The Ultimate Crossover. Toyota Venza 2009
The 2009 Toyota Venza is a crossover vehicle, it combines the best of a car with that of an SUV. This marriage has created an original, evolved, and fresh crossover vehicle for 2009. It is a very, very good crossover. It is comfortable, roomy and carries smooth performance that handles extremely well in slippery conditions. The features are evolved in the Venza and it carries a load of fresh ideas. For that consumer looking for a crossover vehicle that carries new ideas and comfortable styling that just makes sense, opt for the Venza.
Full Review 2009
The all-new 2009 Toyota Venza is spacious, like a minivan. The Toyota Venza is built on the Camry platform, and made in the same plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. The Venza is more original than that, and more functional, loaded with a mix of highly evolved features and fresh design ideas.
In simplest terms, the Venza is an upscale car, with a roomy, cleverly designed interior, that can handle lots of the tasks SUV owners might have become accustomed to. It's a family car, a good daily runabout that's easy to drive and park. Venza is available with either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6, both backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. It's available in all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive configurations.
The optional engine for the 2009 Venza is the 3.5-liter V-6, which makes 268 hp at 6200 rpm, and 246 pound-feet of torque at 4700 rpm.
On the road, the Venza feels like a car. It rides smoothly and quietly and steers easily. We were impressed with its stability on slippery roads, whether equipped with all-wheel drive or not. Although there are some SUV attributes, such as the higher seat height and a high degree of cargo versatility, from the driver's seat you'd swear you were in a four-door sedan.
Trim and Available Features
Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery; dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and second row seat vents; cruise control; six-disc CD changer with roof-mounted XM satellite radio antenna; AM/FM audio with MP3/WMA playback and six speakers; tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel with integrated audio controls; vanity mirror; power windows with auto up/down function and jam protection on all four doors; cargo tonneau cover; rear personal overhead lamps; dual exhaust; 14-degree rear seat recline; rear spoiler; integrated fog lamps; HomeLink; rear windshield wiper; electrochromic rearview mirror with compass; and cargo area one-touch forward-fold seat levers.
It comes standard with 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Also standard are multi-projector-beam headlamps with auto on-off; integrated fog lamps; power outside mirrors; chrome exhaust tips; UV reduction glass windshield, privacy glass on two rear side windows and back window; variable intermittent windshield wipers; rear window intermittent wiper; remote keyless entry system; carbon fiber interior trim; overhead console with map lights; center console with sliding cover and armrest; rear seat personal reading lamp; 12-volt auxiliary power outlets (two front, one cargo area).
Stand-alone options for the 2009 Toyota Venza include navigation system ($2590); JBL Premium Audio ($1090); a panoramic roof ($1050); rear-seat entertainment ($1680); and Blizzard Pearl paint ($220).
The Leather Package ($1600) includes leather-trimmed seats, shift knob, steering wheel with satin-mahogany wood-grain style trim; the Security Package ($570) features backup camera and anti-theft alarm; the Convenience Package ($860) adds a power rear lift gate and Smart Key; the Lighting Package ($815) adds HID headlights and automatic high beams; the Tow Prep Package ($220) includes engine oil cooler, heavy duty fan, larger alternator. The Comfort Package ($2100) combines the Leather Package with heated seats and mirrors. Accessories include racks, cargo nets, floor mats, wheel locks, and an extensive assortment of pet travel products.
Safety equipment is comprehensive, and includes seven air bags; Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC); active headrests (front). Also standard in all models is Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) systems with a cutoff switch, plus Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. A tire-pressure monitor system and child protector rear door locks are standard.
Smooth, fluid lines and aerodynamic sculpting characterize the Toyota Venza, which is slightly shorter and lower overall than most crossovers we've been in.
Viewed from the front, a high, wide grille that flows into flame-shaped headlamps functions to accentuate the overall wide stance of the car. In profile, the Venza appears sleek and contemporary, thanks to low rocker panels and narrow doorsills, much more like a car than a SUV.
Styling and Interior Features
The Toyota Venza is intended to be a refined, potentially luxurious alternative to a five-passenger sedan. The Venza is easy to get into, because the step-in height is quite low, same as a Camry, but the higher roofline makes entry easier for taller people. Seat quality is appropriate for a car that might convey a family and their pets on long-distance drives. The seating position is a tad higher than the average car, more like a minivan, which affords easier visibility of the road ahead. It takes only a moment to adjust for legroom and seat angle, set the mirrors, and select Drive.
The shift lever is canted slightly to the driver's side. There are two interior colors: ivory or light gray.
Twisting stalks for lights, wipers and washers, and cruise control are mounted on the steering wheel.
The center console is designed to be simple, clean, and uncluttered. It contains low-relief, soft-touch controls for the information center, the audio system and the HVAC (heating/air conditioning) system. The back row seats are surprisingly accommodating. While the Venza is wider and taller overall than the Camry, it shares the same wheelbase, and the same overall length. These dimensions make the Venza appear wider and lower, more powerful, and permit increased hip room, head room and a higher seating height. The Venza is thoughtfully designed for people with pets. Among the available accessories are a selection of pet products, including a travel harness, rear pet barrier, a pet tent for smaller dogs, and seat cover for the rear bench seat.
First Drive 2009
On the road, the Venza feels very much like a car, and not much like a truck. In ordinary driving it rides smoothly and quietly, just like a car, steers easily, and seems as quiet as a Camry. We drove smoothly from place to place, wipers and headlights on, observing speed limits between 35 and 55 mph, with minimal need to concentrate. The Venza sits a little higher off the ground than a Camry, so there is a bit more body lean in the corners, but suspension travel is more like a car than an SUV, so the car transitions from side to side cleanly and easily.
We were impressed with the stability of the Venza on steep, curving roads covered with wet leaves. As the day wore on, we tried out both four-cylinder and V6 models, and all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive versions, and drove the now-familiar roads harder, occasionally hitting speeds up to 70 mph. The Venza is not designed to be an off-road vehicle, although it does have 8.1 inches of ground clearance, comparable to compact SUVs.
The new Toyota Venza combines the virtues of cars and SUVs resulting in a
vehicle that's nice to drive and easy to live with."Truth be told, the Venza
makes the average SUV look like yesterday's news. It won't tow like an SUV or go
off-road like a Jeep. But for everything else, it's a breath of fresh air." says
Automobile Magazine The Venza seats five, can
carry cargo, and should work well for hauling dogs around."Toyota wants buyers
to think of Venza as a car. Bad news, guys: The Venza is not a car. It's a
crossover. But there's good news, too: It's a very, very good crossover." adds
About.com It's roomy and
comfortable and climbing in and out is easy. It offers good, smooth performance
and handles well in slippery conditions.