A test car that was delivered to me recently was a 2015 Barcelona Red metallic five-door Toyota Venza with all-wheel drive and a V-6 engine. Since the Venza was introduced into the Toyota line six years ago as a 2009 Camry derivative (one of many), the company has chosen to dress the car out with lots of equipment. And the one that I was loaned had enough in the line of options to bring M.S.R.P. to $42,193.00. Included was the Limited package of options were leather seats/shift knob/steering wheel, twin power heated front buckets, smart key system, pushbutton and remote starter, power liftgate, backup camera, navigation system, 13-speaker JBL stereo, XM radio, automatic high beam headlights, panoramic glass moon roof, IPod connector, Bluetooth, and rear bumper protector. The car also had chrome door handles, puddle lamps, fog lights, four-season floor mats, paint protection film, and mudguards. On balance, it was quite a number of upgrades.
First off, I departed for Denver out on I-25 on a winter morning. I wanted to meet my family for lunch at Zadie’s Restaurant near Cherry Creek. The Venza has a 268hp V-6 (@ 6,200 rpm) with 3.5 liters, dual overhead cams, 24 valves and dual variable valve timing. Torque is 246 lb. ft. (@ 4,700 rpm) and the the transmission attached to it is a 6-speed electronically controlled model with with sequential shift mode. All of this drivetrain spec provided ample passing power and I was satisfied with the Venza’s ride, guidance, and handling. Dual climate control kept both the wife and I comfortable and the tilt/telescope kept the wheel in a proper attitude for the driver. This upgraded Toyota had carbon fiber-looking trim in quite a few locations in the car and it was very attractive. So was the dashboard material and gauges. And the cargo space behind the second-row seating is 36.6 cubic feet. Fold the middle row of seats down and the total cargo space comes to 70.2 cubic feet. Weight/wheelbase/length of the Venza is 4,045 lbs., 109.3″, and 189″, respectively.
Fuel mileage for the Venza is 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. I observed an average of 22.4 during my week with the car. I mentioned the acceleration – reportedly the Venza V-6 goes 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, without a great deal of fuss. The car rides on big 20” five-spoke silver allow wheels that look great, shod with P245/50R20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A all-season steel belted radials. And the drive system is all-wheel with Active Torque Control and the suspension is 4-wheel independent MacPherson strut with stabilizer bars.
I left Zadies less satisfied with the lunch (breakfast, actually – I don’t care for the pancake syrup) than the car, and noticed a lot of looks from shoppers in the Cherry Creek district. The Toyota Camry has produced a lot of offspring, and the Venza is the best-looking one of the bunch.