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2014 Toyota Venza
It’s a crossover. It’s a station wagon. It’s a Venza. The Venza has confused many in deciding if it is a crossover or a station wagon. The truth is that it lies somewhere in between. This feature works quite well for the vehicle as it delivers the functionality of both. With its car-like driving experience and utility of an SUV, the Venza is an excellent family vehicle.
The 2014 Toyota Venza is similar to the one before it. However, it adds some comfort and safety features, making it more user-friendly and safer for the occupants. It comes in three trims, LE, XLE, and Limited.
The 2014 Venza flaunts features similar to many SUVs of the time. It features an aggressive stance and looks quite stylish.
The vehicle borrows a lot of design cues from the Camry and the Highlander but wears them in a refreshed look rather than looking like a mule stuck between them.
Upfront, the vehicle is equipped with a broad grille that determines the shape of the angular headlights. The front fascia flaunts a dominating, well-balanced look. However, many critics find the front grille too big and toothy for the vehicle’s size.
Moving over to the sides, the looks only get better. The swooping effect on the roofline ending with a significantly raked rear pillar gives the vehicle an athletic look. It blends well with the low profile of the vehicle. The rear features tapered tail lights that sit well with the similarly angled creases and cuts on the tailgate. The exhaust tip seems well-situated and adds to the vehicle’s aesthetics.
Step inside and find that the Venza is more car than SUV. It wears a soft look with a few curvy visuals but does not seem overdone. An unusually high center stack splits the front row between the driver and passenger. The console blends into the dashboard, and it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.
The dashboard houses the audio system in the center with rectangular vents on both sides and multiple buttons and controls sitting below it. The shift lever is placed at an interesting angle, beside which sits a soft lidded storage bin.
The gauge cluster houses large, easy-to-read gauges. The woodgrain trim and balanced brightwork give the cabin a graceful look, but it is not dull and does not feel low-quality. The cabin can take some time to get used to, primarily due to the enormous center stack in the middle.
The 2014 Venza handles and drives as if it were a tall Camry. It is excellent in terms of performance and handling but does not go out of the way to impress the car enthusiast hidden inside each one of us. It is in no way a performance vehicle; instead, it is designed to provide a comfortable and safe ride for you and your family. But this is not to say that it is slow or feels sluggish in any way.
There are two options available for the engines. The standard Venza comes with a 2.4-liter inline-four that produces 181 horsepower and 182 pound-feet torque. There is a V6 with a 3.5-liter capacity that produces 268 hp and 246 lb-ft torque for those looking for more power.
All variants come with a standard with a six-speed automatic and front-wheel or all-wheel-drive option. The transmission performs well with both engines, ensuring smooth and quick shifting. Some people find the transmission lagging during city driving, which is hardly noticeable.
Driving the Venza feels more like a minivan than an SUV with its high seating position. It comes with a soft, comfort-oriented suspension and somewhat toned-down steering. These features make the vehicle pretty easy to drive but drain the excitement out in the process. We are not fans of the twenty-inch alloys, which only add to the ride firmness without significantly improving handling.
The suspension is more car-like and controls body roll during cornering and when running on twisty roads. The Venza remains planted and stable when running on mountain roads even at high speeds, maintaining traction throughout.
Even the four-cylinder version does not feel underpowered and responds well to throttle inputs, whether going uphill or passing vehicles on the highway. The braking performance is also up to the mark, and the vehicle stops at short distances. Some reviewers found the vehicle coming to a complete stop from 60 mph in just 117 ft.
With the all-wheel-drive option available, you might think that the Venza is suited for off-roading. However, the AWD on the Venza is designed to provide additional stability and traction on paved surfaces rather than taking it on cross-country adventures.
Comfort and Space Features
There is ample space for five adults and their luggage inside the 2014 Toyota Venza, making the Venza excellent for long family trips. The interior space makes good use of the low-profile and shorter-than-crossover vehicle.
The front seats are well-bolstered and offer ample back support. They are positioned high, giving good outside visibility. They play a vital role in making the Venza easy to drive. They are comfortable and will not strain you even during interstate runs. The wide center stack works like a knee rest for long cruises, but we are not fans of it in any other way.
The backseats are also supportive and can seat three adults without difficulty. Following the trend from the front, the backseats are also positioned high. This is especially great as sitting in these seats does not require popping up the knees like some low-seating vehicles.
The legroom and headroom on both the front and rear seats are enough to seat even tall individuals comfortably. The seat height is also exceptionally great for easy entry and exit.
Behind the second row is a low-floor cargo area, making loading and unloading heavy luggage easy.
The cargo space of 36.2 cubic feet behind the second seat can nearly be doubled to 70.2 cubic feet by folding the rear seat down. These numbers are pretty good if compared to other five-seat SUVs.
