DALLAS, April 1, 2013 — The 2013 Toyota Venza is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, making it hard to define: crossover or wagon. Whatever the case, families will love it since it is the ultimate family vehicle option.
There is plenty of room and it’s an easy ride, comfortable inside and out. With the subtle styling changes this year, the only real standouts are the several new features like the blind spot mirrors or LED running lights on the top-of-the-line trim, but little else has changed.
The competition for the 2013 Toyota Venza might come from the Subaru Outback or going up against interior comforts of the Ford Edge or the Nissan Murano. For a five-passenger family car, the 2013 seems to fill a lot of niches though.
Trim levels are the LE, XLE and Limited.
The LE has 19-inch wheels, fog lamps, a windshield wiper de-ice, blind-spot mirror, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, reclining rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a smorgasbord of phone and audio connectivity options.
If you opt for the V6, you get 20-inch wheels and adding the Convenience package for this trim will give you an additional power liftgate and rearview camera. There is also a LE Preferred package with a sunroof and Toyota’s Entune service.
The XLE trim comes standard with the Convenience package from the LE trim and you also get keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, driver seat memory functions, four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, and the Entune service. On the XLE Premium package, the panoramic sunroof is included as well as a larger touchscreen and navigation system.
The Limited trim includes the Premium package and also bi-xenon headlights, automatic high beams and LED running lights.
Under the hood, the 2013 Toyota Venza comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with either a four- or six-cylinder engine and front or all-wheel drive. The 2.7-liter inline-4 has 181 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque with the 3.5-liter V6 offering 268 horsepower and 246 pound feet of torque.
For safety considerations, the 2013 Toyota Venza has antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag, and a rearview camera that comes as an option.
Taking a look inside, the Venza doesn’t keep up with the bigger SUVs that is stands against, but nevertheless the interior still offers standout features like a usable center console with a mounted shift lever allowing for more space for the seats in the front seat.
Knobs and dials are easy enough and the new touchscreen is definitely user-friendly. You can also opt for Toyota’s new Entune system allowing for, in most cases, the ability to connect to Pandora radio and even buy a ticket for the movies.
The legroom won’t be a problem and the reclining backseat is a standout. Overall the cargo space has 70 cubic feet to fill or, when the seats are up, there is 34.4 cubic feet.
Easy to drive, the 2013 Toyota Venza is a family vehicle extraordinaire with an eye toward “family” luxuries like space, comfort and easy driving.
Should You Need to Know: If you add on the optional towing package the 2013 V6 Venza can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Toyota Venza LE L4 FWD comes in with 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: The 2013 Toyota Venza LE L4 FWD’s price tag is roughly $31,807.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.
She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.
Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from www.historypress.net and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
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