2014 Toyota Venza
Sharing its platform with the Toyota Camry, the 2014 Toyota Venza might easily be considered little more than a Camry wagon. But, unlike the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Venza employs the tall seating position and outward visibility of an SUV coupled with a wide stance, available all-wheel drive (AWD) and expressive styling. Bigger than the less expensive Subaru Outback but not quite as large as the 7-passenger Subaru Highlander, the Toyota Venza appeals to people who need the power and room of an SUV.
While the most cost-effective way to get into a 2014 Toyota Venza is to purchase the entry-level model with the 4-cylinder engine, we don’t think most people will be happy with… the results. The 2014 Toyota Venza is not a lightweight machine and the tepid 181-horsepower engine just isn’t up to the task of merging or accelerating with any great urgency. If you’re going to get a Toyota Venza wagon, get it with the V6. Regardless of which engine you choose, both are teamed to a 6-speed automatic and both can run on regular unleaded gasoline. On the road, the Toyota Venza‘s steering feels reasonably well connected but the wheel can feel a bit heavy at slower speeds. The Toyota Venza rides on big 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires that create a rather harsh ride over rough pavement and more road noise inside the cabin.
The 2014 Toyota Venza‘s interior is big in all directions. With no 3rd-row seat to take up space, the 2014Toyota Venza offers an impressive 70.1 cubic feet of cargo space, while figures for head, leg and hip room are all near the top of the segment. We especially like the 1-touch fold-flat feature for the rear seats. Optional features to make the interior more luxurious include a huge panoramic glass moonroof and a premium HDD navigation system with Entune and JBL audio. Pet-friendly accessories include a liftgate pet ramp, booster seat with harness, pet buckles and rear-seat zipline-style harnesses.
On the street the Toyota Venza is immediately recognizable as something different. In point of fact, it’s sufficiently different to be virtually unrecognizable as a Toyota. Standard rubber – all 19 inches of it – provides the Toyota Venza with an athletic footprint. And while its profile allows for a high seating position to better see what’s around you, the step-in height remains low, making it far more convenient for smallish adults and the elderly. We like its wide, athletic stance, and applaud the U.S.-based design team for its effort, providing – as it does – the Toyota Venza with visual differentiation from both the Toyota Camry and Toyota Highlander.
Under the Hood
Propelling the 2014 Toyota Venza wagon is either a 181-horsepower 2.7-liter inline 4-cylinder or 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Both engines come with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission that offers uphill/downhill shift logic to minimize gear hunting. Those who do more highway driving should opt for the inline-4 – rated at 26 mpg in front-wheel-drive (FWD) guise, this engine is the more financially sensible choice. However, if having AWD or the need to tow 3,500 pounds is a priority, you’ll be happy to know that choosing the V6 will result in only a small fuel-economy penalty.
181 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
182 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (FWD), 20/26 mpg (AWD)
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
246 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (FWD), 18/25 mpg (AWD)
Credits go to: http://www.kbb.com/toyota/venza/2014-toyota-venza/