By Jennifer Geiger on Tue Apr 03 05:03:57 GMT-06:00 2012
Competes with: Honda Crosstour and Ford Edge
Looks like: A lightly refreshed Venza
Drivetrain: 181-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder and 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
Hits dealerships: Late May
For 2013, Toyota's Venza sees its first significant update since it was introduced for the 2009 model year. The midsize wagon gets exterior styling tweaks and more standard and available features for the 2013 model year.
Exterior styling updates include a revised upper and lower grille and restyled fog lamps and taillights. Also new is the design for Venza's standard 19-inch wheels. They join three new exterior colors: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica.
The 2013 Venza reprises last year's LE, XLE and Limited trims. Powertrains also carry over from 2012: LE and XLE versions use either a standard 181-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder or optional 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. The V-6 is again standard on the top-line Venza Limited model. A six-speed automatic transmission also carries over.
The base LE is equipped with more standard features for 2013 like a blind spot mirror, puddle lamps, eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar, integrated turn signals in side mirrors, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with integrated audio controls and three 12-volt power outlets.
New standards for the top-line Limited trim include LED daytime running lights and premium navigation with Entune. The latter is newly optional on LE and XLE versions and provides access to mobile internet applications such as Bing, iheartradio, OpenTable and Pandora.
Pet-toting customers also have some new options this year. Dealer-installed pet utility accessories are available on the Venza and include a rear liftgate pet ramp, pet carriers, a booster seat with harness, pet buckles and waterproof seat covers. A new interior color also should appeal to pet owners: Black leather or cloth upholstery joins Ivory and Light Gray for 2013.
The 2013 Toyota Venza goes on sale in late May. No word yet on pricing.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer