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Discussion Starter #1
This morning's article in the WSJ is the first I've read that really slams the new Venza.

Basic complaints: Cheap looking/feel of leather seats; Lower that advertised ave. mpg's; Poor handling AWD in snow (described as worthless); Over-priced, over-weight Camry wagon wanna be (paraphrased here), poor fit in the existing line-up of models. The only positive was: model interior room.

The WSJ contributor/commentator apparently drove a new loaded Venza for a week and wasn't impressed. He didn't appear to be anti-Toyota and made good references to the Camry.

A single review doesn't a fact make but my limited test-driving experienced leaves me wondering what the longer-term driving experience would reveal.

Can anyone out there share their Venza ownership or driving experiences have been?

Thanks!
 

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I examined a Venza at a car show and while the styling is fantastic, I agree with the criticisms about it's cheap looking and feeling interior. Toyota's whole line up has gotten cheaper looking and feeling interiors in recent years and I base this on renting 3 Camry's. 2 Avalons, 1 Highlander, 1 Corolla, 2 Tundras and 1 Yaris. The Yaris was downright primitive compared to my comparitively luxurious 22 year old 1986 Corolla! And I also hate the zero road feel of Toyota's new electric power steering.

Meanwhile Nissan interiors have gotten plusher in recent years with padded dashes, door panels and velour armrests and ultra fine textured plastic trim panels and new technologies that work well like it's continuously variable transmissions. So driving a new Nissan gives one the feeling one is driving a new upscale car whereas driving a new Toyota is like driving a 1990's GM car where all surfaces are hard, minimally textured plastic. That, plus Toyota has scrimped on seat bottom length so thigh support is lacking. And roofs are so poorly insulated that you have to run the air conditioner longer in summer and the heater more in winter. Taken together, Toyota seems to be following more and more in GM's footsteps of letting the bean counters go wild with cost cutting for short term profits at the expense of long term buyer satisfaction and loyalty.
 

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Three generations of family have been Toyota owners. I will agree that the interiors have been downgraded, especially on their lower end cars. Although, I would hardly say they're worse then the competition. Nissan's interior seemed nice to me when my girlfriend bought one in '08. However, I found it to be not very durable when I installed her navigation. It had an unexplainable whistling noise, the passenger seat had a nice habit of dropping back a notch without notice, and the engine had an annoying tick after a few years. Needless to say we both were not fans. Finally when the passenger air bag randomly deployed on her boss and she'd had enough. She sold the car and bought a new Venza. I like the interior on it a lot better then any Toyota's my family has owned with one criticism. The dash material seems like the cheap material they use for the Scions. It was surprising to see, but even still I find it a more luxurious car. My opinion may change when I install her navigation but I really like the Venza.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
her's an update of my 25-months of ownership: I get a least the rated mpg's for my I4 - usually a bit more.

The interior is a bit inferior to our '10 RAV4 Limited....it could have been better designed as I believe it was design for ease of factory install to save time and $$$ I have not been dissapointed witrh my choice.

The one asperct of the car is the soft paint and it's propensity to pitting and chipping which is why 3M paint protection is a must for all leading edges of the car. This is not limited to toyota paint as it affects all manufacturers.
 
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