Looking expensive and up-market with its 19- or optional 20-inch rims, the Venza comes equipped with over 70 cubic feet of cargo space, a nicely styled interior and plenty of standard equipment. The vehicle is available in three trim levels; LE, XLE and Limited. Two engines are available, a 4-cylinder and a V6, making 181 and 268 horsepower respectively. Both engines can be tethered to either front or all-wheel drive drivetrains and both are controlled by a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Toyota has chosen not to limit drivetrain choices on the two lower trim levels, meaning that the configuration of the car is highly customizable. Buyers who don't need many luxury features, but want to take advantage of the extra power of a V6 and extra traction of all-wheel-drive, will be pleased to know that the standard LE is available in just such a configuration. Limited models however, come only with the V6 engine, though all-wheel drive is still only optional.
The base LE trim Venza comes packed to the gills with standard features, many of which would be perfectly at home in today's luxury vehicles. Features include an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, dual zone automatic climate control with second-row-seat vents, an LCD multi-informational display, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls and side mirrors equipped with turn signals. The standard Display Audio system includes a 6.1-inch touch screen and is capable of playing MP3s. It has six speakers and is able to interface with external music devices through an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port or via Bluetooth. Bluetooth can also be used for hands free telephone calls and phone book access. The LE can be further bolstered with the Convenience Package or the Preferred Package. The Convenience package adding a power liftgate and a rear backup camera while the Preferred Package adds a glass sunroof and a navigation system.
XLE Venzas are even better equipped. The front passenger seat features 4-way power adjustability while the driver's seat has a memory function. Both front seats feature multi-stage heating and all seating surfaces are leather trimmed. Electronic enhancements include Entune, a navigation system, a smart key system with push button start, a power rear liftgate, a backup camera and an anti-theft system with an alarm and an engine immobilizer. The only major option on the XLE is the Premium package, which includes a glass sunroof and a 13 speaker JBL audio system with satellite radio.
Limited Venzas are available with V6 power only and include all of the standard features of the XLE along with the 13-speaker JBL audio system and a moonroof. The Limited also gets HID headlights, daytime running lights and automatic headlight dimmers, capable of sensing oncoming traffic and automatically changing the headlights to low-beam mode.
Safety in the Venza is aided by the vehicles low center of gravity when compared to many SUVs. However standard safety devices include anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control. The Venza has seven airbags and an active head restraint system, which uses cables to push the headrests forward and upward if the vehicle is hit from behind, limiting the potentially harmful effects of whiplash.