Toyota’s designed-for-North-America Venza crossover gets a mid cycle refresh for the 2013 model year, and it seems to be following the tried-and-true recipe of minor exterior changes enhanced by increased interior content.
Outside, expect to see a new upper and lower grille, new fog lights and revised taillights. Three exterior colors (Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica) have been added, and buyers can opt for freshly-styled 19-inch wheels.
Inside, higher-trim Venza models are available with Toyota’s Entune multimedia system
, which uses an owner’s smartphone to provide enhanced navigation, entertainment and information options.
Entune supports apps like Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, while providing up-to-the-minute information on traffic, weather, fuel prices, stocks and sports. The system also gives users access to Pandora and iHeartRadio, ensuring that occupants can always find music to their liking.
There’s a new interior color for 2013, as black joins the two colors (ivory and light gray) already available. Base (LE) models get cloth seating, while upper XLE and Limited trims get leather upholstery.
As before, the 2013 Venza
gives buyers the choice of four-cylinder or V-6 engines, as well as front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive layouts. Those wanting the best fuel efficiency can opt for a the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, as this combination returns an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
If it’s horsepower and traction you’re after, selecting the 3.5-liter V-6 and all-wheel-drive gets you 268-horsepower, while still returning fuel economy of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Both engines comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel-drive models benefit from an Active Torque Control system to maximize traction.
If safety is a concern, the Venza comes with the latest in electronic systems, including stability control, Brake Assist (which supplements applied braking power in a panic stop), and Smart Stop Technology (which overrides the accelerator when it’s applied simultaneously with the brakes). It comes with seven standard airbags, too.
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