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admin | Category: Ed Treatment San Antonio | 28.09.2015
Our recent looks at the Ford Edge Ecoboost and GMC Terrain prompted an email from a reader asking us to take a look at the 2013 Toyota Venza with these two American entries in mind. The Venza landed as a 2009 model year vehicle with a confusing mission: slot between the 7-seat RAV-4 and the 7-Seat Highlander as a 5-seat mid-sized crossover. While many crossovers try to hide passenger car roots with boxy wheel arches truck-inspired grilles, the Venza is more open about its sedan origins. For 2013 Toyota has given the Venza a mild facelift grafting their corporate three-bar grille to the four-year old profile.
Despite the tweaking, I find the Ford and GM crossovers more visually exciting, especially the GMC Terrain with its mini-truck clothes job. For 2013, all Venza models get a power driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control standard. All Venzas swallow 36 cubic feet of IKEA purchases, notably larger than the American competition despite the fact that the Ford an GM CUVs are longer than the Venza. Venza Limited models come standard with the up-level JBL speakers but strangely use an entirely different 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
If you live in the snow belt, the optional AWD will set you back $1,450 with either engine. Our V6 AWD Limited tester rang in a $41,904 which is a few hundred more than a comparably equipped Ford Edge but $3,639 more than a comparably equipped GMC Terrain while the Equinox is a bit cheaper still. Hvac product line overview (continued ) hvac, Vector duty • three phase, tenv and tebc • 1 – 15 hp (tenv) • 1 – 300 hp (tebc) • 143 – 449 frame • 0 – 1800 rpm • constant torque near zero rpm.
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Recommended models are based on in stock models of interest plus models commonly cross shopped.
Silverado passengers in the extended cab get more headroom and legroom than those in the F150.
In the end, full size pickup truck owners want power, towing, cargo space and a smooth ride. If you have a request or suggestion for a vehicle review, just click the contact link at the top of the page, or find us on Facebook and drop us a note.
The Lexus RX imitating shape of the Venza caused further confusion and the dimensions didn’t help either since the Venza is longer than the Highlander. Aside from the nose job the changes are fairly mild and boil down to new wheels, light modules, paint colors, and a few additional base features. The Ford Edge is blander, but somehow manages a less controversial front bumper than the Venza. With a decidedly asymmetrical design, a dashboard mounted shifter and a somewhat boring gauge cluster, the Venza failed to push many of the right buttons for me aesthetically.
Should you opt for the higher trim levels, Toyota will toss in a power passenger throne as well.


