2013 Toyota Venza Limited Drive Review

day by viewer-request we’re taking a look at the 2013 toyota venza this is Toyota’s five seat crossover vehicle while the Highlander is their seven-seat crossover vehicle that means that the Venza competes with the likes of the Ford Edge the GMC Terrain the Chevy Equinox the mazda cx7 and pretty much all those other midsize crossover vehicles now it does look very similar to the Lexus RX although it really shares essentially nothing with that rx other than the platform the RX the
Highlander and this vans are altered of

camry based vehicles and they share you know a lot of calm and drivetrain parts but essentially nothing on the inside under the hood you have a choice of two different engine options we have the 181 horsepower 2.7 liter 4-cylinder engine or this optional engine here which is their 3.5 liter 268 horsepower v6 now both engines are mated to the same toda and Aysen 6-speed automatic transmission and of course you get the option of all-wheel drive as I said the Venza is related to the Toyota Camry so if you don’t opt for all-wheel drive the power is sent to these front wheels only now the Venza is not a new vehicle it’s been around for a number of years now and

compared to the competition it’s getting

a little bit old and as such the all field drive system isn’t quite as advanced as it is in some of the competition this is definitely still a slip and grip style system so the front wheels have to slip in order for the power to be sent to the rear wheels in a lot of driving situations not all of them mind you but if you’re at a stoplight and you floor the car you still get one wheel peel in the Venza and you still get a decent amount of torque steer from a stop the Venza score is 8 out of 10 points in our exclusive trunk comfort index because despite the sloping rear profile the cargo area is very large and that’s because the Venza much like the Ford Edge is a fairly large midsize crossover this is the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic music and see I have two of them stacked up here I also have a checked roller garment bag back here with me in the trunk and I’m fairly comfortable back here the fit and finish back here in the cargo area is fairly nice and the

plastics in the back are no worse than
they are on the rest of the car helping you squeeze more cargo into the back of the Venza these rear seats do recline and they also move to a fairly upright position allowing you to you know somewhat square off this rear cargo area again keeping in mind the sloping rear profile of the Venza front seat comfort into Venza is very good and of course we’re in the limited trim Venza which means that we get leather seats of course we get a power driver seat and a power front passenger seat now in all versions of the VINs of the seats are fairly wide and fairly uh you know flat and they’re not bolstered as heavily as some of the american entries in this segment so keep that in mind depending on your seat preference we do get a tilt telescoping steering wheel although the range of motion in this tilt telescoping steering column isn’t as large as it is in some of the American competition in terms of interior parts quality as well as fit and finish you can tell that the Venza is getting older compared to some of the other entries in this segment you know most notably the entries from GM

and Ford honestly and the hall these

panels meet quite right in our tester here the speaker grille the speaker grille over here some of these air vents in the car they just don’t have that right feel that you’d expect honestly from a toyota product and definitely the new GM products and the new Ford Edge are are much more competitive honestly than this Venza the dashboard is fairly soft although it’s rubbery it’s not that same you know faux leather padded dashboard that’s becoming more common in the marketplace todd has gone for a very asymmetrical look here on the dashboard that I’m honestly not a huge fan of either to try and update the Venza a little bit Toyota’s grab the steering wheel and the button modules from the new Toyota Camry as you can see it’s not symmetrical either over here on the left we get some audio control buttons that’s track up and down and the rest of these
buttons control the infotainment system

which we’ll take a look at in a little
bit and of course over here on the Left we have our Bluetooth phone hang up and pickup buttons as well as our voice control button as with a lot of vehicles in this segment things do get a bit cheaper in the rear we have hard plastic on these doors instead of the semi soft touch materials on the doors in front of me although there is still a padded armrest here legroom is excellent in the back of the VINs and that’s are the reason you’d buy this over a Toyota Camry for instance I’m 6 feet tall and I still have about 4 inches of legroom left and this front seat is adjusted for me even though we have the optional sunroof in this particular car I still have about 2 inches of headroom left over here on the left if I move to the middle seat see I still have adequate Headroom and because the Venza is a fairly wide vehicle you can fit three adults back here fairly easily although these seats are fairly low to the ground and so they may not be comfortable for long car trips especially if you need more thigh support now the rear seats do recline as
you can see here and with the same lever

