The 2014 Toyota Venza is one of those rare, practically perfect vehicles. I had a minor disagreement with Entune, but other than that, I loved this crossover. From the driving position to the ride and handling to amenities included for the price, I truly think that this should go on everyone’s must-test list if they’re looking for a small crossover — or even a family sedan.
I liked this vehicle so much, I recommended that my picky parents check it out. And they bought it after one test drive. Three days later, they still like it. I’ll let you know how it goes a month from now, but the outlook so far is favorable.
The test vehicle was an AWD XLE model with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 268 horsepower, and it is perfectly powered for both city and highway driving. The Venza is also offered with a 4-cylinder engine that delivers 181 horsepower. I don’t imagine I’d like that model nearly as well.
The most impressive thing about the Venza is the cargo space. During the test week, I had the opportunity to fit a full set of golf clubs in a canvas travel bag in the back. Without putting the rear seats down. I took the photo above to demonstrate the length. I’m about 5 feet tall and fit pretty well — pointing out that my head is cocked to the side so that I could see the camera.
Base price: $27,950
As tested price: $37,790
Cargo volume: 36.2 cu-ft (behind 2nd-row seat), 70.2 cu-ft (with second row flat)
You can see my full review on DriveChicago.com.