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

J.G. Pasterjak 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 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 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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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder PowerDork
4/14/09 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
4/14/09 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
4/14/09 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
4/14/09 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
4/20/09 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
4/23/09 5:13 a.m.

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

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UberDork
4/24/09 2:28 p.m.

THIRTY EIGHT HUNDRED AND HOW MANY POUNDS?!?

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 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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