2009 Toyota Venza Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Venza Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Venza Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 182 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Toyota Venza

  • The 2009 Toyota Venza is a new breed of vehicle, mixing crossover SUV attributes with a wagon. We think many families will find it to be pleasantly useful transportation.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious interior, powerful and efficient engines, pleasant driving demeanor, comfy ride, innovative interior storage.

  • Cons

    No third-row seat, can't tow or haul as much as other crossovers, dull driving experience.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Toyota Venza is an all-new crossover wagon based on the Camry sedan.

Full 2009 Toyota Venza Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Toyota Venza is an all-new crossover wagon based on the Camry sedan.


The 2009 Toyota Venza has a certain "what is it?" nature to it. This five-passenger vehicle is clearly not a wagon, but it's not a crossover SUV, either. However, as with the RAV4, Highlander and Lexus RX before it, Toyota has a knack for creating desirable new types of vehicles before the public realizes they actually want them. That's called being a trendsetter. Of course, only time will tell if the Venza turns out to be the latest trend in family transportation, but it certainly seems like a strong contender.

In terms of size, the Venza falls in between two mechanically related Toyota products. It is the same length as the Camry sedan, shares the Highlander crossover's width and ride height, and is 5.5 inches taller than the Camry and 4.7 inches shorter than the Highlander. Like those two vehicles, the Venza offers four- and six-cylinder engine choices. Although the V6 option is basically identical among all three, the Venza shares the Highlander's larger 2.7-liter inline-4 -- albeit with 5 fewer horsepower. In terms of interior space, the five-passenger Venza provides a bit more spread-out space (particularly for hips and shoulders) than the Camry, but it lacks the Highlander's third row. Its 70 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity is obviously way bigger than its sedan sibling but is far short of the Highlander (it's about the same as that of the Ford Edge).

One area in which the Venza stands out is in interior design and quality. It bucks the recent downward trend exhibited by Toyota products, with better materials and improved fit and finish. The nifty multi-bin center console design is unique to the Venza, as are the high-mounted console shifter and simplified climate controls.

This middle ground established by the Venza is intended for Toyota customers who need more vehicle than the Camry offers but don't need as much as the Highlander. We think this is a recipe for success, and in fact, the Venza seems more desirable and better-rounded than both its siblings. Also, compared to similarly sized crossover SUVs like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano, the less cumbersome feeling that goes along with the Venza's wagonlike lower center of gravity is much appreciated. Even if we're not quite sure how to describe what the 2009 Toyota Venza is, we can say this: It is quite good.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Toyota Venza is a five-passenger wagon available in two trim levels that correspond to the two available engines. Standard features on the 2.7-liter Venza include 19-inch alloy wheels, auto on/off headlights, rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power driver seat, reclining and folding 60/40 rear seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage-door opener, cruise control, trip computer and a six-speaker stereo with in-dash six-CD changer and auxiliary audio jack. The V6-powered Venza adds 20-inch alloy wheels.

The availability of Toyota options and packages often depends on region, so check with your local dealer to determine what is offered in your area. Nevertheless, options on the Venza (mostly grouped into packages) include a power tailgate, a rearview camera, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, HID headlamps, a power passenger seat, leather upholstery and steering wheel, wood trim, heated front seats, heated mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. A 13-speaker surround sound audio system with Bluetooth and satellite radio is also available. It can be ordered separately or bundled with the optional voice-activated touchscreen navigation system or the rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Toyota Venza is available with four- or six-cylinder engines, as well as front- or all-wheel drive. All feature a six-speed automatic. The 2.7-liter four-cylinder produces 182 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Estimated fuel economy with this engine and front-wheel drive is 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway (combined has not yet been released); all-wheel drive drops those numbers by 1 mpg. The 3.5-liter V6 makes 268 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque. Its fuel economy with front-wheel drive is an EPA-estimated 19 city/26 highway and 22 combined. Once again, all-wheel drive produces a 1-mpg loss in all categories.


Each 2009 Venza comes standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and front-seat active head restraints.

Interior Design and Special Features

While other recent Toyota products have disappointed us in their build and materials quality, the 2009 Venza manages to avoid these problems. The front cabin's sleek center console is important to note, as its high-mounted shifter located next to the climate controls frees up space between the seats for a large bin covered by cupholders and a smaller bin designed for iPods and other small devices. There's another compartment designed specifically to hold Blackberrys, other PDAs and MP3 players. The audio and climate controls are a new design for Toyota, but they remain user-friendly. A high-mounted LCD screen shows trip computer and climate control information along with the optional back-up camera display.

