®...where your car search begins

2013 Toyota Venza Debut

Toyota hopes a few tweaks to the 2013 Toyota Venza are enough to tweak more interest among buyers.

2013 Toyota Venza Research Click to hide

What's New

The Toyota Venza crossover has always been an interesting vehicle in Toyota's lineup. At first glance, the Venza looks like a direct competitor to the Toyota RAV4. But the Toyota Venza's unique look and low-to-the ground character makes it fit the definition of "crossover" better than the taller, more box-like, RAV4. Apparently the public doesn't agree with us: sales of the Toyota Venza have been on the low side. Toyota has refreshed the Venza for model year 2013. We'll see if that'll be enough to get the public attention especially those eyeing the Ford Edge.

Who It's For

The market for affordable, five-passenger crossovers is practically saturated in the U.S. Available crossovers range from the near subcompact Buick Encore to just-barely-a-mid-sized crossover Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. Thus, the 2013 Toyota Venza will have its work cut out for it appealing to the discriminating buyer. Worse, the similarly shaped Ford Edge will make it even harder for the Venza to stand out. Toyota has several strengths which it brings to the Venza, which include the crossover's shorter height (easy to get enter/exit and load cargo).

Key Features

Most of the changes on the Venza for model year 2013 are cosmetic, with a new grille, fog lamps, wheels, and taillight designs. The 2013 Toyota Venza continues to be powered by the same four and six-cylinder engines from the prior model, both coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. However, Toyota simplified the 2013 Venza's standard and optional packages, which now includes blind-spot detection, outside mirrors with puddle lights, and Toyota's new interactive Entune infotainment system.

Other features on the 2013 Toyota Venza include:

  • Panoramic sunroof (optional on LE, XLE trims; standard on Limited)
  • Three new exterior colors: Attitude Black, Cosmic Gray Mica, and Cypress Pearl.
  • Driver memory seats
  • Three new interior colors: Black, Ivory, and Light Gray
  • Pet utility accessories like pet buckles and rear liftgate pet ramp.

What We Think

The Toyota Venza debuted in 2008 as a 2009 model. The mid-sized crossover market has exploded since then, with many capable players offering the same, if not more, features, than the Venza at similar to lower pricing. Ford and its Edge crossover have especially been popular. While the 2013 Toyota Venza's cleaner external styling and updated features certainly make it worth looking at, we wonder if it's enough to distinguish this five-passenger crossover from its competition. A lot of it will come down to price, especially what that price gets you before you check options boxes.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: New York 2012