Monday, November 10, 2008
Toyota launched an all-new utility vehicle for the 2009 model year called the Venza. The Japanese automaker refers to the car as a "crossover sedan," which seems to be a synonym for "station wagon." Toyota came up with the designation because the Venza combines "comfort and fun-to-drive performance elements of a five-passenger sedan" with the "utility of an SUV."
The crossover was designed specifically with the North American market in mind. Sold here exclusively, it was engineered at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The exterior was penned at the Toyota's Calty design studios in Newport Beach.
Rather than styling the Venza to look like an SUV, the Venza was designed with a "sleek sedan concept" in mind, Toyota says. Nonetheless, it features a spacious interior providing room for five passengers and abundant cargo space behind the second row of seats.
Levers, one on each side of the rear cargo area, allow the 60/40 split rear seats to fold flat, providing additional storage space for extra long items. For added passenger comfort, the rear seats recline up to 14 degrees.
Power is generated by an available 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 246 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm with a towing capability of 3,500 pounds. Standard power comes from an all-new 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine.
All Venza models are equipped with an array of standard features including auto dual zone air conditioning, AM/FM six-disc CD, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, electrochromic rearview mirror with compass, a multi-information display, cruise control, optitron gauges, rear wiper, privacy glass, and much more. On V6 models Venza come standard with dual exhaust tips and is the first Toyota model to ride on standard 20-inch alloy wheels. Four-cylinder models come standard with 19-inch alloy wheels.
Venza also offer an Automatic High Beam headlight system. When high beam headlights are in use sensors in the Automatic High Beam system detects oncoming traffic and automatically switch the headlights to low-beam. When the Automatic High Beam sensors no longer detect oncoming traffic the system switches the headlights back to high-beam mode.
Additional optional equipment includes a navigation system equipped with a JBL audio system, integrated satellite radio capability and Bluetooth technology; a premium JBL audio system with AM/FM six-disc CD changer, satellite radio capability and Bluetooth, rear seat entertainment system, a Smart Key System, back-up camera and a power rear door.