2011 Toyota Venza – The Ideal Family Vehicle

Is it a wagon or is it a crossover?

The design language of the 2011 Toyota Venza is simple enough, it is Toyota’s earnest attempt at trying to carve a niche. The car sits firmly between the R4W and the Highlander, it is wagon-esque in design but SUV-esque in size.

The car looks good from any angle, considering it is a rather refreshing take on a wagon from the Japanese manufacturer. At first glance, the car looks more like a cross between a Camry and a Highlander, and as bizarre as that combination sounds, the Venza pulls of the design quite well.

The front grille is filled with chrome and the rather oddly flush design does not help the car’s first impressions. The hood’s smooth curve helps accentuate the car a little and takes off attention from the grille.

The taper of the roofline gives the car a Sportback look and overall, the rear looks decent. There is nothing to fuss about here. The design is simple, and the oddball nature of the front is redeemed by the rather beautiful rear. The sizing of the car is what will surprise you the most, but more on that later.

Good base options, but consider stepping up!

The 2011 Toyota Venza is not the car you are looking for if power is in your mind. The base engine is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a crisp 182 bhp, 182 lb-ft of torque, and comes mated to a six-speed automatic. You also get an option between front-wheel or all-wheel drive and for obvious reasons, the all-wheel drive is better. The power delivery is nothing too special and performance numbers are mild at best. The 0-60 time is a modest 9.3 seconds, nothing to knock your socks off.

However, if you are after a little bit of oomph and power, the 3.5-liter V6 engine is your ally. The engine can produce a terrific 268 bhp and has a peak torque output of 246 lb-ft. The result is a car that sounds quick and is quick.

The 0-60 time also improves drastically. The 2011 Toyota Venza can punch it from naught to sixty in 6.9 seconds. It is much faster and the smoothness of the engine is apparent in the first drive. Perhaps, the notable 2011 Toyota Venza problems lie with the engine choices and we reckon the V6 is the option if you want to avoid a drive that becomes too numb.

The driving ease of Toyota

Now, despite a more powerful V6 being available as the base option, the car’s drive does not improve drastically. You are not getting a sports sedan and it is clear from the get-go. You get the refinement of a Toyota.

The drive is easy going, no need to plant your foot down too hard, steer too much, or worry too much. The real star here is the ease of driving. The on-road performance is great. You will have zero troubles in traffic or while overtaking. Despite the all-wheel-drive offering, you will be surprised to find out that this car is not built for off-roading. The 2011 Toyota Venza is not a car you buy for performance, but convenience. Despite the

2011 Toyota Venza specs indicate a good performance, you will be surprised by the fair bit of body roll and uninspiring drive. It sits between being a sports sedan and a minivan, make of that what you will.

Comfortable seating with good storage

The best part about the 2011 Toyota Venza is the comfort and space. The car is smaller than most SUVs but offers as much room. The sheer amount of space you get in this car is great. You will find storage compartments in every corner of the car. The car can fit five people comfortably and still have ample space for luggage. The car’s seat height is perfect, it helps even the tallest of drivers get ample headroom and gives even the shortest a good viewing angle. The practicality of the seat design makes it an ideal vehicle for the elderly to slide in and out.

The biggest caveat you will find with 2011 Toyota Venza reviews is the amount of plastic you get to see in the car. Every button, fit and finish, and even the lines that are supposed to help accentuate the design is plastic. The target audience for the car is more upmarket, however, the plastic lends the car a cheap feel. The drive is very passenger-oriented and those in the back seat will feel plenty of comfort over long distances.

Respectable safety features

The 2011 Toyota Venza is an oddball. The IIHS tests rank it among the best cars in terms of safety. It gets a “good” rating from the IIHS, including in the Roof Strength test. However, in stricter government-regulated tests the car does not fare too well. It gets a three-star rating in frontal protection and a four-star overall rating.

Despite the mixed bag, the car does come with seven airbags, ABS, and ESC as standard. The other key factor that the Venza possesses is good visibility, which is rare in crossovers.

An array of features

Toyota is known for offering a bunch of trims for their cars, however, for the 2011 Toyota Venza, there are only two. The base model gets a lot of options. AC, dual-zone climate control, tilt, telescopic steering wheel, and a CD changer are all great features that you get in the base model.

The V6 model adds 20-inch wheels, a JBL sound system, and touchscreen navigation. Other options include leather upholstery, a power liftgate, a smart key system, pet accessories, and a DVD entertainment system for the rear seats.

The verdict

Our verdict on the 2011 Toyota Venza is simple, it is the car that you want to get if you want a fine balance between performance and comfort. It does not guzzle as much gas as an SUV, it is not as big, yet offers similar amounts of space. The design is new and after some time becomes endearing. The comfort factor, combined with the practicality and ease of use makes this car a great option.

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