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Subaru Outback vs. Toyota Venza

Being a Subaru owner myself, I view the Venza as a copy of the Outback's whole concept. Outback is an SUV-themed wagon version of Subaru's midsized sedan (Legacy) just as Venza is a SUV-themed wagon version of Toyota's midsized sedan (Camry). But that's just my opinion. How do you think the two cars compare and which do you think is better, and why? What do you think are the pros and cons of both?


  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,553
    IMO, it would make more sense to delay this comparison until the larger 2010 Outback debuts.

    As it stands now, we would be comparing a 5 year old Outback to a "new" Venza.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    I have a Tribeca and an OB, I sat in the Venza while I was waiting for the wifes Sienna a t the Toyota dealer. the venza is much bulkier than an OB more Tribeca height, and wider etc. they had 18in wheels on the AWD version on the showroom floor and the sticker price was in the mid 30s+!
    for the price I'd get an OB, especially if the new 10 OB is as big inside as advertised. if you only need a FWD wagon, the Venza may be a good choice.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    I have to wonder: Toyota owns 16% of Subaru. Subaru plant in Indiana where Outback comes from also makes Camrys for Toyota. And, future Toyota Supra (awd) is being co-developed by Toyota and Subaru. So, anyone else think Venza and new Outback look enough alike to wonder if Venza and Subaru co-developed this chassis?

    I thought seriously about buying a 4-cyl. Venza a few months ago, and passed because of ridiculous wheel and tire choice by Toyota. There are only two manufacturers that make tires for that size, and they are both sub-par. Thanks to a little announcement from Subaru, I waited and now I may be able to get a nice AWD, 4-cyl vehicle, with a 6-speed manual, for several thousand $$ less than Venza. And have decent tires.
  • bozybozy Posts: 8
    Now that the new 2010 Subaru Outbacks are out, how would you compare these with the 2010 Venza? Any opinions?
  • dboedboe Posts: 69
    I am at a similar crossroads. I like both cars, and dollar for dollar they come out quite close in price (I am considering NO Navi or moonroof for either one) for 6cyl models.
    Handling is a mixed bag IMO. I don't care for the lack of road feel in the Venza...I don't need steering to be THAT effortless. But there is less body roll than in the OB.
    Overall, I think the V is a better ON road handler while weak in feedback.
    Power is similar. I like the sound of the boxer engine, but the Toyota definitely has some guts.
    Braking is good, I think the V seems to stop a bit shorter but the OB seems a easier to control.
    When it comes to AWD, I give it OB .. especially if you plan to do any intentional off-roading. Subaru has had a proven system for a long time.
    The ride is similar IMO. The Venza a little harsher on tar strips, etc. likely due to those humongous wheels. I would consider a tire/wheel change when the originals are worn down. You should be able to drop an inch with a higher quality performance tire with a higher profile to maintain the same overall diameter.
    Fit & finish are very good on both cars I spent some time with.
    I was looking closely at the new 2011 Kia Sorento. You get lots for your money. I really like the fact that any upgrade at all gets you rear bumper sensors for backing up. I am not totally enamored with back up cameras. Both features would be best. No to mention built in Bluetooth, another area some of these manufacturers like to nickel & dime you.
    But Kia is 2nd tier to Hyundai...I know both companies have improved significantly, but overall quality especially of Honda and Toyota, is hard to beat. In spite of the recent recall. In fact, this recall may well provide more incentives for bring customers back to Toyota, and if they are smart will be on a roll to improve existing quality. I am not doing any serious shopping before late Spring, so I hope to work this to my advantage. I am leaning towards the Venza, and probably FWD for the few times I think I would ever need AWD.
    I can't imagine anyone not being happy with either car. I have not tried the 4cyl version of either. But just reading the specs, I would expect the Venza to have more guts. But I understand the 2.5i OB is very popular.
    BTW, the 2011 OB is due out in Spring. You would be very lucky to find a 3.6R on a lot now. But 4cyl should still be available.
  • We have both! My SO fell in love with her friend's 2006 OB and decided that was what she wanted. We knew the 2010s were going to be larger, but until we actually saw one we didn't know it would be THAT big. The whole feel of the OB was so different from the 2005-2009 OBs she just didn't like it. Since we were at a Toyota/Subaru dealer we decided we might as well look at the Venza. Our local Toyota dealer had tried to sell her on the Venza before they came out, but she thought they were too SUVy ( she wanted a station wagon...not an SUV, a real
    station wagon). When she actually looked at and drove the Venza she fell in love.
    Our local dealer made us a great deal on a 4 cyl 2wd no frills Venza and she was
    happy. If Subaru had left the OB as it was in 2009 she be driving the OB now.
    .........So I got the Outback! Not the 2010, but a beautiful low miledge 2006, and
    I'm ecstatic. We use the Venza mostly for long highway trips, and I drive the OB daily to work. What a treat.
    I actualy think a better compaison would be between the Venza and the Tribecca. I think Subaru is ruining the OB by going for that market. If they want to compete with the Venza-Lexus RX-Murano-Edge-Santa Fe-Sorento-etc they could tweak the Tribecca or tart up the Forester. Leave the OB alone!
  • brioboybrioboy Posts: 24
    This forum is getting a bit old but I have had the same dilemma - if my 06 Highlander Hybrid packed it up one way or another, which to choose? I don't realy like the bigger size of the new Highlanders. My Toyota service manager has acknowledged that Venza AWD comes in a poor second to Outback in snow and ice - all Subarus are AWD and better clearance. Perfect for us at Whistler.
  • ksayersksayers Posts: 59
    edited May 2012
    Here's another point to consider... if you are in snow/ice often, and need to buy tires for the Venza, check the rim size. Be prepared to shell out about $17-1800 for 4 decent tires, installed. I am sure the graphic artists and 17 year olds like 20 inch rims but they come with a heavy price tag.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 123
    I respect your opinion brioboy, but the pre 2010 Outbacks never appealed to me. I had a 2000 & 2004 Forester, which were good cars. I traded the 04 for a 2010 OB, cross shopping a Venza. I'm a Toyota fan, having had 3 including a 2005 Avalon, the best sedan I've ever owned. (Still have it.) The Venza was more car than we needed and much more expensive. The 2010 is a great all around performer. Decent power, very good fuel economy, comfortable. The AWD performance is first rate. Just a difference of opinion. Enjoy your rides.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..all Subarus are AWD....."

    Yes, but which type, implementation? Subaru seems to have about 3 versions of AWD depending on the model. The WRX, for instance, has a totally non-functional VC implementation of F/AWD, absent the TC "off" capability it likely wouldn't be functional at all on the slippery stuff.

    "..and better clearance..."

    Again, depends on the model.....

    If wish to buy a truly SAFE and fully functional "awd" then look to the R/awd systems. None of those have need to re-apportion engine torque to the rear, AWAY from the front, such that directional control can be maintained or asserted.
  • btg1btg1 Posts: 3
    See this to see how much better than Subaru awd is
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