Toyota Venza Origins
The Venza attempts, in part, to fill a gap in the market that seems to be widening as consumers turn away from the gas-guzzling SUVs, which enjoyed immense popularity during the 1990s and early 2000s. With car-like handling abilities, as well as passenger and cargo space comparable to that of a midsize crossover SUV, the Venza returns to the compact and midsize wagons that families favored in the early 1990s. The Venza is currently in its first generation.About the Toyota Venza
Although difficult to classify, most see the Toyota Venza as part car, part SUV, and part wagon. Toyota does not want the model to be regarded as a crossover. Perhaps it’s fitting that a vehicle with such a complex disposition be derived from a complex platform; indeed, the Venza floor plan combines elements of the Toyota Highlander and the Toyota Camry along with elements completely unique to the Venza. Although officially classified as a truck by the EPA, the Venza offers a driving experience akin to that of a car while also providing cargo and passenger space similar to that of an SUV.Toyota Venza Features
The 2012 Toyota Venza is a family-friendly vehicle that, while classified as a truck, bears much in common with crossover SUVs such as the Honda Crosstour and the Nissan Murano. The Venza accommodates up to five passengers and comes in three trim levels: LE, XLE, and Limited.
The LE version includes many standard features such as 19-inch allow wheels, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and a six-speaker sound system equipped with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack, and a USB/iPod input. The LE contains either a four-cylinder or a V-6 engine and either may be paired with front or all-wheel drive. Opting for the V-6 version of the LE adds 20-inch alloy wheels.
Meanwhile, the XLE version includes an anti-theft system with engine immobilizer, keyless ignition, keyless entry, a power liftgate, an improved trip computer, a rear-view camera, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a four-way full power passenger seat. The XLE also offers a choice of either the four-cylinder or V-6 engine and front or all-wheel drive.
Top-of-the-line Limited versions offer rear drive and all-wheel drive and come standard with the V-6 engine. Additionally, the Limited version includes all of the features found on the XLE version along with xenon headlamps, a panoramic sunroof, a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system, and a 13-speaker sound system with a CD player made by JBL.
Toyota offers a Convenience package for the LE that includes a power liftgate and a back-up camera. Also available for the LE, the Preferred package includes the addition of a panoramic sunroof. The Premium package for the XLE includes all of these features along with the JBL sound system. There is also a navigation package for the XLE that adds a navigation system and a JBL audio system.
A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard on all trim levels, engine choices, and drivetrains. Standard safety features for all versions of the 2012 Toyota Venza include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and front-seat active head restraints. The 2012 Venza earns a respectable rating of four out of five stars in government crash tests.
Reviews indicate that while the Venza may lack the performance and handling capabilities of many European sport wagons, it’s nonetheless easy to drive and generally provides a comfortable ride. Despite the Venza being a rather sizable vehicle, its four-cylinder engine moves it along nicely, but the V-6 certainly makes passing easier.
The Venza provides good interior space, and with the rear seats folded down, it offers an impressive 70 cubic feet of storage. With the rear seats up, the Venza can still handle 34.4 cubic feet of cargo. A large console bin and several smaller storage bins offer convenient storage throughout the vehicle’s interior. Other interior features include cup holders and a high-mounted shifter that helps free up more room in between the seats.Toyota Venza Evolution
The Toyota Venza remains a relatively new model that the brand just introduced in 2009. Since that time there have been few significant changes made to the model.