We recently tested Toyota’s Venza, a car that looks suspiciously like a CUV. However, don’t go into the Toyota dealership asking to see the Venza SUV or minivan, because the salesmen, if he knows his stuff, will immediately correct you with something along the lines of, “looks are deceiving, the Venza is actually a car.”
Now you may ask, “where do they get off calling this a car?” The answer comes in the roots of the Venza’s styling. Like most of Toyota’s vehicles, the Venza’s base style and shape comes from the ever-popular Camry sedan. However, the Venza is much more open than your typical sedan, with a minivan-like interior feel (and storage space), plenty of cupholders, and a panoramic roof. Toyota even went so far as to include an armrest that is perfect for those who live out of their cars, with plenty of storage that can be configured to your liking.
We tested the 3.5L V6 engine that produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 245 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm (18 mpg city/25 mpg highway). Basically, this is a practical car that is still fun to whip around in. The V6 model, with AWD and fully-equipped runs around $38,200. If that is a little pricey for you, you can opt for the FWD 4-cylinder (21 mpg city/29 mpg highway) that starts around $25,675.
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