As expected, the Toyota Venza – a new American-only car with the performance of a sedan and the functionality of an SUV turned out the be version of the Toyota Mark X ZiO reskinned inside and out – the Venza is wider and longer than the Mark X ZiO, but shares the same wheelbase. Someone needs to remind Toyota North America that a sedan with the functionality of an SUV is actually a station wagon.
The new Toyota Venza is available with two engine options – an unspecified 2.7 litre inline-4 (all-new, not the 151 PS unit from the Toyota Hiace van) or a nice 268 horsepower 3.5 litre V6 with 333Nm of torque. Both engines drive either the front wheels or all four wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual sequential shifting.
The wheels that Toyota have put on this one are huge – 245/50R20 tyres on 20 inch alloy wheels for the V6 version, while the 2.7 litre 4 cylinder version comes with 19 inch wheels as standard, with 20 inch wheels being optional. Unlike the Japanese market Toyota Mark X ZiO, the Toyota Venza is strictly a 5 seater. The rear seats can recline up to 14 degrees for better passenger comfort. The Venza will be equipped with 7 airbags which include a driver’s knee airbag.
A first for a Toyota in the US is the Automatic High Beam headlight system. With this system, when you are using your high beams, the system automatically switches headlights to low beam when it detects oncoming traffic. When the system detects the oncoming traffic has passed, it switches back on the high beams automatically.
Full details on the Toyota Venza’s specifications will be available towards the end of 2008 when the car actually goes on sale.
More photos after the jump.
Toyota Mark X ZiO launched in Japan