In the scheme of things, what automakers term a “refresh” or “mid-cycle refresh” doesn’t usually translate into anything mind-boggling or radical. It can’t, because then it would be an all-new design, and generally inside and out.
Still, a few changes here and there and the addition of some new features and/or standard equipment is often enough to generate renewed consumer interest.
Case in point this week is the debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show of the refreshed versions of the 2013 Toyota Venza compact crossover and the 2013 Buick Enclave full-size, three-row luxury crossover. For consumers looking for great value, strong safety features and plenty of content, standard and available, there’s a lot to like in these family-friendly crossovers.
2013 Toyota VenzaEnlarge Photo
2013 Toyota Venza
What’s most appealing about the revised 2013 Toyota Venza can be summed up quickly: tweaked exterior styling, more standard convenience features, and optional Toyota Entune multimedia system. It’s the details that count, and in this mid-cycle refresh of the compact crossover, Toyota seems to have covered the most important bases.
On the outside, the Venza gets a new upper and lower grille, fog lamps and rear taillights, along with new standard 19-inch wheels and three new available colors.
2013 Toyota VenzaEnlarge Photo
Inside, there’s one new color, and the aforementioned Entune multimedia system, which uses the driver’s smartphone to provide navigation, information and entertainment options.
Powertrains remain the same as the 2012 model and include four- and six-cylinder engines, available in front-wheel and all-wheel drive.
Looking at the Venza’s safety offerings, there are seven standard airbags (including driver’s knee airbag); Toyota’s Star Safety System (including vehicle stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart-stop technology. Hill-start assist is also standard.
For more complete information on the 2013 Toyota Venza, head over to this preview in our sister publication MotorAuthority.
2013 Buick Enclave
The changes to the best-selling three-row crossover in the GM stable, the 2013 Buick Enclave, are, in the words of Buick, “evolutionary,” with respect to exterior and interior styling. Still, the new front end, slightly different shaped hood and black chrome waterfall grille are enough to ensure that the Enclave looks a little different this year.
In the back, there are some minor changes as well, including revised rear styling with LED taillights and integrated dual exhausts. In addition, the Enclave receives new 19- and 20-inch wheels.
Checking out the interior, there are new, higher-quality materials, ice-blue LED ambient lighting, new center stack with IntelliLink LCD infotainment display, tri-zone climate system, capacitative touch controls replacing the old knob-and-button ones, and new interior color combinations.
The big safety news is the addition of the front-center airbag, an industry first, which will be standard on all 2013 Enclave models (and also available in the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse and the GMC Acadia). The front-center airbag is designed to protect the driver and front passenger from far-side impact crashes.