Although it lacks a third-row seat, the Venza provides loads of passenger space -- particularly in the rear, which features a reclining seatback. A bit more driver seat adjustment would be nice, though. The trunk can swallow 70 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seat folded, while boasting 34.4 cubes with the seats up (both numbers are a smidgen more than those of the Ford Edge and just a bit less than a RAV4).

Driving Impressions

It shouldn't come as a shock that the 2009 Toyota Venza is hardly a wagon in the ilk of sporty European models. Instead, like the Camry on which it is based, the Venza is designed for comfort and ease of driving. Unlike the Camry, however, this crossover wagon gives the impression of being robust, with a more solid feel over bumps. The electric power steering also provides a bit more feedback than its sedan cousin, but it still feels pretty disconnected from the front wheels. Parking lot maneuvers couldn't be easier for a vehicle of this size, however. Both engines provide ample power to move this sizable wagon, although the V6 is obviously the way to go if passing folks on the highway takes precedence over achieving the best fuel economy.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Better than expected

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (2.7L 4cyl 6A)

Purchased new in 2009, I have a 4 cyl, with the towing package. That was the best investment I made. I have moved three times and can tow any trailer form Uhaul. No maintenance issue to date, but have replaced the tires once. They are expensive. The gas is not that great (Ave 25 MPG) especially when you tow (average MPG) but it runs great. 61,000 miles as of 12/2014. A/C is OK, not great. No complaints from passengers. Plenty of room in the back even for tall people. Back seats come down so I can haul almost anything a typical homeowner needs. Overall - Excellent!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

2009 toyota venza issues after

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought my Toyota Venza in '11 with 32K miles on it.... It's a fully loaded V6 AWD, everything except the DVD screen. I wrote a review a couple years ago, here is the updated version... The drive is great, power and get up-n-go are awesome. Gas mileage is not the greatest, about 20-21mpg mostly city driving, but it's got almost as much room as a much larger SUV. Love the 20 inch wheels, hate buying tires for them. $1600 for 4 Michelins. Have replaced the sun visors twice now on the driver side and once on the passenger side. I've read that I'm not the only one that has problems with the sun visors. The road noise is terrible at speeds above 50m mph. It sounds as if I'm driving with

Absolutely fabulous vehicle

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (2.7L 4cyl 6A)

We drove from Akron, OH to Rochester, NY to purchase this car, and we haven't looked back ! 26,000 miles and the ride is very comfortable. It handles like a car, and you've got the SUV space. Gas mileage is 26 in town and 30 on the highway. All the luxury of the Lexus for thousands less. My husband is 6.1 and he's very comfortable in the driver and passenger seats. The 4 cyl engine has plenty of power and the transmission is smooth. We plan to keep this car well over 100k miles. The only problem we have is who gets to drive it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my venza!!

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I bought my 2009 FWD 6-Cyl Venza in May, 2009. I now have 81,000+ miles on it and have only had one minor problem in the last 4.5 years! It is the best car I have ever owned and I love everything about it. I think it's the best kept secret on the market. I recently bought a vacation condo near the beach and was able to transport all of my odds and ends - chairs, headboard, kitchen table, etc in my car at various times because there is so much cargo room. I'll probable replace my car at the end of 2014 and it will be another Venza!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sorry i purchased this car

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

27,000 miles, 4 years old, steering column shot and very noisy. Toyota was $1750 to replace this. My next Toyota will be a Honda.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Venza almost a crossover

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Venza 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I have had this vehicle for 10k now, and it is pretty comfortable ... it is, as expected, of Toyota quality...AWD functions very well.... but it fails on several styling fronts. MPG is as advertised around 22 mixed.

Talk About The 2009 Venza

2009 Toyota Venza Discussions See all Started By

I bought my Venza 2009 new at a dealer. Whenever the radio is turned on, regardless whether it is on AM or FM band, after about 2 minutes I got a headache. If I keep the radio on my head will hurt on ...

A friend drove into work in her 2009 Venza. As she parked. the engine went up in flames. She's okay, but the vehicle isn't. This just happened today 4-15-2010 in front of scores people. Has anyone...

On this very day, 2009 Toyota Venzas will begin rolling off the assembly line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky. Toyota builds its newest five-passenger crossover on the same line as the Camry...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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