The Toyota Venza Combines Attractive Style with Great Capability
Intelligent design with lots of comfort.
It appears that Toyota will not make any major changes in the 2010 edition of the Venza. This may be a simple case of “why fool with a good thing”—which the Venza most assuredly is.
Now, other than being a real good thing, there is lively debate about exactly what the Venza is: Is it a wagon? Not exactly, though it possesses the comfort and cargo room of the best wagons. Nor is it a crossover, though you will also see and feel the best characteristics and capabilities of those vehicles in the Venza.
Simply put, the Toyota Venza is something else—a trendsetter in family transportation. Far from being technologically simple, Toyota has tapped its most current and sophisticated design and engineering to deliver a truly unique and highly desirable vehicle in the Venza.
As for its size and power, the Venza sits comfortably between two of its cousins in the Toyota stable – 4.7 inches shorter than the Highlander, 5.5 inches taller than the Camry. Like its cousins, it comes with either a 3.5-liter V6 engine—which is the same on all three vehicles—or a 2.7-liter inline-four, the same as in the Highlander with a little less horsepower.
In keeping with its somewhat-this-and-somewhat-that backstory, the Venza is noticeably more roomy than a Camry, especially for your shoulders and hips. Likewise, it offers far more cargo space than its sedan relative, the Camry, with 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat, expanding to about 70 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Where the Venza really carves out its own territory to shine is in the interior finish, which is superior in design and quality. The Venza’s center console with its simple and functional climate controls, its high-mounted shifter and multi-bin storage is both comfortable and extremely user friendly. It is an altogether well rounded and highly desirable vehicle.
The 2010 Venza will be offered in two trim levels (four-cylinder or V6), in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The base 182-hp 2.7-liter DOHC four-cylinder Venza will come with 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a steering wheel with both tilt and telescoping adjustments, auto on/off headlights, a power driver’s seat, rear privacy glass and a reclining and folding 60/40-split rear seat. Other standard features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, trip computer, universal garage door opener, and a six-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and, new for 2010, a USB interface. The 268-hp DOHC V6 Venza will offer these features with 20-inch alloy wheels.
Available options include a power tailgate, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, a power passenger’s seat, HID headlights, leather upholstery and steering wheel, heated front seats, heated mirrors, wood trim—even a windshield wiper deicer. Other options include a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system, rear-seat entertainment system and an upgraded 13-speaker surround-sound audio system with Bluetooth connectivity.
Both the four- and six-cylinder Venzas will be paired with six-speed automatic transmissions with overdrive. The V6 will turn out a strong 246 lb/ft of torque. EPA-estimated mileage for the front-wheel drive V6 model is 19 city and 26 highway. The 2.7-liter four-cylinder will deliver 182 lb/ft of torque with EPA-estimated mileage of 21 city and 29 highway.
Generous standard safety features on the Venza include stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, front-seat active head restraints and ample airbag protection including front-seat side, side-curtain and driver’s knee.
Comfortable and easy to drive, the Venza has highly responsive handling and a solid and sure-footed ride. Its electric power steering offers good touch and road feedback, and you will be hard-pressed to find another vehicle of this size that is easier to park.
As mentioned, the Venza carves out its own niche when it comes to fit, finish and creature comforts. The intelligently designed and highly functional center console creates comfortable space and plenty of versatile storage. Audio and climate controls are user-friendly, and a well-placed LCD screen offers plenty of helpful information including trip computer, climate control and optional backup camera display.
The Venza does offer plenty of passenger comfort, especially in the rear seats, which recline nicely. Sample the comfort with a test drive. MSRP for the 2010 Toyota Venza begins at $26,295.
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