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2013 Toyota Venza Review

The automotive press thinks the 2013 Toyota Venza is a refined five-seat crossover with good fuel economy and ample cargo space, but they say its softly-sprung suspension trades composed handling for a soft ride. 

The Venza is a comfort-tuned SUV, and test drivers say that it generally has enough power for day-to-day driving with either its base four-cylinder engine or its optional V6. Still, because it offers a lot more power and a minimal reduction in fuel economy, many reviewers recommend opting for the V6. Fuel economy tops out at 20/26 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Front- or all-wheel drive is available, and a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Critics say the 2013 Venza handles much like the Toyota Camry on which it is based, so it absorbs bumps and has a comfortable ride, but isn’t all that sporty. Braking and steering also receive lukewarm reviews.

Reviewers tend to like the 2013 Toyota Venza’s cabin. The seats draw mixed reviewers, with critics saying they offer plenty of space, but only find them somewhat comfortable. For its size, reviewers say the Venza can hold a lot of cargo, and that cabin small item storage is excellent as well. The Venza is fairly well-equipped across all trims, with standard dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and a six-speaker stereo with a USB port. The optional Entune infotainment system draws mixed reviews, with some saying it’s easy to operate, and others indicating that it makes adjusting the climate controls needlessly complicated.

  • "The 2013 Toyota Venza is hard to define, but whether you call it a wagon or a crossover, it's a competitive and comfortable family vehicle." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Venza attempts to blend the versatility and car-like driving dynamics of a traditional station with the look and feel of a midsize SUV. Regrettably, it falls a bit flat on both counts. 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
  • "Not-quite-a-wagon, not-quite-a-minivan status means it's not quite useful." -- Car and Driver (2011)

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Ford Edge is a good alternative for its comparable cargo space, upscale interior and respectable fuel economy. Critics generally find the Edge well-equipped and well-built, with an interior that feels upscale. The Edge also offers a range of engines that reviewers like, including a turbocharged four-cylinder with fuel economy that tops the Venza.

Like the Venza, the Nissan Murano is an upscale five-seat SUV. Reviewers say the Murano is a good choice for its high-quality, upscale interior and refined driving dynamics.

Compare the Venza, Edge and Murano »

Details: 2013 Toyota Venza

The 2013 Toyota Venza is available in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. It seats up to five and was last redesigned in 2009. Although it receives slightly refreshed exterior styling and some new interior features for 2013, it hasn’t changed significantly since 2009, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as 2013.

See the full 2013 Toyota Venza specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/22/14

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