Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently purchased a new minivan? A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by July 2 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

2009 Toyota Venza Crossover



  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    I think the parallel experience follows those cross-shopping the Forrester and the CR-V against the Venza. Is the Venza worth the premium over those fine vehicles? I think it is, but neither the Forrester nor the CR-V were serious contenders for me when I was shopping, so I really didn't take a good look at them.

    I think many didn't see a direct competitor for the Venza earlier this year. The real cross-shopping going forward is going to be the new '10 Outback and the soon to be released Crosstour. They all promise a more car-like look and ride with higher level of interior finish.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    Will someone explain what "cross-shopping" is? Also, what is a F/awd car? I don't see those terms except in this forum. Thanks
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Cross shopping is basically considering one vehicle model versus another. It's quite rare that only one vehicle meets one's needs or wants, so you go out and compare the options from brand to brand.
    FWD =front wheel drive
    AWD = all wheel drive
    F/AWD is a bit less established. I've seen it used to mean front bias part time AWD sometimes and at others to mean front or AWD versions in the same vehicle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    AWD = a form of part-time 4WD that automatically engages the opposite drive wheels but only in conditions wherein the surface is deemed, determined, to be of a nature that would not result in a significant level of driveline windup, tire scrubbing, surface of low tractivity. Probably best, better, defined for purposes of buyer understanding as either F/awd or R/awd.

    F/awd = a vehicle that is based on an otherwise FWD vehicle and:

    A) Primarily drives only the front wheels. Examples = Ford Escape, Mazda CX-7, Toyota Venza, 2010 RX350.


    B. Provides continuous drive to all 4 wheels but normally with POOR drive coupling to the rear wheels. Definite front wheel drive BIAS, say 95/5, in highly tractive conditions. Examples = Chrysler T&C minivan, RX300.


    C. A system wherein all wheels are driven at an equal level provided all four wheels have roughly equal surface traction. Otherwise, disparate traction, TC is used to sustain a high level of engine traction. Examples = Toyota Highlander, Sienna, and RX330.

    Have I missed one..??
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Maybe ... maybe not. I can't keep up.

    Toyota 4WD systems explained

    And if that's not bad enough, there's this:

    4WD & AWD systems explained

    Enjoy. :)
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    thanks, hard to know what each manufacturer is giving you and if it even works!

    This old video shows that. It was in your link,

    utube comparison
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    More importantly, does it work for what you want. Get out and try them in the situations you want the AWD for. Gravel, snow, ice or just better handling in emergency situations. Unfortunately, deep snow can be very difficult to try because dealers don't like sending their cars out in that weather.
    My favourite first step is rapid acceleration from a stop into a right hand turn while sitting on a loose surface (snow or gravel). Forget the mechanics of the AWD, you'll see and feel the real world differences instantly. And for anyone who thinks it's an artificial test, I do it almost every morning as I turn off my residential street onto a busy boulevard with fast moving traffic. Road surface at that STOP sign is glazed ice about 4 months of the year.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..rapid acceleration from a stop into a right turn..."


    See "..turn onto.." just beyond halfway down this post.

    .[quote=camrtm3;2942032]Hello everyone,

    I have recently acquired a 04 Lexus RX 330 with 31K on it and all the goodies possible for it. Right now do to me still being a student and the crazy insurance premium that I would have me and my dad decided to share it for the time and put it under his name.

    Anyway, the issue is when the car is in motion and occasionally from a dead stop you can hammer the gas pedal, and go at it aggressively then a normal acceleration and the damn this wont move.:ugh3: The first time I noticed it was I was getting on I-83 and i could merge into this one spot if i got up to speed quickly. So I pushed the pedal all the way down.......and the SUV just was like im going to take my time on this. Was very dangerous!

    [b]In the circumstance you describe the DBW/e-throttle firmware is intentionally designed to NOT allow the engine to begin increasing RPM and/or torque levels until the transaxle has completed a downshift, REQUIRED downshift, as a result of the "new" gas pedal position. The delay is usually only on the order of 1-2 seconds but highly notable, and inherently HAZARDOUS in the wrong circumstance.

    "..occasionally from a dead stop.."

    There is likely NO FWD or F/awd vehicle in the market today that when coasting down, or even braking down, to a dead stop will begin shifting down into 1st gear automatically until a few hundred milliseconds AFTER the vehicle has come to a FULL/complete stop. Then allow a second or 2 for the downshift to complete. To do so would simply increase the HAZARDS of FWD an/or F/awd vehicle operating, POTENTUALLY operating, on a slippery roadbed surface.

    There are many posts here and abouts wherein owners of these vehicles are complaining of loss of braking power, or a "lunge" forward at 10-5 MPH during coastdowns, braking or no. This is mostly the result of a new technique being used to extend FE via the use "fuel cut" procedures. As you coastdown from a higher speed with the throttle fully closed the engine's fuel flow will be cut completely. Then to prevent an inadvertent engine stall the transaxle is downshifted, accordingly, as roadspeed declines. Except at ~10-5MPH the resulting engine braking, engine braking on the FRONT, could potentually prove to be HAZARDOUS should it happen that the roadbed be slippery. So, not only is the engine NOT to downshift to 1st and was often the case in days gone past, but an upshift often occurs.

