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2009 Toyota Venza Crossover



  • milkman1milkman1 Posts: 80
    Not to get off topic, but the Accord based CUV is slated for US release before end of 3rd quarter this year, unfortunately beyond the window I am allowing myself to get a new car.

    Links: al/2010_honda_accord_cuv_spied
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    Your comment is acknowledged. Actually, I did not express myself very well. I am not especially interested in performance, and if you read several of my recent comments, you will see I am waiting to test drive the 4 cyl. I am just surprised that several have mentioned it is not as peppy as expected, which seems inconsistent with Toyota's advertisement.

    I am more concerned about the snow performance comments, and the 20 inch tires. I live in snow country, and winter traction is a must. And, I am interested in fuel efficiency.

    The above URL for the Honda CUV is a must see. But it will all depend on the details. I have owned both a Toyota and a Honda, and both are exceptional vehicles.
  • LSP972LSP972 Posts: 20
    Well, I was one initially disappointed in the "peppiness". Actually, I was a bit prematurely critical.

    Today I had to punch it to keep from getting sodomized by a DWHUA soccer mom in a Nissan van. Traffic was slowing for an upcoming red light; I saw this twit about 200 feet behind me, with her head down (on a cell phone, naturally), and she was NOT braking. I had an opening in the adjoining lane, punched it to keep from getting hit by the other vehicle just off my right rear, and jumped over. The other driver saw it coming and was cool about it.

    The non-driving... female... was oblivious to the whole thing. Talk about give the world for a photon torpedo launcher...

    Point is, the Venza responded immediately and crisply, with no hesitation. A street racer, it ain't; but I've got about 300 miles on the clock now, and the response is definitely up to what I was expecting. Dunno, maybe it was just sluggish at first.

    Road noise depends on the surface. I was on new, sharp concrete Sunday, and it was TERRIBLE. On smooth asphalt or polished (worn) concrete, nice and refined.

    Wind noise is negligible.

    I LOVE this ride. The sound system is primo; and I'm one who used to NEVER listen to anything while driving except for an occasional DVD. The satellite radio jazz stations have re-birthed my interest in cruising tunes. Naturally, I hear that Sirius XM has declared bankruptcy... :-(

    The keyless entry/start is just too cool. And the voice command system for the nav and BlueTooth, while a bit cumbersome, works without a hitch.

    This car has nooks and crannies to stash stuff EVERYWHERE. The center console interior is huge, and is actually two separate compartments.

    I did not want a full-blown SUV; yet, I need more space than your average sedan, to haul my radio control model aircraft. I was about to get a VW Passat station wagon when I saw a Venza.

    I am very glad I bought this car. It is quite nimble for being so boxy; and the ergonomics/accoutrements are first class.

    But I STILL think it needs the six cylinder.

    YMMV... ;)

  • david_k1david_k1 Posts: 39
    It is mostly a philosophical problem -
    I just can't see myself in an SUV - and yes the Venza is a form of SUV lite (or CUV - or as I like to call it, a Camry Wagon on steroids). The creature comforts and "car" like handling are also plusses over the Rav-4...
    I guess doing the Venza with a I4 is my way to offset the some of the "footprint".
  • mikeecfpmikeecfp Posts: 5
    I am not sure about your comment that the new Venza would be better with a V6. As far as I know the only car available is a V6 with either 2Wheel drive or AWD,
    Please clarify.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    As far as I know the only car available is a V6 with either 2Wheel drive or AWD,

    The Venza is currently available with a V6. The 4-cylinder model will be hitting dealers soon.
  • david_k1david_k1 Posts: 39
    For any Seattle Metro Venza folks I just noted what looks to be the 1st 2.7L 4cyl listed in the inventory of a Bellevue Dealer.
    Rather than name Names I'll let you-all research who that might be!!
    I may VENture over to drive it - decision time is nearing!
  • The "Auburn" dealer has one too.
  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168

    I stopped by the local Toyota dealer to pick up some oil filters for my Highlander Hybrid. I noticed a red 4 cylinder Venza on the front lot along with the V6 model. I took a quick look and like it better than the V6. The alloy wheels are more tasteful (IMO) compared to the 5 spoke 'gansta' wheels on the V6. Also the interior trim is a very good looking carbon fiber type unlike that phony looking 'wood' and the cloth seat trim is quite nice looking too. It was the base model with only floor mats and no other options. Since I'm not in the market for a new vehicle (my 2007 Highlander Hybrid only has 19K miles) I didn't test drive it.

    I'm sure those that have purchased a V6 Venza are very pleased with their vehicle and now that the I4 is arriving at dealers, it will give those considering a Venza another choice.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    Most interesting ... Thank you.

    My local Toyota dealer may be some time in getting a 4 cyl. They have only received 2 V6's, and neither has sold. As those of you (in more populated places) drive a 4 cyl, I would love to know your impressions. I am especially interested in noise. Does the 4 cyl protest loudly when merging into traffic? Also, does there seem to be less insulation?

