There is a lot to get excited about when you look at the 2013 Toyota Venza SUV, but there is also a lot going on under the hood worth mentioning as well. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models, which is paired up with four or six-cylinder engines.
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Those who want better gas mileage will go with the 2.7-liter inline-four engine that returns 20 mpg in the city and a decent 26 mpg on the highway. This small engine packs plenty of get-up-and-go, producing 181 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in 9.3 seconds, which will not win you any races, but it is about average.
The second engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that will take you zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. It delivers 268 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque, but does suffer a tiny bit when it comes to fuel-economy, returning 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Properly equipped, the V6 model can tow 3,500 pounds.
The 2013 Toyota Venza is fun to drive. it is spirited, smooth and comfortable, but the electric-assist steering is a little vague. Another downfall is the turning circle is 40.7 feet, which is a little on the large side, so parking in tight spaces will not be easily done.
Toyota typically excels in the safety department and the 2013 Venza is no exception. When tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was given a “Good” rating in side, roof and front-impact crash tests. It is also able to stop from 60 mph in a respectable 122 feet. In addition to its seven thoughtfully placed airbags, it features:
It is hard to find anyone who will not feel their heart skip a beat when they first see the 2012 Venza; this is a striking vehicle. It looks like a cross between a sport utility vehicle and a wagon that was wrapped up in the shell of a sports car. Chiseled body lines, a contemporary grille, roof rear spoiler, five-spoke wheels, privacy glass and body colored mirrors, handles and bumpers come together to create a thing of beauty.
The interior of the Venza is practical, neat and attractive, but it does not measure up to some of its competitors. It is nice that the shift lever is mounted high to free up space for a generous sized console and cup holders.
Seating for five is more than adequate in terms of leg and headroom, with both cloth and leather being available. If there is one flaw, it is that the audio controls are far more complex than they really need to be.
Venza competes with mid-size crossovers in terms of cargo space; this includes the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge. With all seats in place, there is 34.4 cubic feet, and with the rear seat folded, you get 70 cubic feet.