    As you may note the same hazards do not exist, do not equally exist, for RWD an/or R/awd so the downshift to 1st for those vehicles may be as always.

    The time my father noticed it, he was at a dead stop at a stop sign. He saw a gap on the road he was going to turn onto and once again he pressed the accelerator about 3/4 the way down and the SUV again decided to takes its time moving. Once again very dangerous!

    [b]"..turn onto.." "...pressed the accelerator.."

    There is an aspect of the control system, VSC/TRAC, that will NOT allow a rapid acceleration into a tight turn from a dead stop. Anti-rollover functionality or maybe even pre-emptive action against the STRONG potential for loss of directional control when asking the front tires to perform, at HIGH level, both functions, lateral and longitudinal traction, simultaneously. In any case, SOP (my '01 F/awd RX300 does this), you MUST fully lift the gas pedal in order to regain throttle control.[/b]

    I will admit, I have gotten used to this issue and found ways to drive the RX to compensate for this problem... However my dad is not so lucky with this. He went from my 96 V6 Camry which is cable throttle to his 05 4Runner

    [b]First, the 4runner is a R/awd vehicle and therefore it is NOT as likely to need pre-emptive dethrottling of the engine to prevent loss of directional control in the stated instance. I think I have read somewhere that the 4runner, when in R/awd mode, even begins removing engine torque from the front wheels, dedicating them to lateral traction, in this very circumstance.

    Second, the 4runner' engine and transmission are mounted longitudnally so there was no need back in '98 to begin squeezing and/or eliminating transaxle components altogether due to the limited space and need for GROWING transaxle fucntionality[/b]

    which is throttle by wire, and expected to have no problems since you can barely tell the difference in response between the 4runnerlongitudinallyfunctionality and the Camry.

    We have talked to some shops to get their thoughts and they said three is something wrong, but that they do not know what it could be. Also there is no Engine Check Light at all except on start up the car and normal diagnostics check. I'm about to take it to a dealer to get them to check it, was hoping to get some ideas here first. My thoughts are there is some issue with the transmission controller, Traction Control, throttle body and wire harnesses, or the AWD Controller.


    Google for:

    wwest abolition hesitation -dfg

    for more detailed info.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Keep in mind, these VDC/TC systems are always about a balance between power and control. The Toyo system is the most intrusive and control biased I have driven and there are many complaints about that on various boards.
    It's why my personal car is a Subaru. The trade-off, as CR loves to point out is that I can oversteer the Subaru if I'm too aggressive. It comes back almost instantly and I know the threshold so it's not a surprise and doesn't bother me. Toyotas are extremely hard to wash the back end, and therefore are preferred by the many people who have spent their entire driving life with FWD. Some will have a fit when they fish-tail and have no idea what to do when it happens. I also think some of those same drivers tend to be more abrupt on the accelerator. FWD doesn't punish that in poor traction the way RWD or AWD can so they've never learned to be gentle on initial throttle. In many cases, those driving habits are partly to blame for the VSC kicking in. FWIW my wife knows the rear end traction threshold too, and she never slides in the Subaru.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota is simply reacting, correctly, to the fact that the general driving public is dumbing down more and more as each day goes by.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    It would seem that Toyota is providing a system that doesn't work as claimed. The 07 Highlander has full time 4wd with traction control but the video shows their system won't move the Highlander when the front wheels spin.
    Is that reacting?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " that reacting?.."


    The more the public has dumbed down the easier it si to sell non-functional features.

    The Toyota Highlander, Sienna, and the Lexus RX series have not had a functional F/awd system.....FOREVER....!!

    There is, can be no, full time 4WD.

    But, in a literal sense the system that Toyota uses in the Highlander & Sienna, and Lexus in the RX series truly is full-time 4WD. Virtually useless full-time 4WD but full-time 4WD none-the-less.

    But that's how Toyota's marketing gets away with misleading the buying public so vey easily. Marketing is not lying and the buying public is in the belief that if it says 4WD then that's what they need.

    How can that be explained, reconcilled..??

    The Toyota 4WD system as used above is 4WD just as long as one doesn't have need of REAL 4WD.
  • No one at the dealer knows how to operate it.

    Are the doors suppose to lock automatically when you walk away from the vehicle with the smart key in your pocket or purse???.

    I just bought the AWD V today
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I would be worried if my dealer couldn't explain how the Smart Key works...