    I had thought the 4 and the 6 cyl. would have identical options (save and except the 19 and 20 inch wheels).

    All of your recent comments, as well as Consumer Reports, has causing me to think a little more favorable about the Venza. Now, Toyota must cooperate a bit and be willing to deal. I can wait them out.
  • LSP972LSP972 Posts: 20
    What did Consumer Reports say?
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    You can read it at
    Follow the new - Toyota - Venza - Consumer Report

    The April issue is their "Best & Worst 2009 Cars" It is a comprehensive report that covers every aspect of the auto industry. Honda, Subary, Toyota, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nisson, Volkswagen, BMW, Hyundai, Volvo, Mitsubishi are all rated (in that order) before the first domestic company, Ford. See Automakers report card (page 15).
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    For an even better review, check out under Leisure. Or follow the following:,2933,500366,00.html
  • yurkoyurko Posts: 24
    You're correct that, while the I4 version comes with 19" wheels and the V6 version with 20" wheels, the options on both are the same. Having said that, I suspect that dealer-ordered I4 versions will tend to be less loaded than V6 -- at least initially -- in order to keep the MSRP's down.

    Some of the options are integrated. For example, if you want leather, you order the Leather Package, Comfort Package, Premium Package #1, or Premium Package #2. All 4 of these come with the fake wood trim ("satin mahogany wood-grain-style" trim in Toyota parlance). Thus, if you want leather, you'll automatically get the fake wood trim. Conversely, if you want cloth, you'll automatically get the "carbon fiber-style" trim.

    I've driven the V6 and like it a lot, although the power was less than I expected. I'm looking forward to the I4. The I4 is EPA-rated 2 MPG better in the city and 3 MPG better on the highway, than the V6 in both the FWD and AWD drivetrain configurations. We prospective buyers will have to determine for ourselves whether the power/mileage "trade-off" is worth it.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    First .. it's definitely an I4.

    Second .. IMO there is no need for the V6 :surprise:

    As noted above the options are essentially the same. The key difference is so minor as to be inconsequential IMO. At start up the sound is an I4 sound. At cruising speeds at 70 mph it's dead silent. The 6 speed tranny is very very well designed to the I4. I used it in standard 'D' mode and Sequential mode. Both were smooth and flawless.

    With the 19" wheels it didn't feel as stiff and bouncy as the 20"-ers on the V6.

    I don't see much of a need for the V6 for the type of cruising driving that I might do. It would be dead silent and responsive at 80 mph as well as 70 mph.

    I think that I actually like the 'chocolate' carbon fiber interior accents more than the 'plood'.
  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168
    Thanks for giving us your impression of the I4 Venza test drive. As you stated, many don't really need the power of the V6 in most driving situations and the smaller wheels (19") give a smoother ride. Unfortunately for me, I have excellent hearing and notice every little noise/sound so the I4 may seem harsh in comparison to the V6. My Highlander Hybrid is very quiet but can get a bit roudy when accelerating briskly. It does that with very little effort I might add. We are in agreement about the carbon fiber interior trim - I thought it gave a more contemporary flare to the interior (over the wood trim) which complements the rather stylish exterior. Maybe if the wood didn't look so phony it would be OK but some equate wood trim (real or otherwise) with luxury. Even though I'm quite pleased with my current Highlander, I may give the Venza a test drive in the near future.

    Thanks again for your most appreciated input.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    I feel the same way about the power. Sure I'd like it, and might even use it if I had it. But I don't need it.

    See, I currently own a 4-cylinder '07 Highlander. Yes, the engine is more coarse than the then-optional 3.3L. But I can cruise at 85 mph with no problem. Climbs any hill I've ever tried. At 70 mph there's no engine noise anyway. And when it happens that I do hear the engine, and I notice, and I care about it, here's what I do. I just think about the fact that someone is paying me to ignore it. That someone is ... me. It adds up to $1000 or maybe even $2500 over the time I have this vehicle. I earn it, and I get it, buy making a choice about what I buy.

