"Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things." Neither, apparently, does the 2009 Toyota Venza--and that's not a bad thing.

The above quote was spoken by a fuzzy little green alien in 1980's "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." The point? That noble warriors should not look for trouble but rather should do their jobs competently and without complaint. The same could be said of Toyota's Venza crossover SUV/wagon, which is based on the company's ever-so-popular Camry sedan.

The Venza is essentially a stretched and raised Camry that offers a higher perch for the driver and extra cargo space. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available, but we suspect it's meant more for snow-belt drivers than for off-road adventuring.

Our AWD test model was powered by the optional 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, which mates to a 6-speed automatic. Included in our tester's $29,250 base price were goodies such as dual-zone climate control, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split folding rear seat, remote keyless entry, and an MP3-player holder. Available safety features include ABS, an antiskid system, traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and a driver's-side knee airbag.

Options? Our test car had a few. Premium Package #2, for starters, which cost a hefty $4,345 and included leather seats, heated front seats, wood trim in the interior, a push-button start, a power rear door, a rearview camera, and power heated outside mirrors, to name just a few items. A navigation system that included an uplevel audio system and a wireless cell phone link added another $2,590. A panoramic sunroof added $1,050 more to the total, and floor mats and a cargo mat ran $269. All this plus the base price and $720 destination fee brought the as-tested price to $38,224

source:http://www.toyotamonitor.com/review/1036711_car-review-2009-toyota-venza

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