“The all-new Venza was developed as a vehicle that combines the styling, comfort and fun-to-drive performance elements of a five-passenger sedan with the surprising utility of an SUV,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “This winning combination will be ideal for active ‘boomers’ and young couples with small families.”
All aspects of Venza’s engineering and design were targeted specifically for the North American market where it will be sold exclusively. Venza was primarily engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and designed at Toyota’s Calty design studios in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. Venza will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), in Georgetown, Ky.
The development focus of the Venza design team was to create a new crossover vehicle that shifted away from the more traditional SUV styling themes that tend to dominate the segment. Calty designers leaned more heavily on a sleek sedan concept with a wide stance that featured a sporty exterior and premium comfort interior but would also be equipped with important SUV attributes such as cargo space, towing capability and all-wheel-drive performance.
On the inside, Calty designers and TTC engineers made comfort, refinement and utility a priority for the five-passenger Venza. A lower rocker design will allow occupants to more easily step in and out of the vehicle than a typical sedan. Venza will also feature a higher ride height and hip points that will help provide significantly better driver visibility than most sedans and easier ingress and egress than most SUVs.
Climate control functions are centrally located on the upper center console, providing easy accessibility for both driver and passenger. The center console also contains an iPod/MP3 storage compartment with wire management and illuminated dual cupholders.
All Venza models will be 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.
Chrome accents throughout give Venza a refined look and feel. Models equipped with an optional leather-trimmed interior will feature wood-grain-type trim and seats stitched with dark piping that is tastefully coordinated with Venza’s standard linear grain dashboard and steering wheel. An array of storage space will be available throughout the vehicle to accommodate passenger belongings. A large storage compartment with an additional 12-volt power point located on the passenger side of the front center console will be sizeable enough to contain maps and magazines.
A panoramic roof will be offered as an option and will be a first for the Toyota vehicle lineup. The roof will feature separate glass panels over the front and rear seats. The front glass panel will have a power tilt/slide function.
Venza will also offer an Automatic High Beam headlight system, another Toyota first. When high beam headlights are in use sensors in the Automatic High Beam system will detect oncoming traffic and automatically switch the headlights to low-beam. When the Automatic High Beam sensors no longer detect oncoming traffic the system will switch the headlights back to high-beam mode.
Additional optional equipment will include 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.
Venza will be equipped with a comprehensive list of standard safety features. It will provide a total of seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag seat mounted side and side curtain airbags for both rows of seats. Venza will also be the first sedan with Toyota’s STAR safety system, featuring anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and vehicle stability control. Venza will also feature active head rests as standard equipment.
When it goes on sale in late 2008, the Venza crossover sedan will represent Toyota’s latest commitment to driving change in the marketplace.
2009 VENZA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
2.7-liter four-cylinder engine
Six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission
Horsepower: 268 @ 6,200
Torque: 246 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm
Six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission
Drive System: Front- and All-Wheel-Drive
Overall Length: 189.0
Overall Width: 75.0
Overall Height: 63.4
Ground clearance: 8.1
Wheels: 19-inch alloy wheels (four-cylinder only)
20-inch alloy wheels (standard on V6 and available on four-cylinder)
Tire Size: 20-inch: 245/50R20
Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs. (V6 model)
Seating Capacity: 5