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2015 Toyota Venza

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/4/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Toyota Venza gains an upgraded Entune infotainment system and standard rearview camera on all models. The towing package is now standard equipment on V-6 variants.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Venza is a five-passenger midsize crossover slotting above the compact RAV4 and under the seven-passenger Highlander. It is sold in three grades and in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. However, this crossover is not capable off-road; instead, it's been engineered with on-road performance in mind.

Overview

The 2015 Venza is available with either 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 or torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is good with the V-6 at 19/26 mpg city/highway for front-drive models and 18/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. I-4 Venza's aren't remarkably efficient, achieving an unimpressive 20/26 mpg with either front- or all-wheel drive. The V-6 is the pick of the range due to its combination of good power and decent fuel economy especially when considering the four cylinder's 87 hp and 64 lb-ft deficit. Additionally, the more powerful engine distinguishes the crossover from the smaller RAV4, which is no longer available with a six-cylinder option. Maneuverability is not a strong point in the 2015 Venza with a wide 40.7-foot turning radius due to the large 19- or 20-inch wheels.

Interior space is good for five passengers and cargo with a maximum capacity of 70 cubic feet. The center stack is one of the highlights of the 2015 Venza's interior with its small storage spaces placed conveniently for small items such as cellphones. Features such as a navigation Toyota's Entune infotainment system with navigation, smartphone integration and a JBL audio system allows owners to integrate their mobile devices to the car and use apps. The Venza's conservative interior makes the interior feel dated despite the availability of leather upholstery and tech features that put it up to par with some luxury crossovers.

The 2015 Toyota Venza has a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS evaluations, the crossover received a Good score in four categories (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

Despite its dated-looking interior, the 2015 Venza remains a viable crossover because of its powerful V-6 and relatively spacious cabin. Acceleration is one of the Venza's strength as we noted in a 2014 First Test where a V-6 equipped all-wheel drive model ran 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, which is quicker than most of its competitors. While it isn't as spacious for a midsize crossover, the Venza remains practical with a decent-sized cargo area. Its wide 40.7-foot turning radius means it's somewhat difficult to drive in tight spaces. Furthermore, the large alloy wheels detract from the car's ride quality, making it stiff especially on the highway.

You'll Like

  • Excellent V-6 engine
  • Good room for five passengers
  • All-weather capability

You Won't Like

  • Disappointing I-4 fuel economy
  • Wide 40.7-foot turning radius
  • Conservative interior design

Key Competitors

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

Rating

3 star

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