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2013 Toyota Venza

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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 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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