    I kinda like the fact that it reduces the amount of poison I pour into our world as well.
  • Today I took the time to drive the V6 then the 4Cyl and then the V6 again. The first thing you notice is the noise & vibration, the 6 is definately quiter, smoother and peppier over the 4. The 4 can hold it's own getting on the expressway and accelerating in traffic but you have to put your foot in it. The 6 sp trans really helps, but the 4 seems to strain while the V6 seems to accelerate effortlessly in comparison - go figure. I have been waiting till the 4 was out to make my decision, and now am leaning towards the 6. Just my 2 cents...
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    That's exactly what I want to do - drive 'em both back to back. Does the dealer seem more willing to deal on one or the other? Are both vehicles similarly equipped - did they load up the V-6 more than the I-4?
  • david_k1david_k1 Posts: 39
    We are awaiting word from the dealer closest to our house that they have a I4 on the lot.
    We too will drive a 4 and compare to the 6 and then pull the trigger next weekend with luck. I gotta say, I still love on-ramps with our 850 Turbo Volvo Wagon. But the trip computer on the 850 over the past 3000 miles has AVERGE speed at 18.8 MPH!! I gotta be realistic here and think about how this auto is REALLY going to be driven vs. the occasional on-ramp I might encounter. This is to be the family car, mostly moving the kiddo from point A to point B and back again - MY 4 cyl Toyota Tacoma handles that job OK -
    But, the SIX is SO nice!!
    Oh the dilemma!!
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    More random thoughts about my Venza (AWD V6/Premium Package #1/JBL) after two weeks of ownership:

    Rattles: I have at least two: one in the dash (driver's side) and one coming from the passenger side cargo area. The one in the driver's side door seems to have gone away. I'm a little disappointed with the rattles; however, my 05 4Runner also required multiple trips to the dealer to resolve rattles when I purchased it, so I'm not attributing this to the Venza being a 1st year model or because of the plant it was built at.

    Steering: The "numbness" is really apparent when turning the wheel while stopped or at low speeds. It reminds me of my parent's old Oldsmobile, where you could turn the wheel with your pinky. However, at speed, there's much more firmness and feel.

    Fuel Economy: My first tank of gas worked out to around 17.8 MPG.

    Technology: My favorites: Smart Key, backup camera, and power hatch. All three have proven extremely useful. I feel a lot more confident backing into parking stalls (still got to be careful, of course). Least useful (so far): Automatic high-beams. Haven't used them at all (HID low-beams are more than bright enough).

    iPod Holder: While I wish I had a native iPod connection, putting the iPod (with the regular click-wheel, not the touch or iPhone) in the holder provides relatively easy access to the click wheel for moving between songs.

    Standing Out: I have yet to see another Venza on the road. Toyota's advertising is working, though. I'm getting fewer blank stares when asked what I'm driving and a lot more, "I saw your car on TV last night."
  • Where does the backup camera display if you don't have nav? Given the blind spots, I think it's a pretty important feature.
  • In the SE region it looks like the initial I4 shipments were pretty stripped, but after that it started to vary - a stripped, a mid and a loaded - just like the V6 model inventory.
  • xualumxualum Posts: 4
    Hi -
    We're in the same dilemma as a few of you seem to be --- the 4 cyl. vs. 6 cyl. I test drove a 4 cyl. and it seemed fine (did not go on the highway, as it was rush hour here in ATL) I am leaning towards the 6 cyl. though, for many of the same reasons mentioned above --- acceleration, smooth ride, not a huge MPG difference (it seems); handling.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    The backup camera displays on the approximately 3-inch multi-function TFT display at the top-center of the dash. The display seems small on paper, but it's actually quite usable.

    It's similar to the Highlander's multi-function display. I haven't seen the new RX's non-nav camera display that's shown in the rear-view mirror. That is the same way other manufacturers are doing the rear-camera-without-nav. To me, that has more of an "after-market" look.
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    In the rear view mirror.
  • LSP972LSP972 Posts: 20
    A pal, who is big into the car thing, says I should not wax my Venza for at least six months. According to him, this is because the paint/clear coat hasn't had time to fully cure yet, and if I wax it now it will never fully cure.

    It makes sense, but..... :confuse:

  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    This probably was true many years ago, but with the advancements in paint technology you have nothing to worry about.
  • feltfelt Posts: 105
    Speaking of paint:

    Has Toyota changed their paint since 2001? My 01 Highlander still has a beautiful shine, but the paint appears to be very thin, and scratches very, very easy.

    I have really enjoyed the recent, very informative, post. Keep the driving impressions coming.
  • santa3santa3 Posts: 10
    After 3 months and 4000+ miles we still really like our V6. Periodically need to reread sections of the owners manual to pick up on some of the electronic nuances. Haven't used NAV yet and am trying to understand the MPG screen - still looking for the promised highway 25MPG at 70MPH. Some irritations: the trip odometer is not separate, rather it is 'under' the odometer; the need to clean the tire rims of snow/ice if we are going to drive at freeway speeds in the winter; understanding the lighting (opening any door turns on the dome lights except for front passenger, which doesn't); not having a RAV4 type sun visor (a slide out panel to shield more of the side window for those of us with long legs); having to buckle the passenger seatbelt when putting a heavy bag (or two) of groceries on the front passenger seat.

    The car is heavy so when the frost starts to exit our gravel drive we will use the lighter Outback to cut down on the ruts and the need to rake the gravel back into place. Then there was a rattle somewhere in the back but it went away with the somewhat warmer Northern Wisconsin March temperatures.

    As I said, we really like the car and recommend it to anyone. It does draw comments, especially from the guys.

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