2009 Toyota Venza New Car Reviews

This car rolls on 20s. Call us conservative, but we'd have preferred something a little more sublte.
The interior is plush, but you have to pay for it.
While there's not much to see under the hood, the equipment helps to provide a decent towing capacity.
Apparently one sunroof is not enough.

Better than: VW Passat wagon
But not as good as: Subaru Outback 3.0R Limited
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 78.86  

Now that SUVs are synonymous with the devil, crossover vehicles have become the weapon of choice for soccer moms everywhere. Toyota's latest entry seems to have been built just for these über-consumers.

While the Venza's styling bridges the gap between wagon and SUV, the look is decidedly more car than truck. However, the elevated seating position and 3500-pound towing capacity offer a nice transition for car shoppers who are trading in their small SUVs.

Other staff views:

JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director:

I LOVED this car until I saw the price. Like our Mazda5, it's a vehicle that more people should be driving instead of Escalades and Tahoes, but probably won't see the popularity it deserves. It probably also won't see the popularity it deserves because of a rather steep price curve. Yes, dealers are advertising them in the mid-20s, but out test car stickered out near $45,000. That's a lot of money for practicality. Sure is cool, though.

Per Schroeder PowerDork:

I liked the Venza a lot—I've been saying for years that Toyota should just bring back the Camry wagon..and they did! Unfortunately, it's a little uglier in the nose region and the 'way back' is a little smaller than I'd like. Let's not fool ourselves: If you're going to make a wagon, go whole hog and make the way back big enough to fit real stuff.

other than that...love it. Like the 3500lb tow capacity too.

Tom Heath UberDork:

I liked the Venza just enough to give it a thumbs up, but I think there are other products that I would choose first. 3500 pounds of towing capacity would be enough for a pair of Jet Skis, but not quite enough for a Miata on a trailer.

And did we really need dubs? I think a 16 or 17-inch wheel and tire package would be a better solution.


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Reader Comments:

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
April 14, 2009 8:03 a.m.

JG is very fond of hyperbole. The Venza we tested stickered for 38,305. It was top-o-the-line. It had the 4300 premium package and the 2600 nav system. Our local Toyota dealer has a bunch of more basic V6 AWD ones for the low-mid 30s.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
April 14, 2009 8:18 a.m.

Not a 4, it's a V6. Same thing happened with the Ford Flex review. It's fixed now, but something must be happening with the data when the form goes live.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
April 14, 2009 8:47 a.m.

OK, wow, that makes a lot more sense. I'm glad the review is so positive because this is the first remotely stylish car Toyota has done in awhile. I love the panoramic roof.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
April 14, 2009 3:11 p.m.

I really like them, I'd rock one as a DD, if I didn't already decide that I needed more of a minivan.

Dav
Dav Reader
April 20, 2009 10:01 p.m.

I agree with the review. A coworker of mine just bought one--he paid $10,000 more than I just paid for a new 4x4, double-cab, 5.7L, Toyota Tundra. Granted, the Venza has a nicer interior and a few foo-foo options that I personally don't care about, but it illustrates the price issue.

ZOO
ZOO UltraDork
April 23, 2009 5:13 a.m.

I'd like one with a 4-cylinder, manual combo.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UberDork
April 24, 2009 2:28 p.m.

THIRTY EIGHT HUNDRED AND HOW MANY POUNDS?!?

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
Dec. 10, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Now that SUVs are synonymous with the devil, crossover vehicles have become the weapon of choice for soccer moms everywhere. Toyota's latest entry seems to have been built just for these über-consumers.

While the Venza's styling bridges the gap between wagon and SUV, the look is decidedly more car than truck. However, the elevated seating position and 3500-pound towing capacity offer a nice transition for car shoppers who are trading in their small SUVs.

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2009 Toyota Venza Specs:

Drivetrain Layout:
Front-engine, all-wheel-drive
Engine:
3.5 liter V-6
Horsepower:
268 bhp at 5200 rpm
Torque:
246 lb.-ft at 4700 rpm
Transmission:
manumatic
Suspension:
MacPherson strut front; multilink rear
Wheels:
20x7.5-in.
Tires:
245/50R20
Brakes:
12.8-in. disc (front)
11.7-in. disc (rear)
Weight:
3870 pounds
Price:
Base: $29250
As tested: $38305
MPG:
EPA City: 18
EPA Highway: 25

Staff Ratings:

Stock Performance:
Performance Potential:
Daily Driver Manners:
Fit and Finish:
Overall:

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