The Toyota Venza debuted for 2009 as a large hatchback based on the Camry with room for up to five people. It's available with four-cylinder or V-6 power and can have either front- or all-wheel drive. It also has a large helping of standard safety features. Competitors include the Ford Edge, Mazda CX-7 and Subaru Tribeca.
New for 2012
Venza has a new lineup that consists of LE, XLE and Limited trim levels instead of just a base trim level with a choice of engines and front- or all-wheel drive. All drivetrain combinations are available on the LE and XLE, but the latter has more standard features. Among them are leather upholstery, heated front seats, push-button start, a backup camera and a power liftgate. The Limited comes only with the V-6 engine and adds a navigation system, panoramic glass roof and high-intensity-discharge headlamps.
A Towing Package is also available for V-6 models. It includes an engine oil cooler, larger radiator fan and a heavy-duty alternator.
Despite its practical hatchback body style, the Venza manages to look rather stylish in person. Credit the car's proportions and interesting rear styling, which features swoopy taillights. The front of the Venza is defined by a large grille that could easily be at home on an SUV. Exterior features include:
- 19-inch wheels standard
- 20-inch wheels optional
- Optional two-piece panoramic glass roof
- Optional power liftgate
The Venza's two rows of seats can be finished in cloth or leather. The 60/40-split rear bench seat features reclining backrests, and the sections can be folded using levers in the cargo area. Interior features include:
- Standard dual-zone automatic air conditioning
- Standard CD stereo
- Standard cruise control
- Standard tilt/telescoping multifunction steering wheel
- Optional touch-screen navigation system
Under the Hood
The base engine in the Venza is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that makes 182 horsepower and 182 pounds-feet of torque. A 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 268 hp and 246 pounds-feet of torque is available. Mechanical features include:
- Both engines run on regular gas
- Sole transmission is a six-speed automatic
- Front- or all-wheel drive
Safety features include:
- Standard antilock brakes that incorporate electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
- Standard electronic stability system
- Standard active front head restraints
- Standard side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Standard side curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver
- Optional Automatic High Beam system can determine if there is an oncoming car and switch from high- to low-beam headlights, then back again
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