NEW FOR 2016:

– New Redwood special edition for Venza AWD and Venza V6 AWD
– Front-wheel drive V6 powertrain combination discontinued

Toyota’s Venza crossover has been given a stay of execution for 2016 in Canada. Though it’s already been dropped from Toyota’s lineup in the U.S., Toyota Canada has built up a stock of the mid-sized Camry-based crossover.

There are only three key differences to note for this year’s Venza. First, Toyota has dropped the front-wheel-drive variant of the V6 model. Second, there are fewer colours available: pearl white, silver, black, and two shades of grey. Lastly, there’s a new Redwood special edition trim, which adds red-brown perforated leather seats and a badge on the tailgate to the existing XLE package. It’s offered at no additional cost compared to the standard XLE.

Over the past eight years, the Venza has provided buyers a more stylish take on the traditional two-row crossover. Larger than the likes of the RAV4, but smaller than the Highlander, the Venza originally stood out against the likes of the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano. These days, it’s feeling quite old, though it’s hard to ignore the spacious rear accommodations and well-organized cabin. Though the Venza rides on 19- and 20-inch wheels and has a sporty look, it feels somewhat bulky to drive, and its ride is stiff.

Toyota offers the Venza with two powertrains: a naturally aspirated 2.7-litre four-cylinder or a 3.5-litre V6. Both get a six-speed automatic transmission. The Venza comes standard with front-wheel drive; AWD is an option with the four-cylinder engine, and standard with the V6.

Features on the Venza include 19-inch alloy wheels, 6.1-inch display audio system with AM/FM/MP3/CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary input jack, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, eight-way power driver seat, 60/40 split rear bench seat, power locks, power windows with auto-up/down, 3.5-inch LCD multi-information display, electroluminescent instrument cluster, auto-dimming rear view mirror with digital compass, tilt/telescopic steering with steering wheel mounted audio controls, woodgrain interior, chrome inner door handles, tonneau cover, cargo mat, cargo net, carpeted and all-season floor mats, cruise control, integrated garage door opener, illuminated entry, keyless entry, dual heated power mirrors, blind spot convex mirrors, rear privacy glass, body colour door handles and mirrors, chrome exhaust, variable intermittent wipers, automatic headlight system, and fog lights.

The Venza V6 adds 20-inch alloy wheels and dual exhaust.

The Heated Cloth Seats Package, available on all trims, includes front heated seats.

The Leather Package, available on all trims, includes heated front seats, and leather upholstery.

The XLE Package, available on Venza, Venza AWD, and V6 AWD includes navigation, heated front seats, leather upholstery, power tailgate, panoramic sunroof, and alarm.

The Redwood Edition builds on the XLE package and adds Redwood leather upholstery and a Redwood Edition badge.

The Limited Package, available on AWD and V6 AWD trims, builds on XLE Package and adds 13-speaker JBL audio system, stitched leather door trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power four-way passenger seat, proximity key with push-button start, HID headlamps, chrome exterior door handles, driver memory system, power folding exterior mirrors with reverse auto-tilt, LED daytime running lights, automatic high beams, and rear parking sensors.

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