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2009 Toyota Venza

Smooth and Spacious Family Vehicle

A three-quarter front view of a 2009 Toyota Venza

In short: A convivial crossover.

Toyota Venza Review

Combine the Latin word Veritas with Horizon; you get Verizon. Combine the word Venture with the name of the famed race circuit in Italy, Monza and you get Venza. What Toyota has done here is combine elements of a sedan, a station wagon and an SUV to deliver a true crossover. It would be a large vehicle for most European cities, but since the Venza was designed in the U.S. mostly for American customers, it should not be an issue, and in fact it works perfectly for a grocery trip to Costco or for hauling around members of the local junior soccer team.

Not necessarily ready for a Concours d'Elegance entry or a winning ticket at the Nurburgring, overall we still found the Venza to be pleasant, peppy, comfortable and full of utility. Lines flow smoothly for what could have simply been a box on wheels, and our tester's V6 with all-wheel drive kept us going swiftly and safely on sometimes wet pavement. Toyota has packed in key features long available on competing manufacturers' vehicles such as: active head restraints, automatic high-beams with high intensity discharge ($815) and a panoramic glass roof ($1,050) and there are plenty of others that should satisfy you. It earned a five-star rating for frontal crash and side crash and four-star for rollover from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

We liked it and think it should be on your list of cars to test drive if you're in the market for something different.

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion perforation.

Base Price: $29,250 / As tested: $33,869

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, all-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door crossover

Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with dual VVT-i
Horsepower: 268 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque: 246 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with sequential shift

Curb weight: 4,045 lbs
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Length/Width/Height: 189/75/63.4 in
Turning circle: 39.1 ft

ventilated disc in front; solid disc in rear; ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist
Suspension: MacPherson strut in front; dual-link MacPherson strut in rear
Traction: enhanced vehicle stability control and traction control

0-60 mph:8.8 seconds
Top Speed: 112 mph (governor limited)

EPA City:
18 mpg
EPA Highway: 25 mpg

driver and front passenger frontal airbags and seat-mounted side airbags; front and rear seat side-curtain airbags; driver’s knee airbag; front and rear crumple zones; collapsible steering column; direct tire pressure monitoring system; side-impact door beams; energy-dissipating interior trim

dynamic, fast, roomy
Dislikes: options make it a bit too pricey

A Toyota Venza concept vehicle on display at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show

A Toyota Venza concept vehicle at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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Photography: AlphaMedia

PSV112008 (Updated: 08/07/13 NW)