by Stu Wright
Interior view of the Toyota Venza
Since Toyota gave their sedan/crossover/station wagon/SUV a somewhat innocuous name, I’ll put it in a Julius Caesar Latin phrase. I came, I saw, I drove a Toyota sedan/crossover/station wagon/SUV! And this Toyota Venza is not at all hard to look at, and is a lot of fun to drive. The one that was delivered to me last week was a 2011 Golden Umber Mica metallic five-door with all-wheel drive and a V-6 engine. Since the Venza was introduced into the Toyota line three years ago as a 2009 Camry derivative (one of many), the company has chosen to dress the car out with lots of equipment. And this one had enough in the line of options to bring M.S.R.P. to $40,174.00. Included was the top premium package of options that had leather seats, shift knob, and steering wheel, twin power heated front buckets, smart key system, pushbutton starter, power liftgate, backup camera, nav, JBL stereo, XM radio, IPod connector, Bluetooth, and towing package. The car also had an upgraded roof rack, chrome door handles, and a DVD television setup on the ceiling. Wow, that’s some upgrades! I was trembling with anticipation before it arrived and was not disappointed when it did. It was loaded–loaded with the only exception being a lack of sunroof (TV is up there).
First off, I departed for Denver out on I25 on a sunny afternoon. I wanted to meet my family for lunch at Whole Foods near Cherry Creek. The Venza has a 268hp V-6 installed that is 3.5 liters, DOHC, 24 valve with dual variable valve timing. The transmission attached to it is a 6-speed electronically controlled model with sequential shift mode. All of this drivetrain spec provided tons of passing power and I was satisfied with the Venza’s ride. Dual climate control kept both the wife and I comfortable and the tilt/telescope kept the wheel in a proper attitude for the driver. This upgraded Toyota had Satin Mahogany woodgrain trim in quite a few locations in the car and it was very attractive. So was the dashboard material and gauges. And the back seat is enormous – 52 cubic feet. Fold the down and the total cargo space comes to over 70 cubic feet.
Fuel mileage for the Venza is 18mpg city and 25mpg highway. I observed an average of 21.2 during my week with the car. I mentioned the acceleration – reportedly the Venza V-6 goes 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. And without a great deal of fuss. The car rides on big 20” five-spoke silver allow wheels that look great, shod with P245/50R20 steel belted all season radials. And the drive system is all-wheel with Active Torque Control. Also down there is 4-wheel independent MacPherson strut suspension with stabilizer bars.
I left Whole Foods less satisfied with the lunch than the car, and noticed a lot of looks from shoppers in the North Cherry Creek district. The Toyota Camry has produced a lot of offspring, and the Venza is the best-looking one of the bunch.
2011 Toyota Venza V-6 5-door AWD Sedan/Station Wagon
Base Price $29,750.00 – Price as tested $40,174.00
Competes with Ford Edge, Nissan Murano, Mazda CX-7, and Honda Pilot
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Tags: AWD, Base Price, caption, car, Cherry Creek, Denver, DOHC, door, Honda Pilot, JBL, line, lot, lunch, Nissan Murano, SUV, system, Toyota Venza, week, Whole Foods, XM
Posted by stuwright in General News category