Review: Amee Reehal; Photo: Toyota
The 2010 Venza is Toyota’s latest CUV offering—a stylish, roomy family-mover built on the proven Camry platform. Available in 4 versions, the Venza lineup begins with two 2.7-litre 4-cylinder models, in either FWD or AWD. Two additional versions include a hefty 3.5-litre V6, again in either FWD or AWD. My tester was the best of the bunch: the V6 AWD starting at $32,100. Including the optional $5,910 Touring Package, the final price on this Venza (before taxes/charges) rings in at $38,010.
Even at a $29,310 CAD MSRP for the entry-level Venza, the standard inclusions are impressive. Some standards found on all Venzas include a 6-speed auto transmission; stability control features such as the Advanced Traction Control System andHill-start Assist Control; electric power steering; and a fairly comprehensive climate control setup that includes A/C, dual zone auto climate control, a dust/pollen/deodorizing air filter, and rear seat heater ducts, to name a few.
Initially, I wasn’t too keen on the exterior styling (still not sold on the bulbous front grill). But the wagon-like, aggressive yet streamlined look grew on me quick. As with nearly all crossovers on the market, exterior design is often as ambiguous as the CUV segment itself, thus comparing the looks from one to the next is almost irrelevant. The Venza, however, does render that true crossover appeal—not quite a wagon nor minivan, certainly not a sedan, and nowhere near a full-sized SUV, the Venza looks like a sophisticated family ride at a reasonable price-point.
Adding a more sporty look, only to the V6 trims, are dual exhaust and huge 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in P245/50R20 tires (19-inch found on the non-V6s). The Touring Package certainly adds to this CUV’s curb appeal, including a power rear door with jam protection; a backup camera; and panoramic glass roof; front door handle touch sensors lock/unlock feature; and chrome-accented door handles.
The cabin feels large and roomy, both in the front and for rear passengers. Overall styling, including the centre console, is kept fairly basic, appealing to a broader market perhaps. A 6-speaker CD/radio audio system with Bluetooth, integrated XM Satellite Radio, a roof mounted antenna, and USB input for MP3 is standard on all Venza’s…a welcome inclusion for the long-haul family vacations at no extra expense to the folks. Other standards found on all four versions, include 8-way power adjustable driver seat and power lumbar support; 3.5-inch LCD display; carbon fiber-style interior trim; and a 3-spoke steering wheel with audio controls, to name a few. The Touring Package adds a 4-way power adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support; leather seat surfaces; heated front seats; a sport push button start with a smart key system; the TFT customizable multi-info display; satin mahogany woodgrain-style interior trim; leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; synthetic leather door trim, plus a bunch of others.
At under 30k, the Toyota Venza is a great choice for any family. While the nearly 6k Touring Package will certainly add to the bottom line, the standards alone make this an affordable choice with little to no compromise in cargo, safety, performance, and comfort.
For more info on the 2010 Toyota Venza, visit HERE.