As a successful rapper – no wait, even I can’t say that without laughing. But check these rims, son! Twenties on my ‘Yota, ya heard? What you think I rap for, to push a four-cyl RAV4? Venza for life, yo! *complicated gesture involving mild finger dislocation*


Well anyway, here’s a wagon version of the Toyota Camry with 20-inch rims. What a world.

Some years ago, a wise man named Ludacris (shout-out! That’s a rapping thing, right?) once bragged about the diameter of the alloy wheels on his particular motor vehicle. At the time, a twenty-inch rim was a showy extravagance, the kind of “bling” only found on the “whip” of a true “baller.” Starting to feel a little bit like Dr. Evil over here. I’m still hip! I’m with it!

However, the tenets of modern design now include swathes of sheet metal that require big-ass dubs to balance things out. Thus we have 19-inch alloys as the base offering on the Toyota Venza, a machine you can get with a 184-hp four-cylinder engine, and 20-inchers as standard on the V6 version.

And that’s a bit of a shame. The Venza is positioned to be a slightly more upscale offering than either the RAV4 or the Highlander, vehicles it sits between in terms of sizing and price, but it’s not a premium vehicle, and the two main issues with having wheels this big – the cost of replacement tires and a tendency for unsprung weight to negatively impact ride and handling – will affect the regular consumers shopping the Venza against something like a Subaru Outback.

Still, you should be able to fit much smaller rims on come winter time as the brakes aren’t particularly large – 17-inchers will work. And perhaps it’s just a matter of time before your mixtape finds its way into the right hands.

The Venza is coming up for seven model years old now, with a facelift that’s now three years old. Still, it does look pretty good overall, something like a less-puffy Sienna, and should continue to age well.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of the interior, which looks every bit of that seven years old. It’s not a question of durability or quality, merely an older design that’s heavy on the plastic, and somewhat plain. We don’t need soft-touch materials everywhere, but just look at how Toyota’s improved the inside of their Highlander to see what could be done better here.

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