2009 Toyota Venza (765)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at yet another Toyota in a series of one of the survivors of this world wide economic melt down – the new 2009 Toyota Venza FWD 4 cylinder SUV.

The survivors are a testimony to the free economic system that rewards prudence leading to profit. As sad as it is to see one time leaders of the industry fall, they do so because they were irresponsible. They allowed unions to push labor to over $75/ hour while companies like Toyota did the same job with $45 / hour labor. Not hard to see how good management with not so common, common sense win out in the end. It is clear to see Unions have outlived their usefulness.

Opinion:

Is there any question that today’s cars are far better and safer than ever? Of course not – yet the speed limits remain out of touch with the changing world. Clearly we all know everyone exceeds the speed limit including police officers whether on or off duty, not because posted speeds are unsafe but rather an opportunistic way to raise your taxes. Our men in blue however have a get out of jail free card – their badge! – so when they get stopped while off duty they simply flash that badge of honor. You guys and gals out there who work the highways know what I mean. It is they who are granted professional courtesy by the other tax collectors. Us, well we can simply pay for the ticket which is routinely $200 plus as well as increased insurance premiums because we have real jobs.

With the exception of foolish drivers most drivers observe the rule of caution and safety according to conditions. The foolish will be bad drivers at any speed.

Artificial maximums purport to improve fuel economy and safety but really only serve to raise money to support even more traffic control cops. Consider the Autobahns of Europe where two lane highways accommodate driving at double the speeds in America. I know, I’ve driven them at 125 mph and the drivers there are better than here because they have to be. Licenses to drive demand more and conditions of higher speeds demands more as well. So much for a speed limit of 65 when conditions permit much more. I suggest we cut the number of cops and let them get ‘real’ jobs where they too could produce some goods and services that add to the GNP / GDP and not consume the labor of others.

Handling & Performance:

Generally a very nice addition to the line up for Toyota. I didn’t however like the jerky accelerator pedal and brakes that grab. The inline 4-cylinder engine produces 182 hp and it was just fine and allows 2-3 mpg better than the optional V6 4X2 and 3-4 mpg better than the 268 hp V6 4X4 if you prefer more power or want a 4-WD.

Styling:

Very nice looking. Good job guys. And everyone I spoke with about the car all agree we love the Root Beer color.

Conveniences and comfort:
Auto air conditioning (climate control) where you set the temp and forget it. You don’t appreciate it until you drive without it. Auto up and down windows are cool too but I can live without them.

The tire pressure monitoring system is definitely not perfect. They need to improve that before I’d opt to pay for that feature. I have found it in error more than it is helpful.

Fit and Finish:

Toyota attention to detail. Another job well done.

Cost:

Competitive in class and as much as $15,000 less than other players. Not worth the money spread for those SUVs.

Consumer Recommendation:

Well priced and my 2nd and 3rd choice would be Dodge Journey and Chevrolet Equinox and I’ll throw in Subaru Outback for good measure.

Recognized Competition:
Toyota Venza $26-29,000, Infiniti EX $32-37,000, Nissan Murano $28-37,000, Pontiac Torrent $25-31,000, Acura RDX $34-37,000, Saturn Vue $23-31,000, Mazda CX-7 $24-28,000, Saab 9-3 SportCombi $32-45,000, Hyundai Santa Fe $22-31,000, Honda CR-V $21-29,000, Audi A4 Avant $34,850, Mercury Mariner $23-28,000, Ford Edge $27-36,000, Dodge Journey $21-29,000, Chevrolet Equinox $22-30,000, Subaru Outback $20-32,000 BMW 3-Series Sports Wagon $35-37,000.

Good News:

Sweet design, decent fuel economy, competitively priced.

Bad News:

Jerky throttle and grabby brakes.

Standard Equipment:

2.7 liter 4-cylinder 182 hp engine, 6-speed auto transmission, 19” alloy wheels, electronic power steering, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution, stability control, front and side air bags with side curtain bags and driver knee airbag, LATCH anchor and child tether system, tire pressure monitoring system, halogen headlights, day running lights & fog lights, roof mounted radio and SAT antenna, front variable and rear intermittent wipers, climate control with filter, audio with 6 CD changer & Satellite, MP3 player holder and wired, reclining fold flat 60/40 rear seat, power multi adjustable driver seat, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with controls, power windows with auto up and down, remote keyless entry and cruise control.

Gas Stats:

$2.97/ Gal avg. June 27, ‘09
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

21 City and 29 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $25,975.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2009 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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