for reclining they do fold almost
completely flat with the cargo area now this front seat is adjusted for a six foot four passenger so it’s about as far back as it can go so you can see you can still recline these rear seats with that front seat in the furthest rearward position our particular car does have the rear seat entertainment system optional with Toyota although it looks a little bit of a like an aftermarket add-on if I’m honest for 2013 Toyota has brought their Entune system to the Toyota Venza now what that really means is that just brought sync like voice recognition for smartphones I devices other USB devices etc to their existing infotainment line up in the Venza as well as bringing their newer display audio systems to this vehicle now honestly their 6.1 inch display audio system is my personal favorite going on right now in the Toyota lineup and there’s another tee tag video on that particular system specifically essentially it has a smaller screen so this is a 7-inch this is the top-of-the-line hard drive 7-inch navigation system slightly larger screen and it also uses a hard drive again for

that mapping rather than flash memory now the the lower-end system the display audio with navigation is what they call it drives most of its data services via your smart phone well this particular system the 7-inch system uses XM radio for its map naita for its map data for weather and as well as traffic etc on the screen so it’s a little bit of a different model there in these vehicles this interface should be fairly familiar to you if you’ve used a variety of recent toda and Lexus products this interface is essentially the same that’s used in the current generation Lexus products as well as you can see we have a soft access buttons to our CD iPod Bluetooth audio auxiliary am/fm satellite as well as hard buttons here so we can switch between radio and media here the destination button allows us to enter a destination go and of course enter it manually if the vehicle is stopped you can also use the voice recognition system for that a direct access button for the mapping system over here again we do have XM satellite traffic displayed on this particular map a very standard Bluetooth phone
interface over here and the info and

apps button is your fairly standard XM
information from fuel prices to X and weather stock sports etc and this apps button allows you to integrate things like Pandora and other apps with your smart phone via this particular system and that’s the end tune portion that’s new the other part of n tune is of course aside from being able to browse your USB or I device fairly easily in this on-screen interface you also have access to voice commands via that steering wheel button sorts let’s press it play music play music play artist toby keith play artist toby keith yes yes now as you can see on the screen we’re playing artist Toby Keith now of course there are a few more steps in in that dialogue interface than there are with chevy mylink or of course with Ford SYNC product but the system is very competitive with both of those other entries and compared of course to my Ford touch and those latest Sync products this system hasn’t crashed on us at all this week and it’s never gone you know gone strange with our our device it’s never frozen it’s never hung up and everything is fairly instant so in that respect this product is definitely superior to Ford Maya my Ford touch I always get that name wrong here the graphics on the system however are

not quite as interesting as my Ford
touch and the screen is not quite as large although again the system didn’t crash on us at all and that’s really got to account for an awful lot we’re out here driving around suburbia because that is of course the natural habitat for the Toyota Venza just as it’s the natural habitat for any other crossover utility vehicle because unlike a traditional sport utility vehicle these aren’t really designed for affording water or for rock climbing or any of that sort of thing crossover utility vehicles are really more about practicality having that hatchback in the rear seat can jam more cargo and more stuff in the vehicle as well as having a taller ride height so that you feel like you have better visibility on the road now performance in the Venza is very good we clog 0 to 60 and just under six and a half seconds in this particular vehicle and that’s thanks to being a fairly light crossover utility vehicle as far as these things go you know the latest Ford Edge is getting a little bit heavy and the GMC Terrain and the Chevy Equinox are both fairly heavy crossover vehicles and this venzas you know several hundred pounds lighter than those well you think that that might translate into better performance and better handling out on the road that

really isn’t the case you know the the
Ford Edge despite being considerably heavier does have several more powerful engine options and of course that base 2-liter EcoBoost engine in the Ford Edge performs fairly similarly to this 3.5 liter v6 and the Venza even though it’s heavier the bends of stock altering tires tend to follow grooves in the pavement fairly easily which is something that bothered me during our week with this vehicle the slip and grip all-wheel drive system in the Venza really makes us feel more like a front-wheel drive vehicle under most circumstances we still have a decent amount of torque steer when you Celer eight in this vehicle and if you’re taking off from a stop sign or a stop light you can get those front wheels to light up just a little bit before the system engages that’s really not too much of a problem for the Venza because like every other all-wheel drive crossover utility vehicle this vehicles purpose in being is really just so that when you go to the snow you don’t have to put chains on because you’ve got all wheel drive and snow tires on automotive journalists are almost always accused of having some sort of import bias that for some reason we just hate American cars well let this be an example although I don’t find the Venza terrible by any stretch of the imagination I do rank this Venza below the Chevy Equinox the GMC Terrain and the Ford Edge

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