2011 Toyota Venza Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Toyota Venza Wagon

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Toyota Venza Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 182 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Toyota Venza

  • The 2011 Toyota Venza is hard to define, but whether you call it "wagon" or "crossover," it's a competitive and comfortable family vehicle.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious interior; powerful and efficient V6; pleasant ride; innovative interior storage; well equipped.

  • Cons

    A few disappointing interior bits; not particularly involving to drive.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Toyota Venza is unchanged for 2011.

Full 2011 Toyota Venza Review

What's New for 2011

The Toyota Venza is unchanged for 2011.


It's a wagon. It's a crossover. It has cartoony 19-inch dubs, yet has a ride your grandmother would like and a name she'd confuse with a drug she saw advertised during Jeopardy! The 2011 Toyota Venza is a strange creation, one rife with contradictions and difficult to properly define. There is one thing we're sure of, though; it makes a great family vehicle.

The Venza has the basic body dimensions and interior space of a midsize crossover SUV -- think Ford Edge or Nissan Murano -- but with one significant exception: The Venza is nearly 4 inches shorter in height than its rivals, and technically this puts it in the same camp as a wagon, not a crossover. Its wagon-style dimensions also make the Venza feel more like a car from behind the wheel compared to Toyota crossovers like the Highlander and RAV4, although we certainly wouldn't call it athletic. Instead, like other Toyotas, the Venza puts an emphasis on comfort and ease of driving.

The Venza's strange body style isn't the only thing that stands out, however. Unlike with most midsize crossovers, the Venza features a four-cylinder base engine. This provides sufficient power, but given that the bigger V6 achieves similar fuel economy, it would be foolhardy to not at least consider shelling out a few more bucks for the big engine. This is one of the best -- and possibly the top -- V6s in the crossover class. If that weren't incentive enough, going with the V6 gets you even bigger, 20-inch wheels.

In the front cabin, the Venza is filled with a variety of innovative storage solutions. By placing the shift lever up high on the center console, space opens up for several storage bins. You don't get the same sort of versatility in back as you would in the more utilitarian RAV4, though. The Venza's rear seat doesn't slide, it's not split three ways and there's no option for a third row. The backseat does recline, but that's common among its competitors.

That might be nitpicking, as would complaining that interior-materials quality doesn't quite live up to the standards of the class best. Certainly, the 2011 Toyota Venza is a strong contender whether you're in the market for a wagon like the Subaru Outback or a midsize crossover like the 2011 Ford Edge, 2011 Nissan Murano and 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The Venza is also a more likable and stylish choice than the similarly conceived 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour. When a vehicle is such an indefinable oddity, it's bound to draw comparisons to such a diverse range of vehicles, but against them all, the Toyota Venza stands tall on its big wheels.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Toyota Venza is a five-passenger wagon available in two trim levels, which correspond to its two engines. The four-cylinder Venza comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, foglamps, privacy glass, a power tailgate, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (includes power lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a large color trip computer display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. The Venza V6 adds 20-inch wheels along with its bigger engine.

The availability of Toyota options and packages often depends on region, so check with your local dealer. Mostly grouped into packages, options include a rearview camera, a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlamps with automatic high beams, keyless ignition/entry, a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob and a 13-speaker JBL surround-sound audio system with a six-CD changer. To that JBL system can be added a navigation system (reduces the CD changer to four discs) and/or a rear-seat entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Toyota Venza is available with a four- or six-cylinder engine and can be had in either front- or all-wheel drive. All versions feature a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.7-liter four-cylinder produces 182 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a four-cylinder, front-drive Venza went from zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds -- an average time compared to similarly powered crossovers. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 20/25/22 with all-wheel drive.

The 3.5-liter V6 produces 268 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, it accelerated an all-wheel-drive Venza from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.9 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19/26/22 with front drive and 18/25/21 with AWD. This is strong for a vehicle of its size and power.


Every 2011 Toyota Venza comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and front-seat active head restraints. In Edmunds brake testing, the Venza came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet regardless of engine.

The Venza has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to 2011 ratings) was a perfect five stars in all frontal- and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Venza its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Venza doesn't quite exhibit the top-notch interior quality of past Toyota models, but it is a tad nicer than its current Camry stablemate. Its design in particular is rather fetching and practical to boot, with a sleek center console that features a high-mounted shifter that frees up space between the seats. This allows for a large bin, generously sized cupholders and smaller bins perfect for iPods and other small devices. The audio and climate controls are a new design for Toyota, but they remain user-friendly.

Although it lacks a third-row seat, the Venza provides loads of passenger space, particularly in the rear, which features reclining seatbacks. A bit more driver seat adjustment would be nice, though. The cargo area can swallow 70 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seat folded and a healthy 34.4 cubes with the seats up. These numbers put the Venza a smidgen ahead of the Ford Edge and just a bit behind the decidedly more utilitarian RAV4.

Driving Impressions

It shouldn't come as a shock that the 2011 Toyota Venza is hardly a wagon in the ilk of sporty European models. Instead, like the Camry upon which it is based, the Venza is designed for comfort and ease of driving. Unlike the Camry, however, this crossover wagon gives the impression of being robust, with a more solid feel over bumps. The electric power steering also provides a bit more feedback than its sedan cousin, but it still feels pretty disconnected from the front wheels. Parking lot maneuvers couldn't be easier, however. Both engines provide ample power to move this sizable vehicle, although the V6 is obviously the way to go if passing folks on the highway takes precedence over achieving the best fuel economy.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Lots and lots of problems

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

We've purchased our 2011 Venza new and have had it now for three years and 35k miles. We have had continual problems with the alarm going off for no reason. It's been in the shop three times but Toyota can't fix it. They did manage to silence the horn on the alarm but the lights still flash. On and off the steering makes a whining or creaking sound. Recently the sun visor on the driver's side broke--it wouldn't stay up or down, just mid-way where it obstructed the front view. The mileage is not quite what Toyota claimed--we get about 22-24 on the highway. For a vehicle that had a sticker price of $40k, it's definitely a disappointment.

Love it and almost 100k

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought a 2010 Venza V6 2wd with approximately 20k miles on it in the summer of 2010. It is now August 2013 and I have a little over 98k on the odometer. I love this car! I have had no problems and no issues at all. I am a car freak and typically trade every year. I traded a 2009 Lincoln MKX for this Toyota. I realized that trading so often was simply costing too much so I wanted a car that I could keep for at least 150k miles and looks good...I made the right choice. It has plenty of power and I am averaging approx 20 MPG between city and hwy. I did have a cosmetic issue with a wheel. If you scrape a curb, the wheel paint can start to peel off in large chunks. Besides that, very happy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Venza problem aread

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (2.7L 4cyl 6A)

There are three problem that we are experiencing with our 2011 Venza. First, and most important, is the fact that small animals are getting under the hood and into the interior of the car (clove compartment mainly). This is due to a design flaw that exposes openings on each side of the vehicle where water drains off the windshield that are not screened to prevent this from happening. Second, the gas mileage is poor. We have the base 4 cylinder engine and there is no way this vehicle is getting the posted mileage-absolutely no way. Thirdly, there are serious problems with being able to see in the rear of the vehicle, making backing up in traffic a real challenge.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

38000 mile review

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

My comments seem to unfortunately mirror other who have posted a review for this model. I to have had several rattles pop up, humming from the rear at highway speeds, navigation unit failure, leaking water pump, leaking sunroof, abs sensors replaced, and two battery replacements so far. This is my first Toyota and quite sure It'll be my last.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2011 venza- not what i

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

It's been a rather dissapointing 24 months with my Venza AWD. It's been in no less than 11 times for repairs, rattles in the dash/console, interior lights have quit working twice now along with all the dash backlighting, the automatic transmission sometimes has a very long delay before upshifting, Toyota has reflashed twice now and it works great for a few months then the problem returns....they now blame it on my driving style!?!? Im also very unhappy with the fuel economy, its downright V8 like at 15mpg average with a 50/50 mix of in town and interstate driving. Not sure I'll be keeping this one much longer.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

Faux toyota

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought this car back in January of 2012. It was a 2011 Demo. Had all options. I figured because it was a Toyota it would be economical. Well they put all the scheduled maintenance into my financing so that's a plus. Negatives are Huge. We went from a GMC Acadia 2009 to the Venza. Acadia a much longer and heavier vehicle. But better gas mileage than the Venza. The Venza's tank fills up on about $50-$60 depending on gas rates. I am in Houston where it runs about $3+-. The dash at full reads about 300 miles to empty. My Optima at full reads almost $500. My Acadia would read about 450. The other main negative is the lack of room in the hatch area. I am already wanting to trade it in.

Talk About The 2011 Venza

2011 Toyota Venza Discussions See all Started By

Has anyone seen any information at all on the timing of the new 2011 Venza? Will it have any of the latest updates from the newly released 2011 Avalon?...

Need some suggestion for me.. I am planning to Buy New Venza 2011 this is my first new car. I got the quote from my dealer for $32582 V6 AWD with out JBL and Navigation is this price good to go. It in...

Is anyone here know what is a best price for Venza 2011 Base FWD 4cl with Moonroof,smarkey?...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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