2014 Toyota Venza Overview
- Mix of crossover/wagon; refreshed in 2013
- Four-cylinder or V-6 engine options
- IIHS Top Safety Pick, full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA
The 2014 Toyota Venza returns for the new model year after a refresh in 2013 sporting an intriguing mix of entertainment features and storage space that makes it ideal for a family on the go.
It’s easy to sometimes lose track of the Venza among Toyota’s many SUV offerings, but when you see one on the road you know it thanks to its unique shape. Though Toyota classifies the Venza as a crossover SUV, it’s more akin to a large wagon that’s been stretched vertically. Hallmarks of SUV styling (high side walls, brawny features) are missing; instead, the 2014 Venza is sleek and swept back, while still offering a large rear hatch which easily accepts cargo and luggage. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels come standard, with twenty-inch alloys optional. A panoramic glass roof with front power tilt and slide moonroof is available as part of a package, as is a power rear liftgate.
The 2014 Venza shares its engine options with the slightly larger Highlander. Standard is a 181-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder while a more powerful 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 is optional. Both engines come mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while those who will be driving the Venza in more inclimate conditions can opt for an all-wheel drive setup. The best mpg figures come with the base four-cylinder and front-wheel drive: 20/26 mpg city/highway.
One of the Venza’s large selling points is its great value, offering plenty of features across all three of its trim levels. Standard features include dual zone automatic climate control, cruise control, powered front seats, a 6.1-inch touch-screen to control the audio system, USB port with iPod connectivity, and Bluetooth connectivity. The 60/40-split rear seats recline and have a one-touch fold-flat control. Leather upholstery with a power-adjustable front passenger seat is available, and standard on higher trim levels. Audio/tech upgrades include Navigation and Entune, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, and premium audio sound. A Smart Key System with push button start is also standard on the higher trims.
Safety features include seven standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, in addition to the front, front side-mounted and curtain airbags. Four-wheel antilock disk brakes include electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. Electronic stability, traction control, a backup camera, and hill start assist are also standard.