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2012 Toyota Venza Review

The 2012 Toyota Venza gets good fuel economy for the class and reviewers liked its roomy cabin, but criticized its underpowered base engine.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy cabin
  • Good fuel economy
  • Comfortable ride
  • Sluggish acceleration with base engine




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Toyota Venza Overview

Some reviewers said the 2012 Venza has adequate power with its base four-cylinder engine, while others wrote that the base Venza needs more power for driving uphill and on the highway. As a result, many recommended stepping up to the more powerful V6 model. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and some test drivers reported that it shifts smoothly, while others wrote that it can be slow to downshift when more power is needed. With the four-cylinder engine, the Venza earns an EPA-estimated 21/27 mpg city/highway, while V6 models are rated at 19/26 mpg, both of which are good ratings for the class. Reviewers noted that the 2012 Venza has a comfortable ride and car-like handling, though they didn’t consider it particularly athletic.

Test drivers wrote that the 2012 Toyota Venza’s interior has a pleasing design, and some were particularly impressed with the upscale materials found on higher trims. They said the Venza's front seats are supportive, with plenty of head- and legroom, and that a low step-in height makes the Venza easy to get in and out of. The Venza also earned praise for its comfortable reclining back seats, which offer ample space to stretch out. The Venza comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a six-speaker stereo and a USB port. Navigation, a rearview camera and a 13-speaker JBL stereo system are available. The Venza has up to 70.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is slightly more than what rivals like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano and Ford Edge have.

Other SUVs to Consider

When it was new, reviewers praised the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee's cabin for its classy look and high-quality materials. Test drivers also wrote that the Grand Cherokee offers pleasing driving dynamics, excellent off-road capability and ample power from its standard V6 engine.

The 2012 Subaru Outback offers about the same cargo space as the Venza, and reviewers liked its spacious and comfortable front and rear seats. The Outback also comes standard with all-wheel drive and gets slightly better fuel economy than the Venza.

Compare the Venza, Grand Cherokee and Outback »

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