The Venza is equipped with numerous small storage bins and compartments. The large and deep cup holders, deep door pockets, and many other small stash points in the front part of the cabin add to the vehicle’s utility. However, cargo organizers are missing from the rear compartment, but we do not miss them anyways with the ample space.
We have some issues with the hard plastic found abundantly across the cabin. We were expecting something a bit more comfortable to contact the driver and front passenger’s knees. This comfort issue should have been corrected on a vehicle that wore a high price tag.
The vehicle is well insulated. The engine noise becomes noticeable at high revs, and the road noise is evident on rough surfaces. However, it is generally not a problem during everyday driving or even highway speed cruises.
The best year Toyota Venza comes equipped with several safety features. Among the prominent features are the following:
- The antilock braking system monitors the speeds of all wheels. In the case of a hard brake, the system prevents the wheels from locking up by pulsating the braking force, allowing the vehicle to maintain traction. Locked up wheels can result in the vehicle skidding out of control, especially on slippery surfaces.
- Electronic Stability Control keeps an eye on the vehicle performance and handling limits. If the driver tries to push the vehicle beyond its safety limits, this system can override the driver’s input and ensure that the vehicle remains safe and under control.
- Traction Control ensures that the vehicle maintains traction with the ground. If the system notices any tire losing traction, it takes correcting measures like regulating engine power to regain traction.
There are seven airbags found around the cabin. These include:
- Frontal airbags for the driver and passenger
- Side impact airbags for front and rear seat occupants
- Knee airbags for the front passenger and driver
- Overhead airbags to keep occupants safe from head injuries in a rollover
- To minimize whiplash injury, active headrests for front passengers move towards the occupant during a rear-end crash.
- Hill-start assist prevents the vehicle from rolling downhill when the driver removes the foot from the brake pedal to depress the gas pedal.
- Tire pressure monitoring system
The rearview camera comes standard on XLE and Limited and can be found as an option on the base, LE trim. It is almost necessary and makes backing up the Venza a lot easier.
The 2014 Toyota Venza acquires a five-star rating for overall safety with five stars for side crashes and four stars for rollover and front crashes.
The IIHS awards the vehicle “Good” score for all the crashworthiness tests performed. Missing out on the advanced crash prevention systems, the vehicle does not make it to become the Top Safety Pick.
The 2014 Venza is available in LE, XLE, and Limited trims. The LE and XLE come with either a four-cylinder or V6 engine, but the Limited is limited to the V6 alone.
The base variant, LE, comes equipped with many features, including:
- Automatic dual-zone climate control with vents for rear passengers
- Heated, power-adjustable mirrors with puddle lamps
- Power-adjustable driver seat
- Cruise control
- 3.5-inch display in the gauge cluster for important vehicle information
- 6.1-inch touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB support, aux jack, six speakers, and automatic sound leveling
- Three 12-volt outlets for charging multiple devices
- Automatic headlamps
- UV resistant and acoustic glass around the cabin
- Tilting and telescoping steering wheel with buttons to control the audio system
One step above the LE is the XLE, which adds the following features:
- Power-folding side mirrors with reverse tilting function
- Memory option for driver seat
- Power-adjustable passenger seat
- Leather upholstery
- Navigation and voice control for the infotainment system
- Improved gauge cluster information display
The top-of-the-line, Limited Trim adds onto the XLE with the following:
- Panoramic glass roof with moonroof over the front passengers
- JBL audio
- HDD Navigation
- Xenon HID headlamps
- Daytime Running lights
- Parking sensors for front and rear bumpers
Fuel Economy Features
If you compare the 2014 Venza’s fuel economy to other sedans and wagons, you might be disappointed. But compared to other crossovers, the Venza sits closer to the top.
There are four essential variants available with inline-four V6, and both come with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The EPA ratings of all variants are as follows:
- The 2.7-liter I4 with FWD earns ratings of 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on highways, and 23 mpg combined.
- The 2.7-liter I4 with AWD earns ratings of 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.
- The 3.5-liter V6 with FWD earns ratings of 19 mpg in the city, 26 on highways, and 21 mpg combined.
- The 3.5-liter V6 with AWD earns ratings of 18 mpg in the city, 25 on highways, and 21 mpg combined.
There is not much difference between the FWD and AWD models in fuel economy. So if you are looking for a high-performance Venza, you do not have to worry too much about fuel.
Price Range of 2014 Toyota Venza
The prices for the 2014 Toyota Venza vary due to trim level, vehicle condition, mileage, and location. However, the prices start from around $17,000 and go up to $33,000, with the average price sitting around $25,000.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding