Buying a Toyota used to be the frugal and responsible automotive choice. The 2009 Toyota Venza shakes off that notion with big styling, big wheels and little fuel economy. Anything going for it?
Why you should buy the 2009 Toyota Venza:
You've been buying Toyota's since that rickety Chevy Citation you had in 1980 caught on fire while losing a wheel. The notion of cross-shopping a crossover is daunting and going with a Toyota is easy. You prefer a motoring experience of detached serenity rather than involved enjoyment. Sitting four inches higher than the Camrys around you is a must-have feature. A firm ride and surprising acceleration are something you look for, but apexing corners is not part of your daily life. You prefer an evening of 401k planning to one at the race track.
Why you shouldn't buy this car:
You haven't yet been seduced by the siren song of crossovers; wagons still make more sense to you. The idea of a compromised wagon getting SUV fuel economy is infuriating to you. You don't like quirky interiors with dubious assembly and materials quality. You still remember the time when a Toyota was a bargain, saving you money at the dealer and the pump and you could get a rise out of domestic-buying neighbors because of that. You like performance and don't care how comfy your kids are in the back.
Speed Merchants: No
Fashion Victims: No
Mack Daddies: No
Tuner Crowd: No
Penny Pinchers: No
Euro Trash: No
Working Stiffs: No
Soccer Moms: Yes
Nascar Dads: No
Golfing Grandparents: No
Very Serious Businessmen: No
• Manufacturer: Toyota
• Model: Venza
• Model year: 2009
• Base Price: $25,975
• Price as Tested: $38,444
• Engine type: 3.5L DOHC, V6, dual independent variable valve timing
• Horsepower: 268 HP @ 6200 RPM
• Torque: 246 lb-ft @ 4700 RPM
• Transmission: 6-speed automatic w/sequential shift mode
• Curb Weight: 4045 lbs (AWD V6 as tested)/ 3760 lbs (FWD I4)
• LxWxH: 189" x 75" x 63.4"
• Wheelbase: 109.3"
• Tires: P245/50R20
• 0 - 60 mph: V6: 6.7 seconds. I4: 8.8 seconds (Manufaturer quoted)
• Top Speed: NA
• EPA Fuel economy city/highway (Estimated): 18/25 MPG (AWD V6 as tested), 21/29 MPG (FWD I4)
• Jalopnik Fuel Economy: 18.5 MPG (city/highway mix 60/40%)
• NHTSA crash test ratings: Front: five stars; Side: Five Stars; Rollover: Four Stars