The Toyota Venza is a midsize crossover SUV that provided everything you would expect from a Toyota. It’s reliable, practical, and comfortable. On the other hand, it’s not the most luxurious of its class, but that’s not why people look to Toyota. When people consider the Venza, it’s because they want a car that won’t let them down. So, we find a common question: What are the best years for the Toyota Venza? Well, this article will give you the answer, plus we’ll provide more information that could be handy.
What are the best years for the Toyota Venza?
The best years for the Toyota Venza are 2013 and 2014. Vehicles produced in these two years have the least amount of problems. Plus, they have the highest ratings in reputable magazines like Consumer Reports and JD Power. The 2012 Venza is also a good year to buy but has lower ratings on these magazines.
The best option is the 3.5L V6 with AWD. It delivers good power, reasonable fuel economy and won’t back away from a challenge, i.e., when you load all the stuff for a family trip. The Venza also provides adequate ground clearance, which is essential in gravel and snow.
The Toyota Venza has two generations. The first one, called the AV10, came out in 2008 as a 2009 model. You can think of it as a taller Toyota Camry as it shared the platform and one of its powerplants. There were two engine options: the 2.7L inline-4 with 182 hp and the 3.5L V6 with 268 hp. In the Venza, you can choose to have either Front-Wheel-Drive (FWD) or All-Wheel-Drive (AWD).
Since the Venza used the Camry platform, most of the mechanical components were already tried and true. Plus, the choice of engines is common throughout the Toyota lineup, so their reputation for reliability stands tall.
Being a family-oriented vehicle, the Venza comes with plenty of safety features. Plus, in-car entertainment and navigational options were plenty and varied. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), the Venza has top ratings in crash safety. It even earned the Top Safety spot in its first year of production.
After a facelift in 2012, the Toyota Venza survived for three more years. Then, in 2015, Toyota discontinued the Venza. It was no surprise that Toyota cited the SUV market as too competitive, so the Venza had meager sales.
In 2020, Toyota announced that the company would return to the midsize crossover SUV sector with the second-generation Venza. However, the 2021 model comes only as a hybrid, which is drifting away from tradition. It has a 2.5L inline-4 engine with 176 hp and an electric motor producing 118 hp in the front and 56 hp in the rear. Also, it only comes with eAWD, in which the electric motors power the rear wheels, while the gasoline engine powers the front.
Since it’s so new, there are few ratings and complaints. So, classifying it is difficult. However, the second-generation Venza has earned several projected scores. For example, Consumer Reports gave it the “Recommended” and “Green Choice” badges. Plus, the Venza has a predicted reliability rating of 4 out of 5. So, it should keep in line with its previous models, as being a trusty vehicle.
So, in general, it’s easy to answer the question: what are the best years for the Toyota Venza? But, to help you make better decisions, let’s dive deeper into this topic.
How do magazines rate the Toyota Versa?
Below, you’ll find a table that shows how Consumer Reports (CR) and JD Power (JD) have rated the Toyota Venza. Granted, these aren’t the only magazines out there, nor are they the ultimate authority. But their independent perspective and rigorous testing have earned them a good reputation.
In this table, you will find two ratings. First, CR uses a scale from 0 to 5, where 5 is the best. So, a 3 out of 5 is average, and a 5 out of 5 is excellent. On the other hand, JD uses a 0-100 scale, where 100 is the best and 0 is the worst.
|Toyota Venza Ratings According to Consumer Reports and JD Power|
|CR Rating||4 out of 5||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||5 out of 5||4 out of 5*|
As you can see, the Toyota Venza has consistent marks throughout, with no year showing surprising results. So, if you look at this table, you might be wondering why we haven’t recommended the 2009 Venza. We’ll explain the reason why in the next segment.
Also, in this table, you can find that the best model is 2013. This is because this year has the highest scores in both ratings, followed by the 2014 and 2012 models.
What are the worst years for the Toyota Venza?
The Toyota Venza is a reliable SUV; there’s no denying that. It has years of rigorous engineering behind it. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have issues. Unfortunately, some Venza models have had serious problems, and it’s essential to know them and avoid hassles.
We mentioned that we don’t recommend the 2009 Venza in the previous section, though it has high ratings. The reason for this is that this is the most troublesome year for the Venza.
In sites like Car Complaints, the 2009 Toyota Venza shows the highest number of issues and complaints. The most frequent problem concerns the vehicle’s steering. Many users have reported that the 2009 Venza rattles and has the tendency to drift or wander at highway speeds.
Plus, in states with snow, users have reported low responsiveness. This issue pertains only to the FWD version.
Another troublesome model is the 2010 Venza. This year has the second-highest number of issues, and most of them revolve around the braking system. Users have found that the rotors wore out too fast, the brakes didn’t respond well, and the ABS sensors failed. Unfortunately, the 2010 Venza also shows frequent steering problems.
To Toyota’s credit, the amount of complaints drops considerably in 2011. After that, both customer satisfaction and ratings remain consistent.
The Toyota Venza is a midsize crossover SUV that spans two generations. Since it’s a Toyota, people look to it for reliability, more than luxury. Fortunately, it’s a reliable vehicle overall. If you are looking for the best years for the Toyota Venza, those would be the 2013 and 2014 models. You can also consider 2012 vehicles, as they are reliable as well.
Due to stiff competition, Toyota canceled the Venza in 2015. But then, after a five-year break, the company announced the Venzas return in 2021. The difference is that, now, the 2021 Venza is a hybrid-only SUV. Unfortunately, these are still too new to have adequate testing. Therefore, coming up with a rating is tricky.
As with any other vehicle, the Toyota Venza does have issues. Yes, even if it’s a Toyota. The worst years are 2009 and 2010, even if magazines rate them high. The reason why we cannot recommend these it’s due to the high number of complaints they have. Unfortunately, some of these issues are pretty serious.
So, now you know. If you’re looking for a reliable, comfortable midsize SUV that can take you plenty of places, the Venza is an option worthy of your attention. Be sure to look for a 2013 or 2014 model with low mileage and a 3.5L V6 engine. It should fulfill your needs adequately. Until next time, happy motoring!