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2009 Toyota Venza

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2009 Toyota Venza Review

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Call it a crossover or even a Camry wagon, but just don't call it nothing new. The 2009 Toyota Venza sits squarely in-between the automaker's best-selling Camry Sedan and Highlander SUV, borrowing elements from both. The result is a vehicle that has plenty of room for five, is easy to get in and out of, has respectable fuel economy and possesses the ground clearance of a much taller vehicle. While the Venza isn't the first – nor will it be the last – car to blur the lines between segments, it certainly offers a well-rounded package at a great price that would suit most people's needs. In a growing and increasingly popular vehicle landscape that includes the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge and Mazda CX-7, the Venza shines with a healthy roster of standard equipment, a competitive price, and Toyota's reputation for quality and stellar resale value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a fan of the Camry but want a more commanding view of the road, the Venza deserves your attention. Perhaps even more importantly, the low step- and load-in heights help to make getting people and stuff in and out of the car a more pleasant – and back-friendly – experience.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although the Toyota Venza is quite spacious, it only offers two rows of seats. Those needing the added versatility of a three-row vehicle might be more interested in the Chevy Traverse, Hyundai Veracruz, Honda Pilot or Mazda CX-9.

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Toyota Venza is a vehicle for those who want a little more utility than a sedan can offer, but don't need the abilities of a full-blown SUV. Throw in a great resale value and competitive pricing, and the Venza is all the more enticing.

Driving the Venza
Driving Impressions

On city and highway roads, the Venza performed much as we expected it to: not quite sedan soft, but not quite SUV harsh, either. The attention-getting 19- and 20-inch wheels,...

... as expected, add some noticeable road feel and road noise, but overall the vehicle is a smooth operator, and the new in-line 4 traversed some rather steep hills without too much gear searching or audible strain. Although some sportier driving made it apparent that the Venza is not meant to be thrown around curves, we think that most buyers will be perfectly pleased with the way theirs handles around-town jaunts. Driving dynamics aside, we spent some time in both rows of seats and found them all to be comfortable and spacious enough to accommodate a vehicle full of adults or older children, so much so that we'd never object to spending a long road trip in the second row.

Integrated Sliding Center Console
This unit is comprised of a set of cupholders and a padded arm rest that slide independent of each other, opening up 14.7 liters worth of storage space. This space also hides the auxiliary input jack cable, which can be left in the console or fed into an mp3/phone holder situated in the center stack.

Low Step-in Height
For those who have more difficulty than most getting in and out of a vehicle, having a low step-in height certainly makes things look a little more gracious.

2009 Toyota Venza Details
Interior

Spacious is certainly the word that comes to mind when thinking about the Venza's interior. With only two rows of seating, Toyota was able to offer an impressive 70.1 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear. Up front, a sliding center console makes storing things a breeze; simply move the sliding cupholders back, and access to a large storage space that can accommodate a purse or several portable electronics opens up. An auxiliary input jack also lives in this space, and the cord for it can be snaked up to feed into an mp3/phone holder right on the center stack for easy access.

Exterior

While there are glimpses here and there of the Camry-esque styling that so many Americans love, the 2009 Toyota Venza is definitely more dramatic in its styling. The large, wraparound grille and standard 19- or 20-inch wheels give the vehicle a solid, bold look, while the 8.1-inch ground clearance (the same as on the Highlander) gives drivers a little more confidence on the occasional unkempt road. Despite the Venza's high seating position, it has a low step-in height, making it easier to maneuver people and stuff in and out of the vehicle, a plus for those who often take more than themselves for a trip around town.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 Toyota Venza is offered in one well-equipped trim. Inside, standard equipment worth mentioning includes audio, climate and cruise controls on the steering wheel, a 3.5-inch multi-function display, dual zone automatic climate control, a sliding center console with mp3 holder, tonneau cover, auxiliary input jack, and six-disc in-dash CD changer with integrated satellite radio and six speakers. Outside, integrated fog lights, a chrome exhaust, color-keyed spoiler and 19-inch (20-inch on the V6) wheels can be seen. To keep all occupants safe and sound, seven airbags, stability/traction control and anti-lock brakes are standard fare.

Optional Equipment

The Venza's numerous options are available regardless of engine choice or drive configuration. While most are packaged together, the most noteworthy include leather seating surfaces, push button start, backup camera, HID headlamps with Automatic High Beams and a power hatch. Those who like to feel the sun on their shoulders can opt for the panoramic moonroof, while those who enjoy listening to music may enjoy the JBL Synthesis surround sound system with six-disc in-dash CD changer, Bluetooth streaming audio capability, satellite radio and 13 speakers. This system is also available with a voice-activated touch-screen DVD nav system, although only with a four-disc CD changer.

