Toyota’s Prius, Camry and Venza, OH MY!

When my mind isn’t preoccupied with water-woes, wondering when our electricity will come back and and oh I don’t know,  my busy almost 4 year old, my mind wanders to the same thing every time.


Seriously, ever since I’ve started my partnership with Toyota and especially since I flew down to Toyota Headquarters and test drove some cars at the beginning of this month, I can’t stop thinking about them.

I may have a problem.

It may require an intervention…Or a new car.

When I was in Torrance, CA at ToyotaUSA headquarters I drove the Prius V, the newly redesigned Camry SE and, my favorite, the Venza. I also spent quite a bit of time checking out the Hybrid Highlander and the Sequoia.

I know I touched on the driving in my last post about my trip, I really wanted to tell you more about them…

Toyota Prius C

The PriusV {as in, the letter V, not five, like I thought} is one of the new members of the Prius family. The “V” literally stands for versatility. And I can see where they got that name. Out of all of the members of the Prius family, this one is definitely the most versatile & family friendly. It’s the biggest of the bunch, but still gets good gas mileage (40-44 mpg). There’s plenty of room for big car seats in the back seat and a decent amount of cargo space.

All that being said? I don’t think it’d be the winner for our family. For one, apparently I’m a total lead foot and based on the drive I took it on? I was only getting gas milage in the mid-30s. It’d take some definite adjustment in my driving to get used to driving the Prius…or any Hybrid for that matter. Have you ever driven one? It totally weirded me out how it switched from electric to gas and back again. The other main thing is that our dog wouldn’t be able to really fit in the back very comfortably on any extended family outings.

On a side note, the Prius C and the Prius Plug have both been launched this month! The Prius Plug is Toyota’s answer to the electric car…and it’s a pretty nice answer, if you ask me! I totally would have taken this for a spin if there was one when I was driving the cars. The Prius C is a cute compact version of the Prius starting UNDER $20,000 and getting up to over 5o mpg!

See how cute it is? The car, people…not the crazy bloggers…look past the crazy bloggers!

Toyota Prius C

Anyway, moving on…

The Camry SE was pretty sweet. The SE is their sport model so it was all sorts of fancy. Way fancier than we would have in a car, but way fun to drive. It had the option of on the steering wheel shifting for those smart and coordinated enough to do that {ie: NOT me}. I love that over 90% of Camrys {Camrees? Camries? Cam-rys?} are built from raw material to finished product right in the US! The new Camry also has Toyota’s new entune system that syncs your smartphone to the car so you can listen to your Pandora and lots of other fancy stuff like a gas station & restaurant locator. And everyone knows a Camry pretty much runs FOREVER! Obviously, it wouldn’t be very 65-lb Husky-Wolf friendly, but we do have 2 other vehicles that we could take if we needed to load up the entire family. All in all, a great car that will definitely be on our list to look at further when the time comes to buy a new car.

But my favorite, FAVORITE car out of all of them was the Venza! I remember when the Vena first came out, Andy mentioned liking the body style. To be honest, I was shocked that he said that. So, knowing that Andy liked it based on looks alone it was on my list to drive. I freaking LOVED it! Everything about it. It drove nice. It had great power. It wasn’t a “car”.

Toyota Venza Steering Wheel

It had fantastic cargo space, enough for the dog! And the room in the back seat? Seriously amazed me. No joke…I adjusted the front driver’s seat to my preferences (I have long legs) then got in back…there was MORE room in the back than I needed in the front. Serious bonus points when it comes to accommodating bulky car seats and eventually kids with long legs like their parents!

Toyota Venza Back Seat

Hard to tell, but SO! MUCH! SPACE!

I can’t wait to get Andy out to our local Toyota Dealership to take it out for a spin. I know he’d love it as much as I do.

The only draw back I found for our family is the price. Out of all the vehicles we’d likely be considering for our new car, it’s the most expensive. But considering we keep our vehicles for long periods of time, it’d probably be worth it. Now to just get that money tree growing on the back of the property…

If I had to to it all over again, I would have driven more of the cars because seriously? SO MUCH FUN!

There’s actually a Ride & Drive event this weekend in the Portland, OR area! If you’re free on Sunday you should go check it out and see for yourself. Rumor has it the new Prius Plug will be there!

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

5 thoughts on “Toyota’s Prius, Camry and Venza, OH MY!

  1. BloggerFather

    We just got the V last week. It's beautiful on the outside and I loved the way it drove, and finally we won't have to worry about space for suitcases.

    The olive green + orange + blue dashboard lights, though, are something I'll have to get used to, I guess.

  2. Pingback: Parents Magazine Announces their Picks for Best Family Cars of 2012

  3. Sevenska bil

    On mind is working lots of excitement to get the article with some amazing picture which has changed my mind and i am gonna very happy that i have got your wonderful content about the Toyota’s Prius. Thanks a lot mate.


    I enjoy you information. Since 2000 Indonesia was lunch Camry Hybrid. It's took place in Indonesian hart. Camry is future car. Anyway, Prius is very good also. I like too much the car


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