2014 Toyota Venza Review


The Toyota Venza is a bit of an odd duck, with few direct competitors in the rather marginal "fat-wagon" family. Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela tested the 2014 version of the Venza and found that it gets a lot right, particularly for a parent running around town getting groceries and ferrying children to school and such — even on slick winter roads. Problems became evident, however, when Varela hit the highway; that's when the cabin — already hampered by some cheap-looking materials — became a sonic assault of road noise. Read the review below.

2014 Toyota Venza Expert Review

By Matt Schmitz | March 17, 2014 | Comments (8)

2013 Honda Crosstour: First Look

  • Competes with: Toyota Venza, Subaru Outback,Nissan Murano
  • Looks like: A more-lovable-looking Crosstour with some Accord design influence
  • Drivetrain: New 3.5-liter V-6 with six-speed automatic
  • Hits dealerships: Tuesday,Nov. 20

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the 2013 Honda Crosstour production model is that there's so little distinction to be made between it and the concept version that debuted at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Even then it was clear that this concept was only a concept, well, in concept.

Needless to say, there's not a lot to talk about in terms of brand-new features on the 2013 Crosstour, which goes on sale Tuesday — except that its base price of $27,230 is $525 less than it was in 2012 (Honda has not yet listed the car's destination fee).

Concept-car aesthetics that have made their way to the production model include more rugged exterior styling thanks to a redesigned front end and new grille. It also gets new bumper fog lights, front-diffuser designs and Accord-inspired exaggerated lower-front-intake flares. The rugged look is achieved with black composite plastic along the sill plates and front and rear bumper edges. Newly available paint colors include Kona Coffee Metallic and Mountain Air Metallic.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2012 | Comments (8)

2013 Toyota Venza at the 2012 New York Auto Show

2013 Toyota Venza

Competes with: Honda Crosstour and Ford Edge
Looks like: A lightly refreshed Venza
181-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder and 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 
Hits dealerships: Late May

For 2013, Toyota's Venza sees its first significant update since it was introduced for the 2009 model year. The midsize wagon gets exterior styling tweaks and more standard and available features for the 2013 model year.

More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

Exterior styling updates include a revised upper and lower grille and restyled fog lamps and taillights. Also new is the design for Venza's standard 19-inch wheels. They join three new exterior colors: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 3, 2012 | Comments (4)

2010 Toyota Venza Adds USB Port Standard


One of my biggest gripes about some newly designed cars is the lack of a USB connector for iPods and digital music files. Some automakers like Kia and Hyundai make this feature standard on even their cheapest cars, while others only include a USB connector with expensive option packages. When I reviewed the all-new Venza last year, I was shocked that it didn’t even offer a USB connector, not even with the expensive navigation and sound system option packages. I railed about this loudly in my review and on this blog's comment section — as well as to the Toyota brass.

It seems they listened. For 2010, the Venza will include a USB/iPod port as well as Bluetooth streaming audio as standard on all trim levels. The company says the USB port allows for full control of an iPod through stereo and steering-wheel controls.

The base price of the 2010 Venza ratchets up $300 to start at $26,275, excluding destination charges. The 2010 model goes on sale this November.


By David Thomas | September 25, 2009 | Comments (2)

Toyota Venza and Lexus RX Are Top Safety Picks


The all-new 2009 Toyota Venza and redesigned 2010 Lexus RX received Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To earn Top Safety Pick status, vehicles must rank Good — the institute’s top crash rating — in front, side and rear impacts. They also must be equipped with electronic stability control.

The two models join 20 other Top Safety Picks in the midsize SUV category. Cars.com’s David Thomas recently reviewed the new Venza and thought it was an attractive buy for small families. Mike Hanley took on the updated Lexus, which is one of the company’s most popular models.

2010 Lexus RX 450h review (Cars.com) 
2009 Toyota Venza video (Cars.com)

By Colin Bird | June 18, 2009 | Comments (7)

2009 Toyota Venza Video

Toyota went with an aggressive, unique look for the new Venza, and Cars.com reviewer David Thomas wonders if this startling design will attract buyers or turn them off. It would be a shame if it did keep them from taking a look because, as he notes in his video review of the 2009 model, the Toyota Venza has a lot to offer, especially for the right-sized family.


By Stephen Markley | April 3, 2009 | Comments (44)

Video: 2009 Toyota Venza iPhone Streaming Bluetooth Audio

When I reviewed the Toyota Venza a few months ago, I couldn’t believe the company didn’t include a USB port for MP3 players. An analog auxiliary jack was standard, and you had to upgrade to a more expensive stereo for Bluetooth streaming audio. One problem, only a few cell phones and MP3 players have Bluetooth streaming capabilities, and an adapter for an iPod can run between $50 and $150.

Then came news that Apple was adding this technology to the iPhone this summer. Our resident tech expert, Matt Raskin, is of course already running the beta version of this new software on his iPhone, and he lent it to me to check out in the Venza. Watch the video above to see it in action, and let us know whether you think this is the future of in-car audio.

The 2010 Toyota Prius, on sale this May, and the just-announced 2010 Subaru Legacy will also have available Bluetooth audio.

By David Thomas | April 2, 2009 | Comments (15)

Toyota Super Bowl Commercial Asks, "Are You Venza?"

Toyotasuperbowlad Well, are you? Are you Venza?

Using what could be the strangest automotive tagline since “The Fit is Go,” Toyota will launch a media campaign during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLIII for its new Venza crossover.

From the description, Toyota is going to position the Venza for folks who are into cool design.

We’re not sure about the approach, but the company spent some serious time investigating it.

"With the launch of Venza, we wanted to dig deeper, so we reached out for new research that combines cognitive neuroscience, anthropology and sociology," said a spokesperson from the ad agency.

We’ll see how that works Sunday. 

More Super Bowl Commercial Coverage

By David Thomas | January 29, 2009 | Comments (6)

Cars.com Reviews the 2009 Toyota Venza


Two weeks ago, I took to the Pennsylvania countryside to test an all-new model from Toyota, called Venza. Despite the name — a combination of the word “venture” and the Monza racetrack in Italy — the vehicle is almost entirely practical. Who would have thought Toyota could do such a thing?

Seriously though, this enlarged wagon/crossover/non-SUV will be hard to sell, simply because people won’t know what it is. But after reading the review, it might become clearer who will want to buy one.

2009 Toyota Venza Review
More Venza News

By David Thomas | November 3, 2008 | Comments (22)

Pricing Announced for 2009 Toyota Venza


Later this morning we’ll have a full review of the all-new Toyota Venza live on Cars.com, but for now we’re able to bring you pricing for when it goes on sale in early December. Actually, only the V-6 model goes on sale in December, with four-cylinders to follow in January, but at least you’re now armed with what either will cost you.

Toyota went simple with the Venza in terms of trim levels. There are four: The base four-cylinder front-wheel-drive Venza starts at $25,975, not including destination. It’s rated at 21/29 mpg city/highway, close to the base Camry’s 21/31 mpg. An all-wheel-drive version costs $1,450 more and gets 20/28 mpg.

The V-6 front-wheel-drive model starts at $27,800 and gets 19/26 mpg. All-wheel drive is once again $1,450 more, and its mileage is rated at 18/25 mpg. Destination is another $720.

Option pricing is below.

By David Thomas | November 3, 2008 | Comments (12)

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