Article Summery :
The 2009 Toyota Venza goes on sale this fall, and Bell Road Toyota calls it a "crossover sedan.'' That means a fusion of characteristics that lean more toward a car than a conventional sport-utility vehicle.
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Main Article Content :
Whichever label you want to give it, the new Toyota Venza looks like a winner.
Think of the Venza as a station wagon and you'll probably get the point. Of course, it doesn't look exactly like any station wagon we've seen before. Unveiled at Detroit's North American International Auto show in January, Venza drew lots of attention. Among vehicles currently available, it reminds us most of the Ford Edge crossover.
There's a lot of the Lexus RX350 in this Toyota, too, though the Venza is pressed down closer to the ground, and sleeker. Its front end is taller, but definitely molded in the theme of Toyota's current Camry sedan. The Venza's rear glass has a nice, long rake, and its taillights wrap around the rear fenders onto the hatch. Its standard wheels measure 19 inches in diameter, while 20-inch spoked alloys are optional. In sum, the Venza is one of the more handsome, interesting vehicles Toyota has launched in some time.
A look at its dimensions brings the crossover label into perspective. At 109.3 inches and 189 inches, respectively, the Venza's wheelbase and overall length match both Bell Road Toyota's Camry sedan and Highlander sport-utility within fractions of an inch. In other words, the Venza's footprint on the pavement matches both Camry and Highlander closely. Yet with an overall height of 63.4 inches, the Venza slots right in the middle of the Camry and Highlander. It's ride height falls somewhere in the middle, too.
The 2009 Venza seats five, like the Camry, rather than seven like the Highlander. Its rocker height, or the lip around the bottom of its passenger doors, is low, making it easy to lift feet inside, yet the hip point for seated occupants is higher than the typical sedan's. The combination should deliver a mix many buyers seek: easy ingress and egress, with a higher seating position for a better view around tall vehicles on the road.
The 2009 Venza should reach showrooms with the traditional model year changeover in early fall 2008. It will be built at Toyota's assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.