Wagons, depending on who’s answering the question, are either truly, wonderfully cool or very, very objectionable. Despite the Venza’s elevated height, an increasingly common feature of many new cars, the Toyota Venza is for all intents and purposes a station wagon. Oh, Toyota offers all-wheel drive. And the 4-cylinder engine is a big’un at 2.7 litres. The 2011 Toyota Venza V6 AWD weighs over 4000 pounds, for goodness sake.
Nevertheless, the Toyota Venza is a good ol’ fashion station wagon. And who on Earth wants a station wagon when a good ol’ fashion midsize family sedan’ll do the trick? For starters, Canada. Canadians chose the Venza over its Toyota K-platform partner, the Camry, by a ratio of 2-to-1 in October 2010. Venzas are more spacious, better-looking, and far less ordinary than Camrys. The Venza’s visual ebullience makes the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Chevrolet Malibu appear downright apathetic. “Who cares if we look boring?”, those sedans shout. “We do”, shouts back a posse of Venzas.
See the way that character line develops above the rear wheel and connects to the taillamp? That line helps make the Venza look powerful. Notice how the greenhouse cuts a V into the D-pillar? That, in partnership with the Venza’s full wheelarches, gives the Venza a sense of motion, even when parked. The Toyota Venza’s arching roofline and sharply raked tailgate offer up a sense of coupeness ordinarily seen in sporty compact hatchbacks. Yeah, the Venza is cool – don’t be ashamed to agree.
Engines: 182 horsepower; 182 lb-ft of torque from a 2.7L 4-cylinder or 268 horsepower; 246 lb-ft of torque from a 3.5L V6
Base USD/CAD Price: $26,475 / $29,310
City Fuel Economy: 19-21 miles per gallon
Cargo Capacity: 30.7 cubic feet or 70.1 with rear seats folded
Sales Stats: Wagon-loving Canada has accepted the Toyota Venza with open arms, even making the Venza the 16th best-selling car in Canada in September when the Camry wasn’t even in the top 20. In 2010, the Venza has pretty much been as popular as the Camry in Canada. In America, on the other hand, Venza sales amounted to 3551 in October, not small potatoes by any measure but also not worthy of the Best Sellers list. The Camry out-sold the Venza 7-to-1 in October.
Fiat 500 – Ford F-150 – Ford Mustang V6 – Infiniti G25
Jeep Wrangler – Nissan Juke – Porsche Boxster Spyder – Porsche Cayenne
Honda Accord Crosstour – Lexus HS250h
Lincoln MKT – Nissan Leaf – Nissan Versa Sedan