I reviewed the new Toyota Venza a few months back and was impressed with it for a number of reasons. The one thing I loved about it was how much room was inside a two-row crossover. With plans for only two kids, I don’t see any reason for a third row, and I’m guessing since the average number of kids per household is 2.1 that many dads out there are like me.
Indeed, getting the rear-facing seat in back was a breeze.
Latch connectors are mildly easy to reach and secure. There’s a ton of room on either side of the seat when it’s mounted in the center. I didn’t have a second seat to see how the two do on either side.
The rear cargo area is also huge if you need to haul stuff, or pets. The driver’s seat is also extremely comfortable. My main nitpick are the huge wheels, 19 inch standard on four-cylinders, 20s on V-6 models, and the lack of a USB plug even on the top nav-equipped models. There are also some fit and finish issues which are rare in Toyotas, but I’ve seen it in more than one Venza so far. The price tag for the fully loaded V-6 AWD Venza with Nav and panoramic roof is $38,224.
A similarly equipped Volvo XC70 — a wagon I love — is $45,880 and they are plenty of deals to be had on that car too. I think I’d go Volvo especially with a good deal, despite reliability issues.