Going on sale in 2008 as a 2009 model, the Venza crossover is one of Toyota's newest vehicles. The Toyota Venza is a true crossover, based on the Toyota Camry chassis, and offers the interior spacing of a small SUV but the ride and handling of a car. One of the most unique features of the Toyota Venza is its height, which is four inches lower than competitors like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, technically classifying the Venza as a wagon.
The 2012 Toyota Venza is powered by either a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or optional 3.5-liter V-6. The four-cylinder offering is unusual in this segment since most competitors offer a six-cylinder engine only. The Venza offers plenty of storage space, especially for the front row due to the placement of the gear selector up on the center stack. This gives room for the large storage bin at the bottom of the stack and large cup holders throughout the crossover (the Venza has ten total: six bottle holders and four cup holders).
The Toyota Venza is currently slotted above the Toyota RAV4 crossover and below the larger Highlander SUV. For 2012, Toyota makes few updates to the Venza, which has a new model and trim level scheme and feature changes. The 2012 Venza LE, for example, now gets standard heated rearview mirrors while the 2012 Toyota Venza XLE gets leather and host of other high-end features as standard.
Body style: SUV
Engines: 2.7-liter I-4, 3.5-liter V-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Venza 2.7-liter front-wheel drive; Toyota Venza 2.7-liter all-wheel drive; Toyota Venza 3.5-liter front-wheel drive; Toyota Venza 3.5-liter all-wheel drive
The 2012 Toyota Venza is now offered in three models levels: LE, XLE, and Limited for the 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter models, with each model offering an escalating number of standard and optional features and packages. The models replace the prior scheme of a solo base model optioned with features and packages.
There are no notable changes to the exterior of the 2012 Toyota Venza from the previous model year. Considered a mid-size crossover, the 2012 Venza carries on with its version of the 2011 Toyota Camry grille.
There are no notable changes to the interior of the 2012 Toyota Venza from the previous model year. The Venza offers up to 70 cubic feet of cargo space with the back row seats down (which can recline), and half that figure with the rear seats upright.
Performance & Handling
The 2012 Toyota Venza, like the Toyota Camry upon which it is based, is a cruiser and at home on the streets and highways of cities and suburbia. While the four cylinder engine feels slightly sluggish pulling the near two-ton 2012 Venza, the V-6 offers plenty of power in this class with little impact on fuel economy. The 2012 Toyota Venza with V-6 engine can tow up to 3500 pounds.
The 2012 Toyota Venza, like all current Toyotas, comes standard with the Toyota STAR safety system which includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), brake assist, Smart Stop (SST), traction control (TRAC), and vehicle stability control (VSC). Standard airbags include driver and front passenger, driver and front passenger side, two-row seat side curtain, and driver knee.
EPA Fuel Economy
2.7-liter front-wheel drive: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway
2.7-liter all-wheel drive: 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway
3.5-liter front-wheel drive: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway
3.5-liter all-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Fit and finish, especially interior
- Good head, hip, shoulder space
- Cargo space
- Fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Four-cylinder engine feels weak
The station wagon grows up
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Edge
- Honda Crosstour
- Nissan Murano
- Volkswagen Jetta Wagon