Toyota Venza Review
The 2014 Toyota Venza ranks 9 out of 23 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Venza, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2014 Toyota Venza is ranked:
Test drivers say the 2014 Toyota Venza has a comfortable ride, spacious seating for five and ample cargo space, but falls short with unadventurous handling.
The Venza comes standard with a four-cylinder engine that most auto critics say is underpowered. As a result, many recommend skipping over it in favor of the optional V6, which they say produces ample power and gets nearly the same fuel economy. Both engines are available exclusively with an automatic transmission, and front- or all-wheel drive is available with either engine. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg city/highway with the four-cylinder and 19/26 mpg with the V6. Test drivers agree that the Toyota Venza has a comfortable ride, but some say that vague steering feel keeps the 2014 Venza from being a fun-to-drive midsize SUV.
Test drivers say the 2014 Venza has a pleasing interior design, though some note that materials used are a mix of high- and low-quality pieces, including some fake wood trim and weirdly-textured plastics. The Venza's seats are said to be plenty spacious in front and back, though some wish for more side support in the front buckets. Most note that the five-seat Venza has very generous cargo space for the class. Test drivers say the Venza's controls are clearly marked and its gauges easy to read. Standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a USB port. Major options include a 13-speaker JBL stereo system, Toyota's Entune App Suite, which integrates smartphone apps like Pandora and Bing, navigation, a backup camera and a panoramic moonroof.
- "If you're in the market for a 2-row family vehicle with a little extra pizzazz, consider giving this underappreciated Toyota some love." -- AutoTrader
- "Bigger than the less expensive Subaru Outback but not quite as large as the 7-passenger Highlander, the Venza appeals to people who need the power and room of an SUV, but don't really care to own an SUV. Granted, the Venza's car-like chassis limits its ability to go off-road or to tow heavy loads above 3,500 pounds, but if interior room and styling matter most, the Venza is a tough act to beat." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It deserves praise for its comfortable, roomy interior and surprisingly good fuel economy. We are less enamored with the unsettled ride and handling and noisy engines. Pricing is not unreasonable for the class, but a traditional wagon or SUV would be a better place to spend your money." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Other SUVs to Consider
Reviewers say the Ford Edge offers a high-quality interior and an optional EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that is liked for its blend of power and good fuel economy. Test drivers also like the Edge's refined, neutral handling, which may make it a good choice for anyone looking for a more fun-to-drive SUV.
The Subaru Outback offers similar cargo space to the Venza, and reviewers say it delivers a comfortable ride and has a spacious back seat. The base Outback also costs less and has standard all-wheel drive, and it gets better fuel economy than the front-wheel drive, four-cylinder Venza.
Details: 2014 Toyota Venza
The 2014 Toyota Venza seats five and comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional. The base engine is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder, and a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 is optional. The Venza is available in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. The Venza was introduced for the 2009 model year, and aside from a refresh last year, it is largely unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2009 to 2014 model years.
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