This shows in the back with thoughtful touches like reclining seat backs, available rear seat entertainment systems that have dual independent DVD players, fairly good visibility and seat bottom cushions that are fairly low to the floor. While the rear seats fold completely flat, the front passenger seat doesn’t fold making it harder to get long and bulky items inside.
The base system is easy to use and allows full access of your music device via the on-screen commands.
The 7-inch system should be familiar with any late model Toyota or Lexus owners as this is essentially the same software they have used for some time.
The base engine in all trims is the same 2.7L four-cylinder engine as the Highlander and Sienna. The system worked well on gravel roads and slick, leaf-covered back country lanes, but is decidedly slip-and-grip in feel. Of course that puts the crossover in something of a pickle since, unlike an SUV, they aren’t designed for off road use either.
This placed my final ranking as follows: GMC Terrain, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Equinox and lastly the Toyota Venza. Both have many of the same features big truck owners look for, but one comes out just ahead of the pack.
The Silverado makes running errands or taking a road trip as easy as hauling a heavy load or towing a trailer. And the column shifter on the Chevy’s 6 speed automatic transmission frees up valuable floor space that the console shifter in the F150 takes up. The base model Chevy is equipped with a CD player, heated outside mirrors, power windows and locks, 17 inch chrome-styled steel wheels and stability control.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped Toyota from shifting around 45,000 Venzas a year in America. While not a change to the Venza, the new RAV4 is no longer available in a 7-seat version making the Venza’s position in the lineup easier to understand. The American options are slightly larger but actually less capable off road since they have notably lower ground clearances.
The low seat cushions mean that adults on long car trips may find their legs need a bit more support but kids will be happier with the seating position. Optional on base Venza models and standard on XLE and Limited is Toyota’s Entune software. You can’t access these services without a smartphone, so if you haven’t joined the 21st century and are still using a Motorola StarTac, you won’t be able Bing while you roll.  The audio quality from the base speaker package is merely average, if you care about your tunes XLE models can be had with the  $1,850 premium package which adds 13 JBL speakers (including a subwoofer) and a power moonroof.
The larger system uses a hard drive for navigation data and has a larger pre-programmed database built in. From a standstill in the Ford and GM crossovers, planting your foot on the throttle is a drama-free experience as the AWD system acts immediately preventing wheel spin in most circumstances.
Rather the modern crossover is trying to be everything to everyone, the perfect family hauler, cargo schlepper, weekend ski shuttle,  and commuter car all while trying desperately to look like anything other than a minivan or station wagon.
While I wouldn’t rank the Venza last in the entire segment, its age is starting to show and without some attention from Toyota to the interior quality and feel issues, the Venza will continue to sell largely on its reputation for reliable and dependable service.
Known for the smoothest ride among the big trucks, the Chevy Silverado also handles better thanks to its unmatched power and ease of driving when changing lanes and passing.
Ready to carry the family, a full load or a heavy trailer, the Silverado provides a smooth, comfortable ride, good power that doesn’t bog down and plenty of cargo space.
Just remember it is no more capable off-road than the Venza since they share engines, transmissions, AWD systems and have identical 8.1-inch ride heights.


On a functional level, the dashboard layout ranks low on my scale because of the three-display theme where the clock, thermometer, trip computer and climate readout are set high in the dashboard on a small LCD.
Nobody in this segment provides a huge range of motion or much lateral bolstering in their front seats but the Venza’s seemed particularly flat and thin.
Toyota has updated this system to allow the same Entune app integration and music device voice control as the lower-end unit, but there’s a catch.
The extra shove may cost you more initially but it won’t cost you much at the pump with the FWD V6 having an identical highway mileage score and dropping only one MPG in the city. The Venza on the other hand one-wheel-peels for a short while before the system sends power to the back. The result with the Venza is a fairly tall, softly spring crossover with a fuel efficient V6 engine and optional AWD.
The fact that this big truck weighs over 300 pounds less than the F150 helps here, but so does the stability control that adjusts as needed.
For more information about either of these trucks, please visit the official 2013 Ford F-150 or 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 website . Ford sold 128,000 Edges and GM pumped out a whopping 316,000 soft-roaders between the Equinox and the Terrain. In addition to this functional setback there is plenty of hard plastic in the cabin leaving the Venza at the back of the pack in terms of haptic bliss. With any vehicle purchase, try to get a long test drive or extended seat time at the dealer lot.
No, that goes to GM with their new touchscreen infotainment system that beats both systems in terms of response, graphics and the smoothness of the voice command interactions.
While this arrangement is slightly less refined, it is unlikely to cause much of a problem en route to the ski resort. While far from sloppy out on the back roads, the Venza tips, dives and rolls more than my sedan-biased preferences care for.
The Ford also has a larger turning radius making it more difficult to maneuver than the Chevy Silverado. Response times are snappy and the system’s accuracy was equal to the other systems on the market. Compared to the GMC Terrain, the Venza feels far less composed and despite being smaller than the GMC, it feels much larger on the road. Our tester’s dashboard had some ill-fitting trim and speaker grills which bugged me all week. Entune also allows smartphone app integration with the system so you can use the radio interface to control your Pandora streaming, search Bing for destinations and make reservations via Open Table.
Hopefully Toyota will refresh the Venza’s interior soon, although if you have kids that are rough on cars, hard plastic might be what you need, it holds up better in the long run. Originally compatible only with iOS devices, the system is now fully functional with most current Android devices.



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