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Why Toyota Brought The Venza Back

Toyota Venza

The multinational conglomerate known as Toyota Motor Corporation has its headquarters in a city named after them, Toyota City, as well as in Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. Not only does the corporation oversee all operations of its own manufacturing company, but it also has business shares in Daihatsu Motors, Fuji Heavy Industries, Isuzu Motors, and Yamaha Motors. The brand names of Lexus and Scion also belong to Toyota. As a company, they have come a long way since 1937 and the humble roots of its founder, Kiichiro Toyoda. In addition to bringing forth to the automotive industry a flurry of well-respected models from the Toyota brand, the company has continually set and raised bars in design, performance, and safety features that have kept all their competitors, both local and domestic, on their toes. Year after year, Toyota has achieved a number of critical acclaim and awards for some of the best quality automobiles ever produced.

Toyota Venza

Starting with the 2009 model, the Toyota Venza was a mid-sized SUV crossover that was first revealed at the 2008 North American International Auto Show that was held in Detroit, Michigan. The Japanese-based automaker has this model currently manufactured out of its Georgetown, Kentucky factory. The standard fuel economy of the four-cylinder engine Venza is at nineteen miles per gallon for city driving and twenty-six miles per gallon for highway driving. Combined, the fuel economy rating is at twenty-three miles per gallon. The model of the Venza is based on the Toyota FT-SX concept car that was unveiled in 2005, also at Detroit's North American International Auto Show. The chassis of the Venza is the same that is used with the Toyota Camry series. It also offers Toyota's trademarked 3.5L 2GR-FE V6 and 2.7-liter 1AR-FE engine. The Toyota Venza offers the driver the option between a front-wheel-drive (FWD) and an all-wheel-drive but is also the only crossover SUV not to have a third-row seating arrangement as the company's RAV4 and Highlander models do. The production of the 2009 lineup of the Toyota Venza began on November 11, 2008, where over seventy percent of its components came from suppliers within the United States.

At the time, Toyota projected the sales of the 2009 Toyota Venta to range between 75,000 to 100,000 with the starting price tag of $29,975 USD for the FWD models and at $29,250 for the AWD models. For its class, the standard equipment was considered very good and it offered cruise control, fog lamps, HomeLink, as well as a number of infotainment and security features that allowed the Venza to meet with all the governmental regulations the American government had in place to comply with its specifications. At the time, Toyota advertised the Venza to combine style and comfort as a car with the flexibility of a sport utility vehicle (SUV). At the time, Motor Trend's vehicle critics for its magazine were informed by Toyota that the Venza was to be entered in the car class competitions instead of among the trucks and SUVs. However, due to Venza's height, Motor Trend decided it doesn't qualify to enter as a car either, so the first lineup of Toyota's Venza was completely kept out of any of the magazine's list of competitive listings within the automotive industry.

On the Wrong Foot

From 2009 until 2015, the Toyota Venza received mixed reviews and was subject to a number of recalls. According to Consumer Guide, the 2013 model of the Venza, the cargo room was the Venza's best feature while the rest, at best, was mediocre. According to a number of critics and owners of the Venza series ranging from 2009 until 2015, the 2010 lineup was by far the worst due to the number of recalls it had to contend with. This model, along with other 2010 lineups from Toyota's production line, became the recipient of negative publicity that hurt both the Toyota name and the entire Venza series. Even in 2015, the memory of Toyota Venza's disastrous year of its 2010 models was still too fresh, which resulted in Venza's inability to fully recover from what was already a bad start for the series.

Let's Try Again

Returning in 2021 as a hybrid after Toyota pulled the production plug on the Venza in 2015, the new 2021 Toyota Venza is determined to redeem itself as a re-invented car-SUV crossover. Using Toyota's latest Hybrid System II, this new breed of Venzas is a hybrid-only 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine that is synced with the synchronous electric motors. This is the same configuration that powers the current Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Highlander hybrids. The Toyota Venza is the recipient of RAV4's 219 horsepower hybrid powertrain, as well as the 176 horsepower 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder as its official engine specifications. The output is all electrical.

The fuel economy allows a 5.9-liter per 100 kilometers feature, which nearly doubles the performance grade the 2009 to 2015 models previously featured. Unlike the previous models, the 2021 Toyota Venza comes as an all-wheel-drive vehicle only. Also, thanks to the advancements of technology, this particular lineup of the Venza series has its rear axle Hybrid Synergy Drive motor react to wheel slippage once it's in demand. The infotainment system is also an improvement with just over twelve inches touchscreen to work with. The sound comes from the 1,200-watt JBL system, which makes the audio experience of either radio or USB play at a premium level. The panoramic glass roof comes with frost control, which allows the driver to either have a clear sunroof or use the electrochromic technology to turn it into frost mode in less than just one second. Since 2010, Toyota has vastly improved upon the safety features as it now has the Toyota Safety Sense 20.0 standard that includes a pre-collision system with bicycle and pedestrian detection. It also has a speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and lane tracing assistance. Also, standard on the 2021 Toyota Venza models are the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert features. Toyota is determined to revive its Venza series as a premium quality crossover vehicle experience for families as there is now an increased demand among automobile consumers who are swaying away from sedans to larger vehicles like the SUV. The past five years have seen an increase of new vehicle sales of pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers that has over two-thirds of the consumer market favor these types of vehicles more than any other. Knowing when done right the Venza can capitalize on that market to appease empty-nesters and families alike.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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