CarCorner Review: I’m “Fore” The Venza – 2014 Toyota Venza Limited V6 AWD


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By Cathy Droz –

You can’t pick up a paper or see an ad on TV or the Internet without hearing the buzzword “crossover.” In the simplest of phrasing it “drives like a car with the cargo space of an SUV.” Gone are the days when one has to give up the luxury of a sedan for the practicality of an SUV. With this vehicle, you can “have it all.” Having it all is why I took the Venza to Palm Springs for a golf weekend with my husband.Toyota Venza Exterior

The sleek exterior of the Venza catches your attention immediately. Far from some of its boxier competition, the Venza looks like it is always ready to move. Small wonder, as its name is reported to be a combination of venture + Monza (Grand Prix racing location and 1975-1986 auto models). While we don’t recommend that you race these cars, they certainly seem capable of it. Our drive to Palm Springs seemed short compared to other times we’ve ventured to that area. We didn’t race, but the CUV drove so much like a luxury sedan, we may have been a little heavy footed on the gas.

The additional exterior features include panoramic glass roof, privacy glass, touch sensor lock/unlock door handles, power lift gate with jam protection, power mirrors, not to mention windshield wiper deicers. Now we didn’t need to worry about that this summer, but Palm Springs can get chilly in the mountains as we found out taking the tram 5,783 feet up for a fantastic view.

Toyota-Venza-InteriorNow for the interior luxury features…standard leather interior and simulated wood grain greet you from the start. Your comfort ranks high with Toyota; there is a dual zone climate control system, heated front seats, lumbar supports and eight-way power seat adjustments. Since we have you in the driver’s seat, you will be happy to know that this model is equipped with driver’s knee air bags, since no one wants to endure a knee replacement after a fender-bender or a strenuous golf game. Overall, the Venza boasts a Five Star safety rating, making you feel both pampered and safe.

Features that we have come to depend on are all standard here; front and rear parking assist sonar, advanced air bag systems and 60/40 one touch rear seats that fold flat. This was very important to us with our golf bags, luggage and extras we packed. No one likes putting down your bags again and again to open the cargo area. There is a smart key push button start, touchscreen and backup camera, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, navigation system and an amazing JBL audio system, all of which are extremely user-friendly. In addition, the information system can be personalized. Next they’ll have a camera in the Venza that takes “selfies” as you drive.

I would be remiss if I neglected to draw attention to the overall roominess of the interior; feel free to invite your basketball-playing friends along for a spin or a golf game. The fuel economy is what you would expect for an auto with all of the features and versatility of this one; 18/25. The MSRP for the model I tested is $39,578. That being said, you wouldn’t have to add a thing to this car to make it the perfect crossover for you.

The drive was flawless in the Venza, our hotel was welcoming, our meals fantastic…my golf game? Well, did I tell you that the drive was flawless in the Venza?

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