I bought my 2009 Toyota Venza brand new in March 2009. In May 2012 I noticed a noise and had to take it to Toyota 3 or 4 times before they figured out my transmission was already going bad. Luckily even though it had just went out of the warranty they did it for free because if they would have found the problem the first time it would have been under warranty. The road noise is insanely loud especially on the highway. I am now at 122,000 miles and have had clicking in my steering wheel when I turn, and the A/C has started acting up. At this point I'm seriously considering getting rid of it and going with a Honda. I should have done that back when the car needed a new transmission only being 3 years old, but I have always been a loyal Toyota owner.
I was very happy with the car in general. The only issue is the steering wheel clicking that started around 38K miles. Yes, just after the warranty expired!!! It is a known issue, and an honest manufacturer will keep the warranty going, but no Toyota. To fix it, is very expensive because the part only costs over a 1K. I have 5 toyotas in the past, and because this issue I wont ever get a Toyota again.
This thing is super reliable. Nothing has gone wrong with it. Nothing. AWD is helpful in rain and snow and helps it handle better. The steering is slow-ish to react, the transmission often takes an age to find gears, it has enough power but the transmission just can't figure out which gear to put this thing in sometimes. Brakes are pretty spot on.
We opted for the cloth seats which are easily the most comfortable seats in any car, though BUYER BEWARE, the leather seats are *miserable.* The interior has held up very well to abuse from kids. The stereo doesn't sound bad either.
We have the 4 cylinder, 4-wheel drive model. I would not recommend the 4 cylinder if pairing it with 4 wheel drive. It does tend to struggle a bit. It doesn't quite have the torque it could have. If we could go back and buy the car again we'd easily opt for the 6 cylinder in a heartbeat. They actually get very similar mileage once you realize how uneconomically the 4 cylinder has to be pushed on occasion. It's also clattery and loud. The road noise is also not great either. Having a conversation with someone in the backseat is much harder than it should be.
Purchased new in 2009, I have a 4 cyl, with the towing package. That was the best investment I made. I have moved three times and can tow any trailer form Uhaul. No maintenance issue to date, but have replaced the tires once. They are expensive. The gas is not that great (Ave 25 MPG) especially when you tow (average MPG) but it runs great. 61,000 miles as of 12/2014. A/C is OK, not great. No complaints from passengers. Plenty of room in the back even for tall people. Back seats come down so I can haul almost anything a typical homeowner needs. Overall - Excellent!
We drove from Akron, OH to Rochester, NY to purchase this car, and we haven't looked back ! 26,000 miles and the ride is very comfortable. It handles like a car, and you've got the SUV space. Gas mileage is 26 in town and 30 on the highway. All the luxury of the Lexus for thousands less. My husband is 6.1 and he's very comfortable in the driver and passenger seats. The 4 cyl engine has plenty of power and the transmission is smooth. We plan to keep this car well over 100k miles. The only problem we have is who gets to drive it!
smooth ride, luxury feel
air conditioning very cold
separate temp controls