Passenger space; cargo versatility; smooth ride; fuel economy
The 2009 Toyota Venza is an all-new model, powered by either a fuel-efficient four-cylinder or powerful V-6 engine. The Venza takes on more curvaceous crossover sport-utility vehicles such as the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano. It slots in between Toyota's Camry sedan lineup and its Highlander mid-size SUV.
The new Venza combines the comfort and fuel economy of a sedan with the cargo capacity of a sport-utility vehicle while offering the versatile interior of a minivan. The Venza appeals to buyers who don't need all the space and utility of a taller, boxy SUV but more versatility than a sedan. Because of its tall roof, low floor and natural seating position, the Venza also stands as one of the easiest vehicles to get into and out of. Finally, it's one of the only vehicles like it to offer a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine.
The new Venza was designed, styled, and engineered in the U.S., built in Kentucky, and aimed specifically at the U.S. market. Like the Ford Edge and other newer crossover utility vehicles, the Venza has an arched roofline, flared fenders and a sleeker, sportier appearance than traditional SUVs. Overall, it has about the same parking footprint as the mid-size Camry sedan.
In some respects, the Venza feels designed from the inside out. The Venza has a little more ground clearance than most sedans, but it also has a taller roofline, which makes getting in and out a cinch. The interior, with twin bucket seats in front and a 60/40-split bench seat in back, seats five comfortably with plenty of cargo space in back--expandable if you fold the back seat forward.
Also inside there's a gently curved design theme to the instrument panel, and Toyota's so-called 60/60 cockpit design doesn't isolate the driver. Subtle patterned-and-grained plastics and trim surfaces make the interior appealing, and the seats are upholstered in corduroy or textured leather with contrasting piping.
Powering the new Venza is a new 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, making a respectable 182 horsepower, while a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine is available. With the V-6 the Venza can accelerate to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds, while the four-cylinder rewards with strong fuel economy of up to 29 mpg highway.
Both engines are offered in a single trim, with a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive version has Toyota's Active Torque Control system, which sends more torque to the rear wheels when needed for better traction. The Venza has a MacPherson strut front suspension and dual-link rear suspension. An electronic power steering system helps improve steering feel while also aiding fuel economy, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are standard across the line. The Venza can tow up to 3500 pounds.
Driving the Venza is much like driving a sedan, but with a higher seating position. Although the rearward view can be obscured due to the roofline, the view outward in front is good, with a nice, upright driving perch.
As the Venza comes in a single trim level, quite a few safety features that are typically optional are standard. Examples include dual-zone climate control, fog lamps, keyless entry, a universal garage-door opener and cruise control. Front side and full-length side-curtain airbags are standard, as are electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.
The options list is extensive, with most items grouped into rather expensive packages. Top options grouped in packages include leather upholstery, HID headlamps, a Smart Key system and a backup camera system, while standalone items include a panoramic roof, a DVD rear entertainment, a navigation system, and a JBL Synthesis sound system with Bluetooth interface.
Vehicle Price: 26,725.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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