The five-seat Venza’s appeal will only be improved with more luxury and safety features.
The starting point is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder; a 268-horse V6 is optional; all-wheel-drive can be ordered with either powerplant.
Why didn’t Toyota call the Venza the Camry wagon? It doesn’t really roll off the tongue, now does it. So, by raising the body a bit and giving it a unique interior, Toyota gets another vehicle line that’s decently popular. The Venza’s interior is also similar to that of the Camry, although there are added storage spots throughout the cabin and the shifter has been relocated to the upper portion of the center console. The split-folding rear seats fold flat, but they also recline up to 14 degrees for extra comfort and can be manually folded from the open liftgatge using levers located on either side of the cargo bay. The Venza is fitted with a 181-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or an optional 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 matched to a six-speed automatic transmission (also Camry sourced). Power goes to the front wheels, although all-wheel-drive is available at extra cost. The Venza line consists of base LE, mid-spec XLE and the upscale Limited. Standard equipment is still generous, including dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls and a six-disc CD changer for the audio package. Nineteen-inch wheels are also standard, while 20-inchers accompany V6 models. Heading the options list is an upgraded interior with leather seats and wood-style trim, satellite navigation, rear-seat entertainment and premium audio systems plus automatic headlights that use sensors to switch to low beams from high when vehicles approach in the oncoming lane.
Base price (incl. destination): $28,750
Type: Four-door tall wagon
Base engine (hp): 2.7-liter DOHC I4 (181)
Optional engine (hp): 3.5-liter DOHC V6 (268)
Layout: Front-engine, front- /all-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic
MPG (city/hwy): 21/27 (2.7, FWD)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; driver’s-side knee airbag; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 3,870