Under the Hood

Powering the Venza is either an all-new 182-hp 2.7-liter in-line four cylinder or a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6, also used in the Camry and Highlander. Both engines come with standard six-speed automatic transmissions that offer uphill/downhill shift logic to minimize gear hunting. Those who do more highway driving should opt for the in-line 4; rated at 29 mpg in FWD guise, this engine is the more financially sensible choice. However, if having AWD would better suit your commute and weather needs, you'll be happy to know that choosing this system will only penalize you by I mpg with either powertrain choice.

2.7-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
182 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (FWD), 20/28 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
246 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 (FWD), 18/25 (AWD)

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2009 Toyota Venza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 247 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great value, room for 4 adults and bags

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Roomy, drives well, good fuel econ"

Cons: "sun visors don't extend"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has exceeded my expectations. Nice ride, very comfortable, lots of leg room front and back. Many trips with four adults and bags for a weekend, works well. Have had zero mechanical issues. Original tires lasted 80K miles. Pulls a small fishing boat with the 4 cyl engine and it does just fine."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Bye BMW... Hello toyota...

By on Thursday, June 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "solid build, realiability, stylish, comfortable"

Cons: "none I can think of"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I had two used bmw sedans... a 5 series and a 3 series and I put thousands of dollars into each of those cars the first few months I owned both of them. Just as I'd fix one issue... another would soon turn up and cost $1,000 or more to resolve. The 5 series engine blew with little over 125,000 miles on it just after being serviced by the bmw dealer. The 3 series I purchased to replace it was in the shop literally three days after I purchased it for a solenoid issue that cost $450.00 to resolve. The four years I owned that car I put over $5,000 in repairs and it still had maintenance issues. I got fed up with the constant maintenance and decided to check out the Venza after doing a lot of research against the rival models. I ended up purchasing a used 2009 V6 AWD fully loaded with just over 79,000 miles on it. I've had the car for 11 months and not one problem what so ever with it! The ONLY service I've had done on the car is two oil changes since I took ownership. I was fortunate that the previous owner fully loaded the vehicle with everything you can add on. I always found the body style of the Venza very attractive and when the opportunity arrived to own one I jumped on it. This is my first AWD vehicle and I will never go back to two wheel drive again. Both BMW's had HORRIBLE RWD traction in the snow but the AWD on the venza handled great. I love this car and plan to keep it for a very very long time. I'm just now hitting 89,000 miles and feel comfortable I'll get between 200,000 - 300,000 out of it. Toyota is notorious for making high mileage reliable cars and from my experience that reputation has been rightfully earned. The Venza being a crossover vehicle makes the ride height perfect for entering and exiting at my height of 5'6"."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Thursday, June 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Solid as a luxury car"

Cons: "No longer made"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this car, it is my second one. My first one was blizzard pearl and I loved it. This one is metallic gray and I do not like the color. I would love to trade for a new one, but I am so upset that they are not making them any more. Would love to stay with toyota brand - love the toyota care, but would have to settle for a Hilander which is too big for my needs or a Rav, which may not be as comfortable (cushie) as the Venza."

great car

By on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ALL AROUND GOOD"

Cons: "SPOUNGE BRAKES"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"MOST COMFORTABLE CAR EVER. EASY IN EASY OUT. TOO BAD TOYOTA DISCONTINUED THE LINE . WOULD HAVE BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE"

Excellent interior room and plenty of power!

By on Friday, March 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Value, safe, and fun to drive."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We traded our Lexus 470 SUV and soon missed the room for trips. I drove and researched many smaller SUVs and cross overs. The Limited Venza fit all of our needs. Now almost 12000 miles later we are delighted with our choice. We love the way the back seats fold down easy and flat, the sky roof with panorama window, the sound system is like being at a recording studio and it handles snow well with it's all wheel drive too. The V-6 takes our mountain and the freeways with ease and still gets 25 miles per gallon on the highway. The Limited comes with all the upgrades and options with one exception. I would have added blind spot warning. The only negative is that Toyota discontinued this model in 2016. Over all i think this car is terrific."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Next Best Thing to a Highlander

By on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Plenty of power, comfortable, stylish, reliable"

Cons: "Rear blind spot, high beam indicator"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love this car so much that I drove 7 hours to buy one of the last new 2015 XLE AWD in my state. This car is perfect for the person who wants a car with power and spacious room for driver and passengers. I had a Highlander before this car but don't need the extra seating now since my kids are grown. Everyone I've met who owns a Venza seems to love them. Don't understand why they were discontinued."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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