As a smaller sized-SUV, the Venza is agile and capable of fitting into many spaces the larger more cumbersome SUV’s can’t fit into. On the other hand, as a larger wagon, the Venza gives a great deal of additional cargo space and ground clearance than most other wagons offer to just about any other car in this class. Built on the same platform as the Camry, it seems the Toyota engineers and designers had an extra cup of coffee the day they conceptualized the Venza which can be equipped with an all-wheel drive system which allows this vehicle to head off road where the Camry would never be able to venture.
In addition to offer more room and versatility than any other wagons, and a more maneuverable size than most SUVs, the Venza shows up with excellent capability that allows it to compete well with the Subaru Forester. Add to this the reliability and resale value that is present on all Toyota models and this vehicle simply makes sense as a great car/SUV to drive. For 2015 the Venza adds a standard rearview camera, the Limited model is standard with all-wheel drive and the LE V6 is dropped from the lineup.
As a vehicle that is built on a sedan platform, the suspension and steering are surprisingly outstanding, especially for those who are not already aware of this fact. This vehicle handles like a sedan rather than an SUV and offers a great deal of control and adhesion to the road from the dynamic suspension which is paired with a highly responsive steering system that offers the feeling of a vehicle that is made to handle any and all road conditions with pleasure and ease. The road noise is present inside the cabin, mostly due to the larger tires this vehicle is built on, but the noise is not so intrusive that owners can’t enjoy their own musical choices.
Two engines are present for the Venza to give owners the choice between a base model and upgrading to a more powerful engine and the only real consideration is price. This is the case because the fuel efficiency of both engines are so close to each other. The base engine offered is a 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 181 horsepower and 182 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission to help give fuel efficiency of 20 city/26 hwy mpg in the front-wheel drive model and 20 city/26 hwy for the all-wheel drive versions.
For those owners who need a vehicle that heads off road with confidence and can tow up to 3,500 pounds, the larger engine is the right choice. This engine comes in as a 3.5-liter V6 engine that offers 268 horsepower and 246 lb.-ft. of torque. When matched to the same six-speed automatic transmission this powertrain comes in with fuel efficiency of 19 city/26 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive model and 18 city/25 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive version which is only a slight difference from the smaller engine.
Because this SUV is built without a third row of seats, mostly because it’s a confused model between a wagon and SUV, there is a ton of space all around in the interior for all occupants to enjoy. The cargo hold offers a massive 70.1 cubic feet of cargo space and leg room is amazing in all seats, which allows a full load of gear to go to the campsite or lake with a group of friends or growing family to enjoy a great weekend. The control panel is full of awesome technology upgrades for the driver to gain information and enjoy the dynamic readouts and attractive appearance.
On the outside the Venza is very enticing and attractive. This vehicle offers a seriously athletic stance made from the higher ground clearance and larger wheels along with the wider stance that looks like the vehicle is really ready to pounce. The front of the Venza offers a chrome plated grill with some great shaping to give it a unique and upscale appearance. this grill is flanked by a pair of gorgeous shapely headlights that help the eye move across the vehicle toward the back. Carrying this excellent vehicle is a full set of five-spoked wheels that add to the energetic and athletic feel of this very nice ride.
The standard features offered for the Venza include 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, an audio system with MP3 capabilities and six speakers, a rearview camera, an auxiliary jack, USB port and iPod connectivity, a 3.5-inch multi-information display, fabric seats for the LE with Leather for the XLE and up, stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, smart stop technology and seven airbags.
As for the optional features, the Venza includes all-wheel drive, all-season traction, the upgraded and larger 3.5-liter engine, a panoramic glass moonroof, a navigation system, a JBL audio system and heated front seats. Many other options are also available to create some creature comforts such as a rear seat entertainment system with a DVD player and a dealer installed roof rack to help add to the hauling capabilities of this excellent vehicle. Anyone looking to have a vehicle that is full of great features and performance will fully enjoy everything included in the Venza for all to travel to the destination, especially for a weekend getaway, in style and comfort.
For the base model Venza that offers a great deal of included features the starting price point opens up just under $30,000. The all-wheel drive adds $1,000 to the price but adds a great deal of control for any owner to enjoy and be confident in the performance of the vehicle. Moving up to the mid-level XLE model the price asked for is $33,000 with a fully loaded Limited model showing up with a price over the $40,000 mark. This pricing structure makes the Venza a great choice for any owner looking for the off road capabilities in a vehicle that isn’t large and hard to maneuver.