Beefy wagon offers utility and three trim levels.
Toyota hasn’t offered a Camry wagon since the 1990s, a small loss for most consumers as the Toyota Sienna minivan and a host of SUVs have made up for the lost utility. Still, Toyota knows that consumers may want something a bit different, therefore this automaker has sold the Camry-based Venza wagon since the 2009 model year. The Venza returns for 2013 and is offered in three trim levels. Priced from $27,700, this model is priced between the RAV4 and Highlander, a beefy five-passenger wagon that Toyota calls a crossover SUV.
Engines and Transmissions
Just as it does with its Sienna van, Toyota offers a standard 2.7-liter four cylinder engine and a 3.5-liter V-6 available with the Venza. If performance is important to you, then you’ll pass on the four and get the V-6 engine. With a curb weight approaching two tons, you’ll soon understand the need for the larger engine.
The four cylinder 16-valve engine offers 181 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 182 foot-pounds of torque at 4,200 rpm. This direct injection engine has a 10.0 to 1 compression ratio and is of aluminum construction and is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with shifting capabilities.
Toyota’s V-6 24-valve engine displaces at 3.5 liters and is also of aluminum construction. This engine and a 10.8 to 1 compression ratio and makes 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 246 foot-pounds of torque at 4,700 rpm. It is also paired with a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission.
Best fuel economy for the Venza is realized with its front-wheel-drive models. All-wheel-drive is also available. The FWD four gets 21 city, 27 mpg highway; with its 17.7 gallon fuel tank, this model offers a 478-mile driving range. Choose the AWD V-6 model and your gas mileage will come in at 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.
The 2013 Toyota Venza sits on a 109.3-inch wheelbase and is 189.0 inches long, 75.0 inches wide and 63.4 inches tall. The Venza has an 8.1-inch ground clearance.
Offering 108.0 cubic feet of passenger volume, Venza has 36.2 cubic feet of standard storage capacity. Drop down the rear seat and its storage utility increases to 70.2 cubic feet. A Venza equipped with a four cylinder engine has a 1,000-pound towing capacity. Choose the V-6 and a properly equipped Venza can pull up to 3,500 pounds.
Front head room measures 39.3 inches and 39.0 inches in the rear. Front leg room comes in at 40.2 inches; rear leg room is 39.1 inches. Front shoulder room measures 60.0 inches; rear shoulder room comes in at 59.0 inches. Hip room measures 56.0 inches up front and 56.5 inches in the rear.
The 2013 Toyota Venza is sold in LE, XLE and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment includes automatic projector-beam headlamps, automatic daytime running lights, fog lamps, color-keyed side mirrors with turn signal indicators, puddle lamps, all-season tires with 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels, a color-keyed rear spoiler with LED lights and a blind spot mirror. Upgrades include reverse tilt outer mirrors and a power liftgate with the Venza XLE and bi-xenon projector beam HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights, and a panoramic glass roof with a tilt/slide moonroof in the Limited edition.
Inside, the Toyota Venza comes equipped with dual zone climate control, fabric-trimmed seats, a tilt and telescoping steering column with steering wheel controls, keyless entry, power accessories, dual sun visors with vanity mirrors, three 12-volt power outlets, a cargo area tonneau cover, rear seat reading lights and a cargo area light.
Interior upgrades include leather trim heated front seats, smart key with push button start and Bluetooth connectivity in the XLE. Choose the Limited edition and an HDD navigation system with Entune is included. A 6-speaker audio system is standard; a JBL audio system is offered with the Limited and includes SiriusXM satellite radio, NavWeather, HD Radio and iPod connectivity.
The Venza’s closest competitor is the Honda Crosstour. Notably, Honda added a four-cylinder engine last year to compete with the base Venza.
See Also — All-New 2014 Toyota Highlander Takes a Bow
Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, Inc.