Traded in an 06 Subaru Outback that was a fine car, that had uncomfortable front seats for aging baby boomer backs. Researched crossovers for 4 months (Q5, CX9, Equinox, 2010 Outback, RX350, Santa Fe, Acadia, Highlander). Found the Venza to be the best overall choice for seat comfort, V6 response/MPG, cargo space, value, and Toyota reliability. Have driven about 700 mi. So far-have gotten what I thought-[A Crossover Compromise] of Comfy seats, vague "Bouncy" steering feel, rough ride over bumps thanks to the (no choice) 20" wheels, 24.6 average combined MPG, smooth V6 powertrain, useless small display backup camera with no NAV, and average interior material quality with inferior dash construction.
Unusual Golden Umber color. Once adjusted correctly-leather seat comfort is excellent, Homelink, JBL Audio, Bluetooth, and Convenience pkg. are nice. Center console layout and cargo capacities are very usable. Toyota/Lexus reliability for a fair TMV price compared to other similar crossovers.
Steering feel is like a 10 year old GM cruiser, offer 18" wheels for better ride and lower replacement cost. Upgrade dash with better quality materials and less seams. Update Bluetooth to at least V2.0, and offer some blindside side mirror warning/assist with turn light indication.
This is a car for anyone who wants a good dose of comfort, economy, and performance. The I4 moves it with authority. The amenities and quality are impressive. Reliability is an unknown for me as this is my first Toyota, but Toyota has a reputation for reliability.
Navigation, XM Radio, Keyless entry.
The window buttons on the driver door are placed too far forward. I get the rear window buttons when I am reaching for the front window buttons.
2009 Toyota Venza Wagon 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
After only a couple of days the brakes started to squeak. The dealer replaced the brakes today so we'll see. The interior is very nice and well laid out (certainly one of Toyota's better looks). The exterior... boring, unoriginal but not bad. Rides a little rougher than it should. Not been able to get avg MPG past 19.3 but working on it. Climate control works well and I love the push to start button. Overall power is not bad and the brakes are very responsive. The rear door seems to be very picky as to when it wants to open for you but that is probably just a learning curve. No USB???? Annoying oversite! Bluetooth streaming works well but often needs resetting. Cruise buttons hard to find, see.
Interior design, amount of interior room, climate control, push button start with touch control door handles, braking, well designed moonroof. Fairly comfortable. Non-rollback on hills feature. Center console storage. Good amount of power. Nice looking but not spectacular.
Noise! Wind noise is very annoying and even causes a whistling on the freeway! Stereo could use subwoofer. USB! USB! Side proximity sensors. Better steering wheel stereo controls. Cruise control placement. Auto high-beams often seem confused. A more exciting driving experience. A more original look.
Love my venza. Stylish looks, roomy interiors and feels very solid. Was fearful that 19 inch tires will be bumpy, but after a few months don't feel that much. Highway driving smooth, love the heated seats and plenty of spaces to store small things like phones, ipods, purse, etc. Rear seat room is awesome, driving my friends they said feels like a limo at the back. Rear backup camera is very helpful, don't know how I lived without that with my previous cars. However I have the I4 FWD and city gas mileage is ~20. Expected a bit better. Highway mileage is ~30. Overall a good buy looking for something bigger than a car, but not a gas guzzler SUV.
Roominess, bluetooth, packs a lot in the trunk, backup camera
City gas mileage, ipod controls, mirrors/sensors for lane changes