2010 Toyota Venza Expert Review

You'll Like The 2010 Toyota Venza If...

If you're a fan of the Camry but want a more commanding view of the road, the Venza deserves your attention. Perhaps even more importantly, the low step- and load-in heights help to make getting people and stuff in and out of the car a more pleasant – and back-friendly – experience.

You May Not Like The 2010 Toyota Venza If...

Although the Toyota Venza is quite spacious, it only offers two rows of seats. Those needing the added versatility of a three-row vehicle might be more interested in the Chevy Traverse, Hyundai Veracruz, Honda Pilot or Mazda CX-9.

What's New

For 2010, the Venza gains as standard equipment a USB port with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth for hands-free calling.

Interior Features

Spacious is certainly the word that comes to mind when thinking about the Venza's interior. With only two rows of seating, Toyota was able to offer an impressive 70.1 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear. Up front, a sliding center console makes storing things a breeze; simply move the sliding cupholders back, and access to a large storage space that can accommodate a purse or several portable electronics opens up. An auxiliary input jack also lives in this space, and the cord for it can be snaked up to feed into an mp3/phone holder right on the center stack for easy access.

Exterior Features

While there are glimpses here and there of the Camry-esque styling that so many Americans love, the 2010 Toyota Venza is definitely more dramatic in its styling. The large, wraparound grille and standard 19- or 20-inch wheels give the vehicle a solid, bold look, while the 8.1-inch ground clearance (the same as on the Highlander) gives drivers a little more confidence on the occasional unkempt road. Despite the Venza's high seating position, it has a low step-in height, making it easier to maneuver people and stuff in and out of the vehicle, a plus for those who often take more than themselves for a trip around town.

Driving Impressions

On city and highway roads, the Venza performed much as we expected it to: not quite sedan soft, but not quite SUV harsh, either. The attention-getting 19- and 20-inch wheels, as expected, add some noticeable road feel and road noise, but overall the vehicle is a smooth operator, and the new in-line 4 traversed some rather steep hills without too much gear searching or audible strain. Although some sportier driving made it apparent that the Venza is not meant to be thrown around curves, we think that most buyers will be perfectly pleased with the way theirs handles around-town jaunts. Driving dynamics aside, we spent some time in both rows of seats and found them all to be comfortable and spacious enough to accommodate a vehicle full of adults or older children, so much so that we'd never object to spending a long road trip in the second row.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the four-cylinder 2010 Toyota Venza rings in at just over $27,000, while the V6 starts closer to $29,000. Adding all-wheel drive to either powertrain will add about $1,450 to the price. Although the Venza has an attractive entry-level price, piling on the options can make a fully loaded AWD V6 Venza nearly $40,000. These prices put the Venza right in the MSRP range of the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge, and significantly higher than the Mazda CX-7. However, prices can vary due to market conditions and location, so be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com to see what others are paying for the Venza in your area. Given Toyota's better-than-average resale values as a whole, we expect the Venza to do quite well over time, outperforming the Murano, Edge and CX-7.

Notable Equipment

The 2010 Toyota Venza is offered in one well-equipped trim. Inside, standard equipment worth mentioning includes audio, climate and cruise controls on the steering wheel, a 3.5-inch multi-function display, dual zone automatic climate control, iPod connectivity, tonneau cover, Bluetooth, auxiliary input jack, and six-disc in-dash CD changer with integrated satellite radio and six speakers. Outside, integrated fog lights, a chrome exhaust, color-keyed spoiler and 19-inch (20-inch on the V6) wheels can be seen. To keep all occupants safe and sound, seven airbags, stability/traction control and anti-lock brakes are standard fare.

Notable Options

The Venza's numerous options are available regardless of engine choice or drive configuration. While most are packaged together, the most noteworthy include leather seating surfaces, push button start, backup camera, HID headlamps with Automatic High Beams and a power hatch. Those who like to feel the sun on their shoulders can opt for the panoramic moonroof, while those who enjoy listening to music may enjoy the JBL Synthesis surround sound system with six-disc in-dash CD changer, Bluetooth streaming audio capability, satellite radio and 13 speakers. This system is also available with a voice-activated touch-screen DVD nav system, although only with a four-disc CD changer.

Favorite Features

Integrated Sliding Center Console

This unit is comprised of a set of cupholders and a padded arm rest that slide independent of each other, opening up 14.7 liters worth of storage space. This space also hides the auxiliary input jack cable, which can be left in the console or fed into an mp3/phone holder situated in the center stack.

Easy Step-in Height

For those who have more difficulty than most getting in and out of a vehicle, having a low step-in height certainly makes things look a little more gracious.

Under the Hood

Powering the Venza is either an all-new 182-hp 2.7-liter in-line four cylinder or a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6, also used in the Camry and Highlander. Both engines come with standard six-speed automatic transmissions that offer uphill/downhill shift logic to minimize gear hunting. Those who do more highway driving should opt for the in-line 4; rated at 29 mpg in FWD guise, this engine is the more financially sensible choice. However, if having AWD would better suit your commute and weather needs, you'll be happy to know that choosing this system will only penalize you by one mpg with either powertrain choice.

2.7-liter in-line 4

182 horsepower @ 5800 rpm

182 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (FWD), 20/28 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6

268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm

246 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/22 (FWD), 18/21 (AWD)

Editors' Notes

Call it a crossover or even a Camry wagon, but just don't call it nothing new. The 2010 Toyota Venza sits squarely in-between the automaker's best-selling Camry Sedan and Highlander SUV, borrowing elements from both. The result is a vehicle that has plenty of room for five, is easy to get in and out of, has respectable fuel economy and possesses the ground clearance of a much taller vehicle. While the Venza isn't the first - nor will it be the last - car to blur the lines between segments, it certainly offers a well-rounded package at a great price that would suit most people's needs. In a growing and increasingly popular vehicle landscape that includes the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge and Mazda CX-7, the Venza shines with a healthy roster of standard equipment, a competitive price, and Toyota's reputation for quality and stellar resale value.

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2010 Toyota Venza Owner Reviews

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It is a very dependable car and holds it is value extremely well.

2010 Toyota Venza

My Toyota Venza has been a great car. It is comfortable, very good looking, and drives great. I only have 97, 000 miles on it and it is still in excellent condition. I have all the bells and whistle‘s and a panoramic sunroof. I purchased this car as a used car. It had been well taken care of. It has plenty of room for five people. Happy birthday it is a pearl white color, which I love. It drives like a dream. I have no interest in purchasing another car until this one will not go anymore. I have to say this is probably one of my favorite cars I have ever owned.

- Martha B

The Venza is a head turning vehicle. Smart and sophisticated look.

2010 Toyota Venza 4dr Wgn V6 AWD (Natl)

I have bought Toyotas for the last 20 years. Their reliability is very important to me as our use it in my real estate work. One never knows what type of terrain I will be on and with the 4 Wheel Dr. of the Venza I feel sure that I can navigate some tricky roads. The only problem I have had is with the headlamps. I have to leave the knob on automatic headlamps. That way I don't run the battery down. The look of the Venza is very smart and sophisticated. I am sorry that the company has decided To continue building this model. I would buy a new one if possible.

- Caryl D

My Venza is a super flexible family vehicle

2010 Toyota Venza 4dr Wgn V6 AWD (Natl)

My car has been great. I've owned it for 7 years and I haven't had any major problems. Only normal wear and tear. It has been a great family car. The cargo hold is big enough for groceries and also some suitcases. There's also a sturdy roof rack for extra luggage, sports equipment, and Christmas trees.

- Angie S

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