You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2014 Toyota Venza

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/30/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2014

After a mid-cycle refresh in 2013, the Venza gains power-folding side mirrors for the XLE and Limited grades while front park assist is standard on the latter.

Vehicle Summary

The Venza is Toyota's five-seat midsize crossover offering, slotting above the compact RAV4 and under the Highlander and 4Runner seven-passenger SUVs. It is sold in LE, XLE, and Limited grades along with an available all-wheel-drive option.

Overview

The 2014 Toyota Venza is offered with two engine options, a 2.7-liter I-4 producing 181 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.5-liter V-6 making 268 hp and 246 lb-ft. Both engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and are available with front- or all-wheel drive. On the road, the crossover drives similarly to a conventional sedan and possesses no off-road capability. The V-6 is the engine to pick because it distinguishes the Venza from the compact RAV4 by offering more power and better acceleration.

Fuel economy is acceptable for V-6 equipped models at 19/26 mpg city/highway for front-drive models and 18/25 mpg for cars equipped with all-wheel drive. Opting for the smaller I-4 doesn't bring much of a fuel economy benefit, since it improves to 20/26 mpg while losing 87 hp and 64 lb-ft.

Cargo space in the Venza is generous at 36.2 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 70.2 cubic feet with them folded. Passenger space is ample for adults while storage compartments for small items such as cellphones is abundant. However, interior design is conservative, making the cabin feel ordinary despite the availability of premium features such as a leather seats and a dual panel moonroof.

The Venza has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) while it scored a good rating in four of the IIHS' tests (good is the highest possible score) for which it has been evaluated.

What We Think

The 2014 Venza is a competitive midsize crossover offering from Toyota as long as it has the V-6 engine. In a First Test review of the 2014 model, we said that the V-6 engine is the highlight of the range in front- and all-wheel drive guises, offering impressive acceleration compared to its competitors. However, the Venza's interior lags behind its competition, particularly the Ford Edge due to the instrument cluster looking "disappointingly old." The larger wheels contribute to the crossover's poor 40.7-foot turning radius, "which is wider than that of the RAV4, Highlander, 2014 Murano, and 2014 Edge." Furthermore, the compact RAV4 has a larger cargo capacity than the Venza, making it less practical for hauling cargo.

You'll Like

  • V-6 power
  • Carlike ride
  • Available all-wheel drive

You Won't Like

  • Unimpressive fuel economy on I-4 models
  • Wide 40.7-foot turning radius
  • Somewhat small cargo capacity for a midsize crossover

Key Competitors

  • Ford Edge
  • Nissan Murano
  • Subaru Outback
  • Honda Crosstour

Rating

3 star

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon