot of stop and go but the brakes have been good. Just about 60 K and same breaks. I have replaced the tires and they are expensive."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

BEST AWD VEHICLE AVAILABLE

By on Friday, August 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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: "IT'S AN AWESOME VEHICLE WITH NOT ONE PROBLEM"

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

"THE VENZA IS THE BEST AWD VEHICLE OUT THERE. IT IS ONE OF THE MOST COMFORTABLE CARS EVER. WE HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS AND NO RECALLS WITH THIS VEHICLE WHICH YOU CAN NOT SAY ABOUT CHEVY, FORD, HONDA, VW, SUBARU, KIA, JEEP ETC.. BUY A TOYOTA IF YOU WANT QUALITY"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

great ride

By on Thursday, August 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun fun fun"

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

"very functional power tail gate fold down seats to large space plenty of power v-6 easy entry great visability holds value"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very Happy Venza Owner

By on Friday, August 01, 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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, quiet ride, nice looking"

Cons: "Gas mileage driving around town with AWD."

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

"I bought a used 2011 Venza with 18000 miles on it in April 2014. Got it with the 4CYL AWD. Came with the power liftgate, push button start, panoramic moonroof. After putting 7K miles on the past couple of months, I absolutely love this vehicle. Its smooth, 4 Cyl has more than adequate power for accelerating on the highway, the ride is quiet, good sound system. Highway gas mileage is better than advertised, however, with the AWD, around town leaves something to be desired. Overall I average between 22-26 MPG each tank. All in all I love this car and would recommend it"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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."

1 person out of 1 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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