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Auto Show Quick View: 2010 Toyota Venza

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Auto Show Quick View:

2010 Toyota Venza


First in this series of auto show quick views; the 2010 Toyota Venza. I decided to do a writeup for the Venza because... well... it was there and it looked lonely. Seriously, most of the Toyota exhibit was abandoned since Toyota wasn't unveiling anything at the show. I picked the Venza because it's a relatively new vehicle that most people are unfamiliar with, at least close up.


One of the first things that strikes me about the Venza is it's attractive stance from the rear. From the rear you notice the Volvo tail lamps that Toyota successfully melded into their own car. It has a lot more style and character than anything else I can think of in the Toyota brand. Unfortunately, the good looks don't circle around to the front there a huge bull dog grill awaits, grinning at you menacingly.

gallery_51_31_613426.png <a href='http://www.cheersandgears.com/index.php?app=gallery&module=images&img=418'><img src='http://www.cheersandgears.com/uploads/1269887413/gallery_51_31_606511.png' alt='2010 Toyota Venza Front' /></a>


The interior is a mixed bag of premium and not so premium feeling stuff. Working forward from the cargo area, you'll find a large standard trunk area with a sturdy load floor. The load floor however didn't appear to have any sort of latch or velcro to hold it down and could easily come loose on very rough pavement. The rear seats fold down using levers just inside the hatch. The load floor is even but at a slightly upward angle rear to front. Overall cargo room is good, however it is compromised by large strut towers and a rear roof lip that intrude into the space. Moving to the rear seat, there is plenty of head and leg room. The rear seats recline but not far enough to be much use.... still the option is nice.

The front is where things really get inconsistent. The gauges are large and easy to read. HVAC and stereo simple enough to work once you hunt down the button you're looking for. Driving position is good with decent visibility. Styling isn't very inspiring, but it's inoffensive. The sliding center console with MP3 player holder is innovative in concept but clunky in operation. There are dash punchouts that one would think would get filled with buttons if you move to a loaded model, however out of 3 available punchouts, only one gets a button on upper models. The base model fabric feels awful. The leather of course is better feeling and has an interesting grain, but somehow manages to feel more like vinyl than leather. The mini-glove box on the driver's left is positioned just right to hit your knee when it falls open with a thud.... and it's only a matter of time before that happens due to the extremely cheap latch mechanism.

Of course, I didn't get to drive the Venza so I can't give a review of that. The Venza seems to be aimed at the more car like CUVs like Ford's new Edge and Chevrolet Equinox. I haven't driven an Edge yet, but I know from my earlier review of a 2010 Equinox that it's interior isn't the mixed bag the Toyota Venza's is.

Photo gallery: 2010 Toyota Venza

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Someone at work has a Venza, so I see it the lot most every day...one thing I do like about it is the color, it's that bronze that's been seen in articles about it, etc.

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