If there's one positive aspect to the interior, it's the center console. Designers have done a great job in crafting a flexible storage system that's big enough for virtually anything you can throw at it. Purse? Sure thing. Wireless headphones for the rear-seat entertainment system? Absolutely. DSLR camera fitted an absurdly long lens? Yes; I was able to safely pack my Canon XTI underneath the cupholders, which slide fore and aft to provide access.

Does a fanciful compartment make a crossover the best in its class? Absolutely not. As my colleagues point out, the Venza isn't unattractive or bad to drive, but unless the fluidic styling speaks to you or you're pining for a tall Camry wagon, there's little that helps the Venza stand out in the crowded segment.

Evan McCausland

New Car Research

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