2014 Toyota Venza Photo
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On Performance
On Performance
Competent and capable, the 2014 Venza drives much like a taller Camry--but don't expect any excitement behind the wheel.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

upshifts smoothly, and its short lower ratios mean the Venza nails the whole go part of get-up-and-go

The V6 is the better choice here, as it provides sufficient power for most any need.
Consumer Guide

there's not much for driving enthusiasts to get excited about beyond that excellent six-cylinder

The steering was also incredibly vague
Automobile Magazine

we found the Venza's moves to be fairly athletic
Popular Mechanics

Make no mistake: the 2014 Toyota Venza is not a sporty vehicle. If you're after a family mover that doubles as a weekend speed machine, look elsewhere.

That said, the Venza isn't a slug, either. Comfortable, competent, and confidence inspiring, the Venza offers more stable-seeming and car-like ride and handling than most crossovers. In many respects, it feels like a heavier, taller Camry wagon behind the wheel.

Venza shoppers have a choice of two engines, either of which are available with front- or all-wheel drive: a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, or a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. Both engines are close in their EPA gas mileage ratings, with the four-cylinder rating as high as 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway; the V-6 AWD scores 18/25 mpg. Venza V-6 models can add an optional Towing Prep Package that allows up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.

Sitting relatively high up, the driver is presented with a driving experience that's more minivan than SUV, with soft suspension tuning and numb steering. Those traits make it easy to drive, but sap any possibility of excitement. The large 20-inch wheels look good from the curb, but add a noticeable degree of ride harshness without any performance benefit. Power is adequate even with the four-cylinder engine, but the V-6 gives the Venza a smoother, stronger feel that resembles the Lexus RX 350's nature.

With all-wheel drive and a high-riding stance, you might think the Venza is up to off-road duty, but you'd be wrong. The all-wheel-drive system is intended for inclement weather, not tackling the Rubicon.


Competent and capable, the 2014 Venza drives much like a taller Camry--but don't expect any excitement behind the wheel.

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