Toyota rolled out the 2012 Toyota Venza today.
The 2012 Toyota Venza, which sounds Italian, is bankrolled by a Japanese carmaker and engineered (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and assembled in America (Georgetown, Ky.). It is only being sold in North America (starting at around $29,000) and 70% of its components are from North American auto suppliers. The finished Toyota Venza is nothing short of a 4-wheel work of art, blending crossover capability into the body of a sporty sedan.
The 2012 Toyota Venza LE and XLE come with a choice of 4- and 6-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Limited has a V6 with a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Standard on the Venza (pictured) is a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 182 horsepower and 182 lb.-ft. of torque at 4200 rpm. This car gets 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. The 3.5-liter V6 cranks out 268 horsepower and 246 lb.-ft. of torque at 4700 rpm. The V6 provides 19 mpg city and 26 on the freeway.
Standard on the LE are dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and second row seat vents, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 3.5-inch multi-information display, a tilt / telescopic adjustable steering wheel with integrated audio controls, an overhead console with map lights, rear-seat adjustable personal reading lamps and three 12-volt power outlets. The audio system has an AM / FM six-disc, in-dash CD changer with integrated satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB port with iPod connectivity, auxiliary audio jack, auto sound leveling and six speakers.
The XLE is a major luxury and convenience upgrade over the LE. It adds leather seats, steering wheel and shift knob; a 4-way power passenger seat; heated front seats; an anti-theft system with alarm and engine immobilizer; Smart Key System with pushbutton start and illuminated entry; power rear liftgate; and a back-up camera. Navigation voice instructions are available on the XLE in Spanish, French or English.
The new V6-only Limited combines the XLE Navigation Package and the panoramic glass roof with front power moonroof, and adds high-intensity discharge headlights with automatic high beams. The high beam feature detects oncoming vehicles and automatically switches the headlamps from high- to low-beam.
Toyota says it is marketing the Venza "to customers who prioritize bold, innovative design, a luxurious and refined interior, and excellent handling but still require roominess and versatility." That means, kind of, that the Venza has the body size of a midsize sedan and the attributes of a sport-utility vehicle because it has a squat stance, fold-flat rear seats, lots of cargo room and an elevated sight line. And it can tow 3,500 pounds.
Hill-start Assist Control is standard on the Venza. It temporarily provides pressure to the brakes while the vehicle is stopped on an incline to help ensure easier starting with no rollback, according to Toyota literature.
Standard safety features include a driver’s knee airbag, driver and front-passenger front-seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags. Front seat-belt pretensioners retract the seat belt in a severe frontal collision, while the dual-stage force limiters help limit the seat-belt force applied to the driver’s and front passenger’s chests.
The adjustable center console on the 2012 Toyota Venza has a sliding cover and armrest, three iPod / mp3 player holders with wire concealment features and a large storage compartment. The console also has a USB port, auxiliary audio jack and 12-volt power outlet. A switch enables front-seat occupants to operate all four personal overhead interior lights.
Interior colors are ivory and light gray. On XLE and Limited grades, the standard Optitron speedometer and tachometer and multi-color center instrument panel display are paired with optional satin mahogany wood-grain style trim.
We close with what's most important: There are 10 bottle and cup holders. Some are sliding and dual-illuminated.
You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. Or follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.
Image source: Toyota