Toyota gave me an opportunity to drive one of their vehicles for a week.
This is my experience — in my own words.

Just to put things in perspective, my personal vehicle is a 9-year old SUV with 140,000 miles. Gas mileage is atrocious at about 15.5 in the city. Fortunately I work from home! So obviously I was excited when Toyota gave me a chance to drive a brand-new vehicle and blog about it.

toyota waco mural

For the past week, I’ve driven a 2014 Toyota Venza that arrived with just 150 miles — brand new! I loved the new car smell, the car-like drive, double sunroof, and especially heated front seats. I certainly didn’t expect to use those in April, but I did!

The sticker price on my Venza was $38,000, so it was certainly loaded — with a V-6 engine, Navigation Package, leather, and more. Base price starts at close to $28,000 for a 4-cylinder engine. With seating for 5, the Venza works well for an average-sized family or those couples who want more space to haul their equipment or hobbies.

We decided to hit the road over the weekend for a quick trip to Paris (Texas, of course!). My inlaws were moving out of their hometown, so it was bittersweet. As we drove north towards the Red River Valley, we discovered plenty of power outlets (always important on our road trips), 10 cup holders, and satellite radio, which was perfect as we drove in and out of towns. My daughter also appreciated the rear air vents, which many smaller SUVs do not have.

toyota inside

Toyota Venza

toyota venza collage

The Venza has plenty of cargo space in the back for luggage, groceries, or equipment. It also features some neat extras such as the Blind Spot Mirrors, Navigation System that comes standard, and dual control temperature options for the front-seat passengers. It was 46 degrees in Paris, so I definitely used the heated front seats. And got spoiled too quickly!

Few fun memories of the adventure:

Paris TX trip

Since it was probably my last time to Paris, I took photos of some of the landmarks I enjoy in town.

Paris Welcome sign

 Paris banner

downtown Paris square

And my absolute favorite — only in Texas!

Paris TX Eiffel Tower