The Venza receives a slightly more becoming grille for 2013. Inside, a touch-screen radio display is now standard, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system is standard on XLE and Limited models and available on the LE...more
The Venza is, in essence, a crossover of a crossover. The idea, in Toyota’s words, is to combine “the value and reliability of a Camry, the comfort and upscale refinement of an Avalon, and the utility and functionality of a Highlander.” To our eyes, the attempt to combine all these traits results in a rather awkwardly styled Camry wagon with high sills and a jacked-up ride height. A 2013 face-lift has cleaned up the busy, in-your-face grille, at least. If you can get beyond the styling, the Venza does offer carlike agility and some SUV functionality, but we’re not entirely satisfied with either. Its 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 performs the same way it does in Toyota’s other vehicles, providing smooth, relatively economical motivation. You can get a Venza with a four-cylinder engine for about $2000 less, but we’d recommend saving money elsewhere, especially since the four-cylinder offers only a marginal fuel-economy advantage. A power-operated tilting-and-sliding panoramic sunroof is optional, as is a backup camera. The XLE and the Limited get Toyota’s Entune touch-screen infotainment system, and technological niceties like iPod connectivity and Bluetooth are standard across the line. V-6-powered Venzas sport standard twenty-inch wheels, proving that you don’t have to buy a sports car or a big SUV to roll like a late-’90s rapper.
Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. A backup camera is optional.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Toyota Venza
- Ford Edge
- Honda Crosstour
- Nissan Murano
- Subaru Outback