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  #1  
Old 12-08-2008, 07:49 PM
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Thumbs down Test Drive?

Has anyone actually take their test drive yet? If so what did you think?:
Just curious...
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2008, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: Test Drive?

I drove on 6 Dec in Dallas area. Very smooth. Good driver. I ordered loaded. Maybe by Christmas.

Last edited by dlm1942; 12-08-2008 at 09:01 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2008, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: Test Drive?

I drove a Venza last night. A very nice car, but I have a major concern about the blind spots to the rear of the car. The tiny triangular windows above the cargo area, combined with a very thick rear pillars, will make lane changes on the freeway quite hazardous. Am I being paranoid? It will be interesting if the reviews in the car mags and the auto blogs concur on this. What do other folks think?
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2008, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Test Drive?

The Queen and I have driven the Nissan Rogue, Infiniti EX and FX and all 3 of them suffered from a rear vision problem. I'll let you know how the Venza compares but I guess it's something you get use to?
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2008, 11:52 PM
SpecialAgentJ
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Default Re: Test Drive?

I drove one yesterday that was AWD in the snow in Flagstaff, nice car/SUV, I will order one in the next month. V6, glass roof, all the extras. I was told mine should come in at aprox. $38,505.00.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2008, 12:00 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Test Drive?

A local dealership finally received shipment of their first Venza's, so I ventured forth.

My impressions; I come down about right in the middle of others opinions of the exterior. Not exciting, but perfectly acceptable. The 20 inch wheels do give it a very contemporary appearance, but I question the need and replacement cost.

The interior is nicely appointed. As others have mentioned in their reviews, quite Lexus-like. The second tier sound system does certainly fill the cabin well. I did like the leather appointments, but did not see the cloth variety to make a fair comparison. The rear seating area is generous, and I'm sure passengers will appreciate the legroom. A small added plus; the heated seats are a welcome complement to the cold leather here in the high country.

The ride is slightly firmer than expected; however, I'm sure one would quickly adjust. My "tester" was V6/AWD. Plenty of freeway merging and mountain power. I did like the manual select feature of the transmission. I've driven other cars with this feature when renting, and found it useful, especially in Mountain driving. The steering is crisp and presents a nice "road feel". As previously mentioned, the rear quarter blind spot(s), will take some getting used to.

Having become a great fan of the IPOD the wife bestowed on me for Christmas last year, I appreciate the little compartment set aside for it. Why they didn't go the extra inch and provide a USB connection seems odd however.

Overall, seems like a 7.5 on the 10 scale, possibly an 8. We fit the target demo, empty nester's who need an occasional cargo hauler for the grocery, Costco, and Lowes runs. We don't need an all out big SUV at this point, and the typical sedan doesn't quite fill the bill either. It appears that once again Toyota has done it's homework in the marketplace, and this station wagon, uhhh, "crossover sedan" fills a niche.

The Venza seems like a fit for us, and I think we'll order after the first of the year.
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2009, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Test Drive?

I'm a 2003 Camry owner and am now looking for a AWD vehicle due to our predicted MW weather pattern. I"m looking at the Venza. Intially it blew me away. I took a quick test drive around the parking lot (due to extreme weather conditions). I walked away saying that will be my next vehicle (I too am waiting for the 4 cyl for comparison -Consumer Rpts states they predict 66% of Venza's will be 4 cyl).
Now that I'm doing some comparison shopping, I'm not so sure about Venza. I did notice the blind spot, but I have a Camry that has swollowed a semi truck into its black hole. I've learned to be a cautious driver as a result, so Venza's blind spot is not a deterent. Due to the high price tag, I am shopping other high end cars, mainly the Lexus RX350 and Honda CRV. Althougth somewhat pricier, it is still a valid comparison.
Call me crazy, but the dashboard of the Venza is driving me crazy. Its reminds me of nail scratches. What were they thinking? In addition is the newness and lack of experience with this vehicle. One of the reasons I'm looking to trade in my Camry is due to a malfunction which has hit many of the 2003 models. Toyota has not done a recall. This has shaken my faith in Toyota..even in a proven model such as the Camry. Now here comes the Venza, and I'm hesitant to invest that much with no prior history.
So bottom line, I'm still debating. Venza is still in the running.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2009, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Test Drive?

Hey folks,

I've driven the AWD/FWD 4-cyl as well as the 6-cyl. FYI...the AWD is not constant - it activates when it perceives wheel slip. The I4 is more than adequate unless you want the ability for hard acceleration. I ordered my new Venza last friday and should see it by the end of April. I am transitioning from an 06 avalon and found the ride nearly on par with the Venza. The I4 can easily accelerate and merge into highway traffic. Granted it has to work a bit harder than the Avalon but that is not how you'd normally drive. The power is there when you need it.

the Vezna definitely has blind spots which is why I got the security/back up Camera pkg. I will be putting a convex mirror on the pass side for wide angle views. As a motorcycle operator for many years, it is natural for me to take a really had look over my shoulder to "see" what's behind and to the left of me.... all cars have blind spots and the new designs out there are focused on style over function...... so no matter what you buy, you'll have to work around the design-in obstructions.

Comparing the Venza to the RX350 and CRV isn't entirely apples to apples.... the Venza is not a SUV/CUV..... it is a wagon somewhere between a Camry and Avalon (IF there is a discernible difference). I don't know why everyone is afraid of the wagon label - the car is built for two demographics: the young family and boomers. I need the cargo and tow capability my 06 Avalon lacks. Otherwise I would have just kept the Avlon with only 27K miles on it with outstanding mpg's.

As for the crinkle affect on the dash material - the ONLY answer that comes to mind is adding texture to reduce glare from the dash.

As usual, Toyota isn't going to win any design awards. To be honest, when I first saw the Venza, it was parked next to a Chrysler Pacifica and they were nearly identical..... BUT the Venza is somewhat lower and is all car..... built on a camry/highlander platform.

A new model year intro concerned me as well but overall I consider the purchase a fair bet. Toyota has had its quality problems over the past several years but when compared to the competition, I believe it still has the edge......
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Test Drive?

No doubt about it the Venza isn't a typical crossover and I'm not a big fan of either mini vans or station wagons (No offense intended) but Toyota did a nice job of combining the utility of both the mini van and station wagon with the amenities of a mid level luxury car like the Avalon.

The wife and I live out in the country, are self employed and own both a Nissan Titan and a 1 ton Dodge ram and have been looking at replacing the Titan with something a little easier on fuel that also can carry a month's worth of groceries or a quick run to Lowe's. We've looked at a slew of crossovers like the Nissan Rogue, Murano and Infinite EX and FX and the biggest problem with them is that they really don't have the cargo carrying capacity we need. Oh did I mention the 5 Doberman's and one Bloodhound?

Anyway, I think we're probably going to end up with the Venza and as far as a first year model I'm not worried. The Titan was a first year model and now has 116,000 miles. My Dodge is the first year of the Cummins 6.7L engine and 6 speed Auto and it has 50,000 miles not to mention I have a slew of friends who bought the Toyota Tundra when it first came out . www.toyotatundraforum.com

Not to mention that I think with a few Mods the Venza has the ability to be one sharp looking ride.
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