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2009 Toyota Venza Review

The five-seat Toyota Venza, introduced for the 2009 model year, stands out from the crowd of 2009 midsize SUVs with excellent fuel economy and great safety scores. Test drivers appreciated its standout looks, smooth performance and upscale interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth ride
  • Great fuel economy
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Boring to drive




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 8.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Toyota Venza Overview

Reviewers liked the 2009 Toyota Venza’s car-like handling and they loved its modern, attractive looks. The Venza comes with either a four-cylinder or a V6 engine and front- or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is fantastic, ranging from 21/29 mpg city/highway in two-wheel drive four-cylinder models to 18/25 mpg in V6 all-wheel drive models. Shoppers who are looking for V8 power, strong towing capacity or off-road ability will want to look elsewhere, because the Venza is intended for on-pavement commuting rather than backwoods adventures. Test drivers noted that although the Venza drives smoothly and comfortably, it’s not much fun to drive due to lots of body lean that limits cornering ability and light steering that gives little feedback. The Venza has excellent safety ratings.

Reviewers agreed the Venza’s best aspect is its interior. It offers more standard features than many of its competitors, including a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and a HomeLink garage door transceiver. The Venza’s long list of options when it was new includes mahogany interior trim, a panoramic glass roof, a voice-activated navigation system and push-button start. Test drivers also said that the Venza’s interior is especially well-crafted. It doesn’t offer a third row, but most testers said that the second row is roomy, with reclining back seats and lots of cargo space. In general, shoppers looking for an SUV that drives like a sedan, but offers more space, will find that the Toyota Venza is one of the best choices in the class. If you’re looking for an upscale-feeling SUV, you should take a long, hard look at the 2009 Toyota Venza.

See the full list of 2009 Toyota Venza specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers said the 2009 Ford Edge is relatively agile for an SUV, and its standard V6 engine offers plenty of power. They also said the Edge is a particularly refined entry in the class and has comfortable, roomy seats. The Edge’s fuel economy isn’t as good as the Venza's.

Reviewers were impressed with the 2009 Nissan Murano’s upscale interior and sporty handling. The Murano takes premium gas and its fuel economy isn’t nearly as good, but if you’re looking for an SUV that’s more fun to drive than the Venza, the Nissan Murano is a great choice.

Compare the Venza to the Edge and Murano »

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