Toyota Crossovers Guide

Select a Model (2 Available)
Toyota Venza

Year: Starting at $27,700 MPG 19-26 Americans love their Toyota Camry. Americans also need versatility in their family vehicles. So how better for Toyota to satisfy them all than with a Camry wagon? Unfortunately, the senselessly stigmatized station wagon would never sell, not even if it was based on the beloved Camry…that is, unless Toyota botches up, calls it a crossover, and calls it something other than “Camry wagon.” Enter the Venza, Toyota’s answer to American Camry lovers who really need a wagon but just can’t bring themselves to actually drive one. As with the Camry, the Venza is a very good car that offers Lexus-like quietness and a spacious and nicely assembled and somewhat austere cabin. It is available in three trim levels and behind its new headlamps and gaping, chrome-drenched grille is choice of fuel-efficient four- or six-cylinder engines. Something the Venza does not inherit from the Camry is a hybrid version, but it does trump its sedan sibling by offering all-wheel drive. The Venza also provides its occupants with a taller-than-usual seating position for excellent outward vision, at least to the front (rear vision is hampered by thick pillars), while ample storage awaits out back. Families needing a third-row seat and/or an even better view of the road ahead could look at the Highlander (which, incidentally, is also Camry-based) but they won’t get as car-like an experience as offered by the Venza. …
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Toyota Sienna

Year: Starting at $24,655 MPG 18-25 Of the five major minivans on the market today, Toyota’s Sienna is arguably the most sterile. Huge, clean, and full of storage cubbies and sliding things, the Sienna could double as a hospital if it only came with a gurney. But there’s more to the Sienna than just seats and space. Five trim levels are available, ranging from basic to truly luxurious, with a surprisingly decent-looking SE model adding a touch of sportiness to the lineup. As with most of its competitors, the Sienna can host up to eight at a time, with seats that can be inclined, reclined, slid, stowed, and flattened in countless combinations. One particularly cool feature is the 16.4-inch-wide, remote-controlled rear entertainment screen that can play two different videos side by side. Another is the nifty front center console that can be slid rearward so second-row occupants can reach it. The sole powerplant is Toyota’s smooth and quiet 266-horsepower V6, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, which helps it achieve a respectable 18/25 mpg city/highway fuel economy rating from the EPA. The Honda Odyssey may be better-looking and the Chrysler Town & Country more fun to drive, but neither will have an easy time keeping up with the Sienna on a snowy road, as the Sienna is the industry’s first minivan to offer all-wheel drive (although choosing one so equipped drops fuel economy by two miles per gallon). If there’s a bone to pick with the Sienna, it’s that it is simply not very emotional. But then again, what hospital is? …
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