2013 Toyota Venza Review
2013 Toyota Venza Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Spacious interior
- powerful and efficient V6
- pleasant ride
- innovative interior storage
- well equipped.
- A few disappointing interior bits
- so-so acceleration and fuel economy from four-cylinder engine.
The Toyota Venza gets the slightest of styling tweaks for 2013. More importantly, it gets additional standard features such as blind spot mirrors for the base LE, driver memory functions for the XLE and LED running lights for the Limited. A touchscreen interface is now standard on all Venzas, while Toyota's Entune suite of smartphone-based services has been added to the list of available features.
The 2013 Toyota Venza is hard to define, but whether you call it a wagon or a crossover, it's a competitive and comfortable family vehicle.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2013 Toyota Venza LE 4dr Wagon (2.7L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$171/mo for Venza LE
Avg. Midsize Car
If Toyota doesn't have the largest and most diverse selection of trucks, SUVs and crossovers, we're not sure who does. There are utilitarian mommy-mobiles, rugged and retro off-roaders and enormous cross-country haulers. Then there's the 2013 Toyota Venza, which seems to exist for people who can't make up their minds. Part wagon and part crossover SUV, this five-passenger family car can be considered alongside any number of different vehicles.
Once you're perched in its driver seat, the Venza feels a little wagon-esque. Though it has a raised ride height, you don't get quite a commanding view of the road. It's more like the 2013 Subaru Outback in this way. However, it does feel more carlike, both in terms of visual perception and driving experience.
A pair of growing teens in the reclining rear seat will find plenty of sprawl space, while once joined by a friend, the three of them will discover the rear seat is just wide enough for their shoulders as well. Plus, a composed ride and quiet cabin give the Venza a grown-up feel that compact crossover SUVs such as the Chevrolet Equinox do not offer. In terms of space and cabin ambience, the Venza is more like a 2013 Ford Edge or Nissan Murano. Similar cargo capacities further the comparison.
Of course, being "like" those aforementioned vehicles doesn't make the 2013 Toyota Venza equal to them in every way. The Outback is more rugged, the Edge gives you a more commanding view of the road and the Equinox is cheaper and better for hauling stuff. Is the Venza an intriguing alternative, however? Absolutely.
Performance & mpg
Every 2013 Toyota Venza trim is available with a four- or six-cylinder engine mated to either front- or all-wheel drive. All versions feature a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.7-liter inline-4 produces 181 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a four-cylinder, front-drive Venza went from a standstill to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds -- this is an average time for four-cylinder compact crossovers like the Toyota RAV4. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive version gets 22 mpg combined. These estimates are not all that great compared to those same compact crossovers, but the Venza does at least offer the option of four-cylinder power.
The 3.5-liter V6 produces 268 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive Venza V6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. This is considerably quicker than both compact and midsize SUVs. At the same time, fuel economy is almost identical to that of the four-cylinder, at an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 18/25/21 with all-wheel drive.
With the optional towing package, the Venza V6 can tow 3,500 pounds.
Every 2013 Toyota Venza comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. A rearview camera is optional.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Venza came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is an average distance.
In government crash testing, the Venza received four out of five stars for overall protection, with three stars for overall frontal-impact protection (four stars for the driver but just two stars for the front passenger) and five stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Venza the best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof-strength tests.
It shouldn't come as a shock that the 2013 Toyota Venza is hardly a wagon in the style of sporty European models. Instead, the Venza is very American -- designed for comfort, utility and ease of driving. If it weren't for the vague feel of its electric-assist steering, the Venza might actually be interesting to drive instead of merely pleasant. While the base four-cylinder engine delivers adequate power, we'd recommend paying extra for the V6. Not only does it provide quicker acceleration than its myriad competitors, but also its fuel economy is almost equal to that of the four-cylinder.
The 2013 Venza doesn't quite exhibit the top-notch interior quality of past Toyota models or its midsize SUV competitors, but the overall design is rather fetching and practical, with a sleek center console that features a high-mounted shift lever for the transmission which frees up space between the seats. This allows for a large console bin, generously sized cupholders and smaller bins perfect for smartphones and other personal effects.
While the Venza's audio controls are more complicated than those found in past Toyotas, the new-for-2013 touchscreen interface is one of the best available. We appreciate its ability to mix and match FM/AM/XM radio presets, and the accompanying steering-wheel-mounted controls are well conceived. For those with more high-tech tastes, the Venza also can be equipped with Toyota's new Entune system. By connecting the car to a smartphone via Bluetooth, it allows you to control Pandora radio, buy movie tickets or reserve a restaurant table through the car's touchscreen.
From a practical standpoint, the volume of the Venza's passenger and cargo room is consistent with the Subaru Outback, as well as midsize crossovers like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano. There is plenty of legroom in the reclining backseat, and there is a decent amount of space for three abreast. The driver seat is a little less comfortable, however, and it could use a greater range of adjustability. The cargo area can swallow 70 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats folded and a healthy 34.4 cubes with the seats up.
2013 Toyota Venza models
The 2013 Toyota Venza seats five people and is available in LE, XLE and Limited trim levels.
The LE comes standard with 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, a windshield wiper de-icer, privacy glass, a blind-spot mirror, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, reclining rear seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a touchscreen interface, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The V6-powered Venza gets 20-inch wheels.
The LE Convenience package adds a power liftgate and a rearview camera. The LE Preferred package adds these items plus a panoramic sunroof and Toyota's Entune suite of smartphone-based app services.
The XLE trim includes the Convenience package items, plus keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, driver seat memory functions, a four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, Entune, satellite radio and HD radio with iTunes tagging. The XLE Premium package adds the panoramic sunroof, a larger touchscreen interface, a navigation system, real-time traffic (plus other services) and a 13-speaker JBL sound system.
The Limited includes the Premium package items plus bi-xenon headlights, automatic high beams and LED running lights. There is a tow package available on all V6-powered Venzas.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.38 out of 5 stars
still pretty happy after 15K
2013 Toyota Venza LE 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I bought my 2013 Venza LE AWD last April, so I have almost had it one year. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. I liked the exterior design when they 1st came out several years ago. The inside of the car is very roomy all around. The kids have plenty of space in the back and the car is wider than most. I am a pretty big guy, so I appreciate the width of the drivers seat. It also … has a nice large trunk. The electric steering take a bit to get used to (feels a little loose at first) and this car also rides pretty rough compared to most American-made cars. You really need to take it for a long test drive before you buy it. This car is absolutely amazing in the snow.
5 out of 5 stars
Road trip safety and comfort pick
Linda Gemmill, 07/09/2016
2013 Toyota Venza Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
A lot of cars look big on the outside but are not spacious inside. The Toyota Venza is deceiving in that it looks a normal size on the outside but very roomy on the inside better than the Cadillac SRX also the ride was comparable and acceleration was better in the venza also better gas mileage. How great I get 26-27 and average 22-24 combined rural and hilly highway. It is Limited AWD … with all the bells and whistles I especially like the auto high beam and the cabin comfort it handles great and stops on a dime. I love my toyotas, no recalls on this model to date 2013. The suspension is also much better in 2013 the made the rear independent for a much smoother ride so anyone pre-2013 sorry urs rides a lot tougher . I tested both 2012 & 2013 and it was a huge difference on bumps and holes in the road. Overall I would recommend for extra storage and a true midsize vehicle . Larger SUVs are overkill and consume much more gas. So if u don't need that much this wagon looking crossover suv is great . Toyotas are notorious for great handling in snow. So I'm not worried but haven't experienced yet. In a downpour it had no problems at all, no hydro planing at 65, braking was fantastic also. Highly recommend this vehicle
4.88 out of 5 stars
Update after 4 mths/very happy
2013 Toyota Venza Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We purchased approx 4 mths ago and still believe this is one of the great value cars in the market today/ We just came back from a 2500 mile trip with our venza This car has performed like a dream, no problems on anything since purchase. Electronics are great, satellite radio -wow this made time much easier with time. Mileage varied from 26-30 MPG (depending on road condition etc., so … happy we can burn regular fuel. You will not be dissatisfied with this vehicle. We purchased the limited model. My wife and I love this vechilce!
5 out of 5 stars
Great used buy
2013 Toyota Venza XLE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We have had this vehicle for about 6 months and we love it. Its a nice blend of luxury and practicality. I like the way it handles in turns(flat in turns), its smooth riding on the highway, very comfortable for long trips, the rear seats have plenty of room and they recline, the roof is not too tall so you can mount things on top like bikes and cargo carriers, the size seems perfect. I … also appreciate the backup camera when parking and bluetooth connectivity which is standard on most new cars today. I just like the styling with the 20 inch wheels. It makes it look pretty upscale and sporty. I also love the holders for your cell phone with cable routing to the USB ports. Very nice touch. Im 6ft 2in so I appreciate the fact that there is plenty of space in the 2nd row so I dont have to move my seat up when someone gets behind me. And lastly, I love all the different sized cup holders. We live in our cars here in the US and we need cup holders. Europeans on the other had despise them. The downside, some things look cheap on the inside but its not a deal breaker. The bumpers and doors feel a little hollow for a vehicle of this price range. Torque steer is terrible coming from a standstill from corners, almost dangerous if you floor it too hard. The paint is thin and chips easily. The whole front bumper will need to be repainted next year. The electric steering feels numb with no feedback or resistance. And the touch screen radio with nav is really slow. I would not have paid extra for this. The voice activated nav and convenience features are a nice thought but rarely work well. Too slow and can never understand you correctely. Better off using Google Maps on your phone. All in all, its a nice everyday car. Its not going to ride like a German car but its also not going to be in the shop all the time like one either. The most expensive thing will be tires and Im fine with that since I dont have to worry about changing a timing belt. Id highly recommend one. Update: We put 15,000 miles on this car and the only thing we've had to do is replace an oxygen sensor and the batteries in the remote. That's it. Still love the car, still drives like new, nothing has changed in our opinion of this vehicle. I'm actually thinking about buying a second one for myself with all wheel drive. Update: It's now September 2019 and the car has given us no trouble whatsoever. It has about 75k miles now and Just new tires and regular maintenance. Funny how a car that supposedly did so poorly in sales has been such a great car in real life. This is used car best buy.
2013 Venza Highlights
|Combined MPG||23 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$171/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover15.5%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood