January 14, 2008 – Detroit, MI – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the all-new 2009 Venza crossover sedan at a press conference here today at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Venza will raise the crossover vehicle to new levels by combining a unique blend of sedan refinement and sport utility vehicle (SUV) functionality.
“The all-new Venza was developed as a vehicle that combines the styling, comfort and fun-to-drive performance elements of a five-passenger sedan with the surprising utility of an SUV,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “This winning combination will be ideal for active ‘boomers’ and young couples with small families.”
All aspects of Venza’s engineering and design were targeted specifically for the North American market where it will be sold exclusively. Venza was primarily engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and designed at Toyota’s Calty design studios in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. Venza will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), in Georgetown, Ky.
The development focus of the Venza design team was to create a new crossover vehicle that shifted away from the more traditional SUV styling themes that tend to dominate the segment. Calty designers leaned more heavily on a sleek sedan concept with a wide stance that featured a sporty exterior and premium comfort interior but would also be equipped with important SUV attributes such as cargo space, towing capability and all-wheel-drive performance.
The exterior design of the four-door Venza begins with an imposing front end featuring a distinctive grille, headlights and fog lamps for an aggressive, yet classy appearance. The front conforms to a sleek and aerodynamic shape with short overhangs, crisp character lines and a roofline and ground clearance that are lower than a typical crossover. From behind, Venza’s refined appearance is complete with an angled rear hatch, rear spoiler and wide wraparound tail lights that interconnect with the hatch door.
On the inside, Calty designers and TTC engineers made comfort, refinement and utility a priority for the five-passenger Venza. A lower rocker design will allow occupants to more easily step in and out of the vehicle than a typical sedan. Venza will also feature a higher ride height and hip points that will help provide significantly better driver visibility than most sedans and easier ingress and egress than most SUVs.
Venza will feature a spacious interior providing ample room for all five passengers and abundant SUV-like cargo space behind the second row of seats. The rear hatch provides a low cargo height that allows for easy loading and unloading of luggage and outdoor gear. Easy-to-use levers, one on each side of the rear cargo area, allow the 60/40 split rear seats to fold flat, providing additional storage space for extra long items such as surf boards, skis, camping gear and gardening equipment. For added passenger comfort, the rear seats recline up to 14 degrees.