2012 Toyota venza xle v6

2012 Toyota Venza

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 “

Used 2012 Toyota Venza

Favorite Features

Integrated Sliding Center Console
Comprised of a set of cup holders and a padded arm rest that slide independently of each other, the center console provides up 14.7 liters of storage space. This space also hides the auxiliary input-jack cable, which can be left in the console or fed into an MP3/phone holder situated in the center stack.

Power Rear Liftgate
Helpful for anyone who’s ever been alone in the rain with arms full of groceries, the power liftgate can be operated with a simple push of a key fob-mounted button.

Used 2012 Toyota Venza Interior

The 2012 Toyota Venza’s interior is big in all directions. Comfortable seating choices include cloth or leather upholstery (trim dependent), heated front seats and a power driver’s seat with power lumbar support. With no third-row seat to take up space, the Venza offers an impressive 70.1 cubic feet of cargo space, while figures for head, leg and hip room are all near the top of the segment. The large, clever sliding center console can accommodate all manner of items, from purses to tablets. Optional features to make the interior more luxurious include a huge panoramic glass moonroof and a JBL audio system. Pet-friendly accessories include a rear liftgate pet ramp, booster seat with harness, pet buckles and rear-seat zipline-style harnesses.

Used 2012 Toyota Venza Exterior

Of all of Toyota’s current designs, the 2012 Venza wagon is one of the most daring and original. Standard 19- or 20-inch wheels are definitely uncommon in this segment and contribute to the Venza’s good handling and assertive looks. We like the color choices Toyota offers on the Venza, which stand in stark contrast to the boring silver, gray and off-white hues all too common these days. With 8.1 inches of ground clearance, the 2012 Toyota Venza can pretty much tackle the deepest snow drifts while still maintaining its composure in the turns. However, despite its height, the Venza wagon still requires minimal effort stepping in or out, a fact that makes it decidedly easier to load in kids, groceries or whatever else goes inside the Venza’s generous interior.

Used 2012 Toyota Venza Standard Features

The 2012 Toyota Venza wagon is offered in three well-equipped trims: LE, XLE and Limited. Inside, standard equipment worth mentioning includes dual-zone climate control, 8-way power driver’s seat, 3.5-inch multi-information display, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, AM/FM/CD with Bluetooth phone connectivity and streaming music, a USB port and power operation of the windows, locks and mirrors. The XLE adds leather seating, a 4-way power passenger seat, anti-theft alarm, heated front seats, Smart Key with push-button start, power rear liftgate and a rear backup camera. The top-of-the-line Limited adds navigation, HID headlamps, a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a JBL 13-speaker Synthesis audio system. All Venzas have Toyota’s comprehensive Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology, plus seven airbags.

Used 2012 Toyota Venza Options

The 2012 Venza’s options are bundled into trim-specific packages. The LE Convenience Package adds a power rear liftgate and rear backup camera, while the LE Preferred Package brings a panoramic glass roof. The XLE Premium Package adds the panoramic glass roof, JBL audio and satellite radio, while the Navigation Package adds voice-activated DVD touchscreen navigation and a rear backup camera.

Used 2012 Toyota Venza Engine

Powering the 2012 Toyota Venza wagon is either a 182-horsepower 2.7-liter in-line 4-cylinder or a 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. Both engines come with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission that offers uphill/downhill shift logic to minimize gear hunting. Those who do more highway driving should opt for the inline 4; rated at 27 mpg in FWD guise, this engine is the more financially sensible choice. However, if having AWD or the need to tow 3,500 pounds is a priority, you’ll be happy to know that choosing the V6 will result in only a small fuel economy penalty.

2.7-liter in-line-4
182 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
182 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 (FWD), 20/25 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
246 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 (FWD), 18/25 (AWD)

How Much Does the Used 2012 Toyota Venza Cost?

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 4-cylinder 2012 Toyota Venza LE starts just over $28,000, while the V6 LE is right around $30,000. All-wheel drive will add about $1,500. The XLE starts around $30,500, while a fully-loaded AWD Limited will be around $40,000. These prices put the Venza right in the MSRP range of the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge and significantly higher than the Subaru Outback 2.5i and Mazda CX-7. However, prices can vary due to market conditions and location, so be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com to see what others are paying for the Venza in your area. Given Toyota’s better-than-average resale values as a whole, we expect the Venza to do quite well over time, outperforming the Murano, Edge and CX-7, and equaling the Subaru Outback.


  • Great acceleration
  • Top-notch braking performance
  • Driver controls are clear and well laid out
  • Generous interior storage compartments
  • Rear seat folds down easily for extra storage space


  • More road noise than others
  • Gas mileage suffers with V6 engine
  • Lackluster handling and maneuverability, especially in small spaces
  • More expensive than most crossovers
  • Interior feels like pieces have been mixed and matched together

Courtesy of Toyota 4 5

The 2012 Toyota Venza has been recalled. To see if your model is included, visit Toyota’s recalls page for more details.

Track Performance: A

Road Performance: C+

Ease of Use: A-

Comfort and Roominess: B+

The Venza is among the more practical crossovers we tested, with all the benefits of Toyota’s family-friendly cars, from its spacious interior to its smooth and easy ride. The Venza turned in the best scores in Car and Driver’s performance testing too, so you can be assured it offers the great power and braking you need to navigate the road confidently. The Venza is more expensive than comparable crossovers, but it’s a great family car with the space of an SUV, and the practicality and feel of a station wagon.

Driving Experience

Starting with the 2012 model, the Venza offers a diverse range of models with plenty of price and feature combinations. Beyond selecting between the different trim levels, you can choose between a four-cylinder or V6 engines as well as front- or all-wheel drive. Though it may not be as rugged as some SUVs, the V6 engine in our test model offered plenty of pep for speedy acceleration. (In fact, the Venza was fastest to go from 0 to 60 of all the vehicles in our test.) It’s also excellent at braking, stopping in the shortest distance of any cars tested. One potential concern: The Venza didn’t hug the road as much as other crossovers in tight turns, it still turned in the overall best track performance score of any vehicle in our test. And all that power in the V6 means the Venza was noticeably the loudest car to drive, whether idling or cruising.

When it came to driving off the track, the Venza didn’t do as well. Shifting was fluid, but handling pushed it closer to the back of the pack; this crossover wasn’t the smoothest over bumps and a wider turning radius may make parking harder in tight spots. The Venza offers decent visibility, but its undersized back windows make for larger blind spots than we’d like. Among the tested cars, fuel economy was average for the V6, slightly better for the 4-cylinder.

Infotainment System & Controls

The Venza’s infotainment system was good, largely thanks to excellent navigation options and impressive voice recognition. The steering wheel controls were simple to use while driving; we found them clear and large, and the layout was simple to boot. However, the dashboard controls were less intuitive; we found it particularly tricky to find the auxiliary in (to plug in devices like your iPod) and we were disappointed in the phone pairing process, which required manual commands instead of syncing automatically. A small LCD made menus even harder to navigate and more difficult to read.

Interior & Design

The Venza was one of the larger crossovers in our test, and it showed when it came to interior space. There’s plenty of storage room (though the trunk itself is a bit stingy) and even the usually unpopular middle back seat is comfortable, despite the jutting center console that takes up some of the legroom. Even counting the large console, the width of the car allows plenty of space for the driver and passenger. And if you’re toting around little ones, you’ll also be happy to hear that the Venza was one of the easiest vehicles when it came to car-seat installation.

Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined): 18/25/21

Size Class: Crossover

Base Price: $28,510

Reviewed: September 2012

Price When Reviewed: $36.00