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.
The ride quality and road noise are horrible on this car! Should be MUCH better on a car this size. I change tires that were recommended in the Toyota forums and they did not help at all! Won't buy another one!
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!
It's now 2017 and I am about to replace the brakes for the first time. I have replaced the tires recently. Considering it is a cross over and 2009 the fuel economy is pretty good. I get around 24 around town and 26-28 on the highway. I am at 98,000 miles now and my biggest issues to date is I had a sensor go bad in one of my tires. So the check tire light was on all the time. Not a big deal, so I got that replaced after a while (about $80 total). Overall I can't believe that they stopped producing the vehicle. Of course mine was the first year they made them so maybe the ones after that were not as good. Who knows. I am on 8 years with no real problems to speak of.
I bought my Toyota Venza in '11 with 32K miles on it.... It's a fully loaded V6 AWD, everything except the DVD screen. I wrote a review a couple years ago, here is the updated version...
The drive is great, power and get up-n-go are awesome. Gas mileage is not the greatest, about 20-21mpg mostly city driving, but it's got almost as much room as a much larger SUV. Love the 20 inch wheels, hate buying tires for them. $1600 for 4 Michelins.
Have replaced the sun visors twice now on the driver side and once on the passenger side. I've read that I'm not the only one that has problems with the sun visors. The road noise is terrible at speeds above 50m mph. It sounds as if I'm driving with a window open. I've since traded it in (Dec 30th, 2015) on a $51,000 2015 Toyota Highlander LTD platinum AWD. They have the same engine, but the Venza definitely had much more get up n go. Even thought I ordered the best stereo I could possibly get for the Highlander, the 13 speaker JBL Synthesis stereo that was in the Venza sounded much better, had alot more ooomph! The Toyota Highlander has the same issue with road noise, sounds like I'm driving with a window open, must just be an issue with Toyota engineering. Of course the dealership said that is just the way it sounds. The dealer also only offered me $9500 for a trade in on my 2009 Venza. I sold it on Craigslist for the Blue Book value, which was $14,400 (95,000 miles). It sold in two days, and the 1st person that looked at it had cash.
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