Toyota Venza Years To Avoid & Best Years (Full Car Guide)

When we’re talking about cars, we rarely forget to mention Toyota, the brand known best for its reliability.

Their Toyota Venza, an SUV they made back in 2008 seems to be an exception to the reliability trend Toyota has, instead, the Venza has proven time and time again that it’s not the best SUV to spend your money on having several faulty models.

Today, we’ll be pointing out those exact ones, so you know which Toyota Venza not to waste your money on.

Before we get into the issues, we can’t forget to mention that after they released their second version of the Toyota Venza in 2020, there haven’t been many complaints. Now, meet the Toyota Venza.

Key Takeaways


  • Avoid the Toyota Venza 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 models
  • All models above suffer steering issues
  • All models above suffer brake issues
  • All models above suffer exterior and interior deterioration
  • All models above suffer electrical issues
  • Toyota Venza 2014 is the way to go

Meet the Toyota Venza

The Toyota Venza is a 5-seat, crossover SUV. A crossover SUV is not like your normal SUV, it’s not as good off-road, though it’s better than a usual sedan, and much more spacious having an almost minivan build. Produced in 2008, Toyota discontinued the Venza in 2015 due to insufficient sales, before resuming production in 2020.

There are 2 models of the Toyota Venza, the first ranging from 2008 to 2015, and the second from 2020 onwards. You have hybrid engines if you’re looking for lower fuel consumption. Let’s get into the years you should avoid.

Also Read: The Kia Soul Years to Avoid

Years To Avoid

Toyota Venza 2009

The main issue with the Toyota Venza 2009 is the steering. When you’re turning the steering wheel side to side, the tie rods allow the wheels to move in response, and when you’re doing this in the Toyota Venza, it’s very frequent that you’ll hear rattling and whining.

This means that there’s a manufacturing defect in the wheel bearings, tie rod ends, or ball joints which can also cause your steering wheel to decenter. These problems usually occur around 60.000 miles and are very costly to fix.

The 2009 model also shows some exterior issues, with color chipping relatively early, and there are often reported interior faults such as heavy wear-and-tear on low mileage.

Oftentimes, starting up the car can also be an issue, since the electrical department is not up to par either. These are the main reasons you should avoid the Toyota Venza 2009.

Toyota Venza 2013

The Toyota Venza 2013 hasn’t got many faults, but one it does have can put your safety, and wallet, in jeopardy. We’re talking about the brakes, more particularly the brake calipers. What the brake calipers do, is cause friction with the brake rotors that slow the wheels down.

Having even a single damaged brake caliper is dangerous since your breaking won’t be even, instead, it can make you drift uncontrollably and cause an unwanted accident.

You’ll also see your brake warning light up most times that it rains, telling you there’s a constant underlying issue with them. Weird noises when braking, worsened breaking ability, and fluid leaks are symptoms of damaged brake calipers that the Toyota Venza 2013 experiences.

With this comes steering problems too, steering rattles being a frequent report. This is not only a dangerous issue it’s also an expensive one, making this model one you should definitely avoid.

Toyota Venza 2015

Most issues of the Toyota Venza 2015 come with its structure, the interior, and exterior components to be exact. Water and air leaks are a problem that no 2015 car should have but oddly, the 2015 Venza suffers from these exact manufacturing defects.

When hitting a bump, you can hear the whole car’s plastic clatter, and feel like the interior loosens. The car equipment, such as the display, has freezing issues and the CD player is often unresponsive.

Just like the 2013 model, the brakes are a little faulty on the 2015 edition, though not nearly as bad. Steering issue reports are not rare for this model either. All in all, the Toyota Venza 2015 is a clunky car that’s not worth your money.

Toyota Venza 2011

The Toyota Venza 2011 is a bit of a mash-up of the issues the models above have. Steering problems can occur, and so can structure issues. The brakes are a fault on most Venzas, and this one’s no different. The main issue this model has though is electrical problems.

The tech equipment such as the display is prone to freezing up, and the electrical issues also cause problems with starting the car up.

Even though this model has no particularly big issue, you can expect a variety of small problems here and there that the other models experience making the Toyota Venza 2011 a frustrating, and possibly costly car to own.

Which One To Buy?

If you want to buy a Toyota Venza but can’t afford the newer model, your best bet on a used Venza would be the 2014 edition.

It has the least complaints out of any Toyota Venza, and it sure shows. The brakes, electronics, and steering faults are at a minimum on this model. There’s also not much exterior or interior deterioration. This makes the Toyota Venza 2014 the best one yet.

Also Read: The Miata Years to Avoid

Other Things To Note

Even though the Toyota Venza is a bit faulty, we want to make it clear that it doesn’t represent the Toyota brand as a whole.

Toyota holds its ground as one of the most reliable car brands out there, and you always have plenty of options that Toyota offers when looking for any type of car making it easy to find the model for you.

For Toyota SUVs you have the RAV4, the Highlander, and the Toyota Land Cruiser as practical and reliable options that you can hardly go wrong with.