Crossover vehicles are usually thought of as the “best of both worlds” for a vehicle. Offering more room than a car but not as large as a full-sized van, expectations are high when it comes to finding that perfect blend. The 2012 Toyota Venza comes pretty close to this. With plenty of room, decent fuel economy and a MSRP from $27,425, the Venza is as great to drive as it is to haul cargo in.
The Venza comes in three trims: LE, XLE, and Limited. The LE model comes standard with a 2.7 L/182hp 4-cylinder engine and 182 foot-pounds of torque. It has 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. All models have automatic transmission and feature an AWD option. The LE has MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. The Venza gets an EPA-estimated 21 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, good numbers for fuel economy. The AWD version gets 20 MPG city and 25 MPG highway.
The Venza isn’t lacking for standard safety features. All models include a 4-wheel ABS, front/ rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags and an engine immobilizer. The Venza also comes standard with daytime running lights, dusk sensing headlamps, auto delay off headlamps, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation and tire pressure monitoring.
The Venza received the highest rating of “Good” in frontal-offset, roof strength and side-impact tests conducted by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Venza also earned an overall four out of five star rating in government crash testing, with three stars for front crash protection and five stars for side-impact protection.
The interior is spacious in the Venza, with plenty of cargo and passenger room. Cargo capacity in this 5-passenger vehicle is 30.7 cubic feet with all seats in place and 70.2 cubic feet maximum space. Front seat passengers have 39.6 inches of front head room and 40.3 inches of front leg room. Rear passengers have 39.3 inches of rear head room and 39.1 inches of rear leg room. The Venza measures 189.0 inches long, 63.4 inches high and 75.0 inches wide.
The list of standard features includes a universal remote transmitter, four 1-touch power mirrors, electric power steering and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. The rear seats recline and fold with a storage center armrest. There are storage compartments located in the front and overhead consoles as well as front and rear door pockets. The Venza has 12V front and 12V cargo area power outlets, dual zone climate controls, audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel and dual vanity mirrors.
There is an abundance of standard entertainment features in the Venza, with Sirius XM satellite radio, AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo, auxiliary audio input and iPod integration and a USB connection. Upgrading to the Limited gets you JBL premium brand stereo system with JBL premium brand speakers, 13 speakers with 605 watts total output and a DVD based display with voice activation and directions navigation system. Interior options include all-weather floor mats, spider cargo net and rear seat entertainment.
The Venza’s pros include the extensive list of standard features, good engine power (especially with the Limited’s V6) and smooth ride. The interior is well-designed and has a lot of storage. The list of cons includes the not-too-sporty handling with its vague steering feel and the lackluster interior materials. When compared to all the pros, however, these cons are really just minor annoyances.
The Venza gives you power, space and loads of features. The comfortable seats allow for an enjoyable trip, no matter the distance. Both kids and adults will have lots of seat room and driving is easy and relaxing. If you’re looking for a family-friendly crossover with good fuel economy and great cargo space, you’ll find it with the Venza.
|Important Stats||2012 Toyota Venza|
|Horsepower||182 @ 5,800 rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd auto with OD|
|Drivetrain||Front Wheel Drive|
|0-60 MpH||9.3 seconds|
|Cargo Space||70.2 cu.ft.|
|MPG||21 City / 27 Hwy|
|Warranty||36 months/36,000 miles|
|MSRP||$27,425 - $37,915|