    To lock the doors without touching the Smart Key, you need to touch the indentations on the upper or lower left side of the exterior driver or passenger door handle after all the doors are closed.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The 2010 F/awd RX350 has a 4WD "lock" mode, manual switch, but I cannot find an indication that the Venza is so equipped.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    I think instead of calling the public dumb it is more of a case of they are more misinformed by the media, marketing and so called experts. It becomes a who do you believe. Based just on what I've seen and heard in this forum it would seem Toyota is perpetrating a big fraud on the public. Traction control?
    Even the video I posted here was done by Subaru so how does anyone know if this was done on the up and up?
    Buyer beware, my 07 Highlander isn't was I thought was. I am now putting an asterisk on the Venza which is on my short list and maybe not for long.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Better phrase is that the public is ignorant. Fewer and fewer people know what's going on under their hood or undercarriage anymore. Partly because we are more apathetic and partly because of the technology. Everything has become 'black box' and we have to trust the info that the manufacturer provides unless someone takes everything apart or tests it.
    I myself am not a fan of SC/TC/ABS mediated AWD systems for deep snow traction. Rear LSD are typically thought of as track options only these days, but they also work very well in deep snow. I was disappointed as Subaru has now dropped them from all but their STi - their top sport model. Even many faithful Subaru owners were unaware when it was removed from each model, and Subaru certainly didn't advertise it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, the Subaru could climb that ramp, but on the detrimental side having "symmetrical" AWD gives it its own set of shortcomings insofar as safety is concerned. I'd much rather have a simple RWD and be forced to use chains in those circumstances.

    "... misinformed by the media..."

    And who do you think supplies the DUMBED DOWN media reporter, editors and editorialists with the base material...?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Subaru has probably opted to virtualize the rear LSD using "TC", as has the rest of the automotive world, inclusive of Porsche. Off-track you would be hard put to tell the difference.

    But I'm with you, when more traction is required I put rear chains on my '01 F/awd RX300 and then add the fronts as matters dictate. I can't say I'm against VSC, just wish it were more like PSM on my 911. TC is NEVER of any reasonable use on my '92 LS400 (RWD) except as a forewarning of roadbed conditions for which I had not taking notice.

    On the other hand I have no doubt that TC on a FWD or F/awd vehicle can be and often is a life-saver.

    And I think ABS should be modified such that it does not activate unless VSC indicates a need.

    In my personal opinion it would be rather nice if ONLY the rear brakes were applied initially as long as moderate to hard braking was not required nor ABS activating. Could be a real life-saver in wintertime and "no harm no foul" otherwise.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I think instead of calling the public dumb it is more of a case of they are more misinformed by the media, marketing and so called experts.

    Your skepticism of "so called experts" should extend to forums such as this one...

    All of this ranting and raving about traction control and AWD across various manufacturers and what allegedly is and isn't happening has been interesting, but can it be moved to a more appropriate forum? Please?
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    ....can it be moved to a more appropriate forum? Please?

    Are you the moderator here? Anyway, I'm done. Sometimes discussions go down paths that don't please everyone.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    I think the topic of how Venza's AWD system works is very pertinent and important. If potential buyers think they are getting a 4WD system like the Lexus 570 has, then they are mistaken and need to re-examine. It is also then reasonable to examine the particulars of the AWD systems in the competitors to see if they are any better. I knew nothing about different AWD systems when I first joined these boards years ago. In the interval I have gained valuable knowledge about it both directly and by promoting me to seek information elsewhere. I really do think that to be the purpose of these discussions.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The Toyota 4WD systems explained discussion would be a better place to continue the AWD talk, since most of us really don't care all that much about the details on these systems.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..since most of us really don't care all that much about the details on these systems..."

    "..most of us.."


    Then most of "us" should wake up and smell the....."roses".

    Maybe ignorance is BLISS.

    Until the day arrives that what you didn't know, didn't wish to know, didn't think you needed to know, jumps up and bites you in the....

    Well, you know.

    Did you read the post immediately prior to yours or were you composing yours as the previous one was being posted..??
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Yeah, I read it.

    It's the tires. :shades:

    We're boring the people shopping for a new Venza, so let's move on please.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Are you the moderator here? Anyway, I'm done. Sometimes discussions go down paths that don't please everyone.

    Does it take the title of "moderator" to make a suggestion to those who've strayed off topic? If so, then disregard my previous message.

    Go ahead. Keep complaining away about the ignorant public, misleading marketers, and everything else related to AWD/4WD systems. I'll just move on elsewhere to a site where the discussion is actually about the Venza.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    I tried reading your link from the Sequioa forum but it is very confusing since three different systems are intertwined and it started in 2001.

    I am very interested in a Venza and before spending $30,000 on a new vehcle I would like to know what I'm getting.

    Sorry if I bored you.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It is confusing. I found it helpful to start at post #1 and get an overview, and then not try to get too overloaded with details after that. For the newest models, it helps to start your own thread in there and ask how it's different or changed/improved.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I like a little discussion of the AWD in the Venza and I think it is appropriate here. If I think the post is too detailed for my needs or time then I skip it and move to the next one. Seems like we don't need to force topics off the page if everyone can do their own editing.
  • Hello macpro
    Thanks for the link. I really liked the video. I will be leasing this vehicle in 2010.

    Have a great day
Sign In or Register to comment.