2011 Toyota Venza Review

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior
  • powerful and efficient V6
  • pleasant ride
  • innovative interior storage
  • well equipped.
  • A few disappointing interior bits
  • not particularly involving to drive.
Other years
List Price Range
$8,995 - $14,895

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2011 Toyota Venza models

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.

2011 Highlights

The Toyota Venza is unchanged for 2011.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Toyota Venza.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Very pleasantly surprised
sberdoc,05/02/2011
I was going to go with either a VW Tiguan or Ford Edge or the Venza. VW had to deliver, taking 3 months (salesman originally said 4-6 weeks), Edge was over priced and interior not as nice. Drives well, great driving position and comfy seats. Handles nice, 6 cyl has great pick up from standing and passing. Cons: no power mirror turn in (have to roll down window to turn in mirror), no seat memory for a limited trim line, cups in holders make getting to climate control difficult. Some minor fit issues with interior. Touch screen is not flush with console so I have to bend in my long finger to tound an icon at bottom of screen. Fuel econonomy so so, I have only been getting 24 on highway.
Love Venza, but not gas mileage
vicki7,10/28/2011
After much searching we loved the Venza for comfort and roominess. With back and hip problems it's easy to get in and out of. The only design I would change is to bring the windows down another 2 inches. From inside going to drive-up windows, you have to raise your arm somewhat high and try to reach over and down to grab items. Also, the armrest could be a couple inches higher. Very disappointed in the gas mileage! Have had it a month and get just 16 MPG around town! I was use to a V6 Buick. FWD, that got 26 MPG, so this is a big disappointment. It doesn't even reach the gas rating suggested on it's sticker. We don't drive lead foot either.
some easy fixes to increase sales
dfreshdee,12/09/2010
I was disappointed that Toyota did not make some easy changes to improve this car. I know it just came out less then 2 years ago, but the number of people who have complained about the tire size/cost/fast wear is very high. Neither walmart nor costco even carry a tire this size, and the local shops want $1,250 to replace all 4 tires - all of which wear out very quickly. yuck.
My Venza woes PART 1
larryoutwest,08/18/2012
Purchaced new off the lot late in 2010 as a 2011 model. This vehicle has been a huge let down, I have had a truly unacceptable amount of issues with it. Lets start with dead batterys, I can't count how many times this car has failed to start because its dead. Toyota has replaced the battery 6 times now, they have no idea where the drain is coming from. I've also had troubles with transmission shifting, rattles, wind noise, creeking sounds when going over speed bumps, a dead climate control unit, and i'm sure there will be more as I only have 37,000 on it. Also fair to mention this baby is a fuel-a-holic, 15-17 MPG mixed with mostly highway is average. I will update quarterly with my reviews

Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
268 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
268 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
20 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
182 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2011 Toyota Venza features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover15.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Toyota Venza

Used 2011 Toyota Venza Overview

The Used 2011 Toyota Venza is offered in the following submodels: Venza Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Wagon (2.7L 4cyl 6A), 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr Wagon AWD (2.7L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Toyota Venza?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Toyota Venza trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Toyota Venza Base is priced between $8,995 and$14,895 with odometer readings between 63350 and137776 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Toyota Venzas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Toyota Venza for sale near. There are currently 13 used and CPO 2011 Venzas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,995 and mileage as low as 63350 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Toyota Venza.

Can't find a used 2011 Toyota Venzas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Venza for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,258.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 6 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,745.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Venza for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,380.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $13,857.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Toyota Venza?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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