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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the reason to get one over the other? They both have the same engines, gas milage, similar size, and priced very closely.

Highlander Advantages; more cargo space, third row
Venza Advantages; styling, gadgets, entry/exit height
 

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Not to sound cliche but I think more than ever, this one is going to come down to your gut feeling when you drive them both. When I sat in the Venza, it felt so much more carlike than the Highlander. So for me, if the Venza rides just a tad more "tighter" than the Highlander and I can do without the traditional Higlander cargo area, I'm going for the Venza. Granted this is alll pending my first drive of the Venza that I hope to drive this weekend....
 

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Once I offload my 07 Tundra Limited we plan on getting either a highlander or a Venza. Right now, a 4x4 Highlander Sport can be had for less coin then a Venza. I compared the prices using fitzmall which is about an hours drive from me but thank god my local dealer will meet and beat there price. They did it for the Corrola S we bought in May. Nothing but good things to say about Rosner Toyota.

We saw their first Venza at Rosner last night...plan on driving it real soon with the family to see how we it would work for us.
 

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Actually the Venza gets better gas mileage, accelerates faster, looks nice on 20s", and cost lesser. It all depends how many kids you're gonna have or have, and also, what you're gonna use the vehicle for. Camping, dune bugging, mountain climbing, etc...:DGood luck on what you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Of course after all of my researchi, internal debate, going to look at it twice the Mrs. says we need something with a third row. We have a 18 month and another on the way. assuming we keep our next car for at least 6 years we need to accomidate their growing size and cargo needs. She talking about all the play dates we are going to have. My issue with the Highlander is the non split third row and the amount of storage space when the third row is being used. Also i drive 70 miles round trip to work with the kids so i'd like something that doesn't get horrible milage. I know this is the wrong place to ask but can anyone think of alternatives?
 

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Of course after all of my researchi, internal debate, going to look at it twice the Mrs. says we need something with a third row. We have a 18 month and another on the way. assuming we keep our next car for at least 6 years we need to accomidate their growing size and cargo needs. She talking about all the play dates we are going to have. My issue with the Highlander is the non split third row and the amount of storage space when the third row is being used. Also i drive 70 miles round trip to work with the kids so i'd like something that doesn't get horrible milage. I know this is the wrong place to ask but can anyone think of alternatives?
Glad I am not the only one having this issue! Here is a list of some vehicles that are on our short list:

Ford Flex - drives big, but the interior is really nice, lots of room 24 mpg
Chevy Traverse - seems to be the best choice between the Outlook and acadia
Honda Pilot - cant go wrong with honda but the styling is blah to me
Mazda CX-9 - good reviews for most part

We have a 07 Tundra DblCab so there is no cargo issue and it has been the best truck I have ever owned but we don't need it. I have no problems feeding the hungry V8 but it comes down to need and want.
 

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Of course after all of my researchi, internal debate, going to look at it twice the Mrs. says we need something with a third row. We have a 18 month and another on the way. assuming we keep our next car for at least 6 years we need to accomidate their growing size and cargo needs. She talking about all the play dates we are going to have. My issue with the Highlander is the non split third row and the amount of storage space when the third row is being used. Also i drive 70 miles round trip to work with the kids so i'd like something that doesn't get horrible milage. I know this is the wrong place to ask but can anyone think of alternatives?
CX-9...........
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry eyedoc, there are a lot of times where we would like to take 4 adults and 2 kids in car seats. the venza can't do that and the highlander could do that but with no one taking any lugage.
Cooper and njerald,thanks for the suggestions.
Ford Flex - don't like the styling but seems very versital.
Chevy Traverse - I actually thought the Outlook was the better of the two but they are very close. The acadia looks big and bulky
Honda Pilot - maximizes the space with the boxy design. dash looks like a truck, clunky and awkward.
We are taking a real hard look at the cx-9. Yes, the milage is no where near as good but it has a ton more space. Our local dealer has a "used" 2008 with 6,300 miles on it. Price is pretty good too. I've read those same good reviews and long term test results.
It's hard to pick one when thay all cost about the same, get around the same milage, with about the same fetures. Sounds cheesy but I guess it depends on what "moves" you.
I appologize for the detour, please return to your regulare Venza discussion. No i didn't spell check, I'm at work and can't install the checker.
 

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Sorry eyedoc, there are a lot of times where we would like to take 4 adults and 2 kids in car seats. .
Of course after all of my researchi, internal debate, going to look at it twice the Mrs. says we need something with a third row. We have a 18 month and another on the way. assuming we keep our next car for at least 6 years we need to accomidate their growing size and cargo needs. She talking about all the play dates we are going to have. My issue with the Highlander is the non split third row and the amount of storage space when the third row is being used. Also i drive 70 miles round trip to work with the kids so i'd like something that doesn't get horrible milage. I know this is the wrong place to ask but can anyone think of alternatives?


ohhh, ok......you said nothing about extra adults.... you only mentioned two adults and two children rendering extra third row seats useless...... for sure, you'll need the highlander..... good luck!!!
 

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Once I offload my 07 Tundra Limited we plan on getting either a highlander or a Venza. Right now, a 4x4 Highlander Sport can be had for less coin then a Venza. I compared the prices using fitzmall which is about an hours drive from me but thank god my local dealer will meet and beat there price. They did it for the Corrola S we bought in May. Nothing but good things to say about Rosner Toyota.

We saw their first Venza at Rosner last night...plan on driving it real soon with the family to see how we it would work for us.
I don't know about the Venza sold in the U.S., but in Canada the Venza will not be available with full time AWD :sosad:. Basically it will be FWD until it senses the need for more traction. This may be something to keep in mind. The HL still is available with full time AWD :clap:.
 

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I don't know about the Venza sold in the U.S., but in Canada the Venza will not be available with full time AWD :sosad:. Basically it will be FWD until it senses the need for more traction. This may be something to keep in mind. The HL still is available with full time AWD :clap:.
That statement implies that the Venza is using a Mazda Tribute, Ford Escape AWD system...

Granted, it is hard to make a base FWD, sideways mounted engine, into full-time AWD vehicle. So far, seemingly, only Acura/Honda has accomplished that successfully with their SH-AWD system.

But I'm looking forward to seeing the nature of the upcoming 2010 RXes new AWD system.
 

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I don't know about the Venza sold in the U.S., but in Canada the Venza will not be available with full time AWD :sosad:. Basically it will be FWD until it senses the need for more traction. This may be something to keep in mind. The HL still is available with full time AWD :clap:.

I thought the HL was based on the same system...essentially FWD until necessary.
 

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The Highlander has always been Full-Time 4WD [remember, AWD is different in a sense that AWD is on demand vs 4WD though i'll probably be corrected]
 

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Okay, I'm really confused. Can anyone explain how this compares to my Subaru Outback? The AWD is amazing on it, so would like to use it as a reference point if possible.

Thx.
 

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The way I understand it is the rear wheels are connected via an ELECTRIC clutch/power takeoff device, whatever. The amount of power to the rear wheels is infinitely variable, electrically. I don't know if it can go from zero to 100% but it is variable. The computer determines how much power goes to the rear wheels at any moment in time depending on the current situation. eg. Highway (low power to rear wheels, better fuel economy), acceleration from stop (more power to the rear wheels, better traction), braking (less power ...) etc.
This is my perception of reality. Yours may be different.
 

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The Highlander has always been Full-Time 4WD [remember, AWD is different in a sense that AWD is on demand vs 4WD though i'll probably be corrected]
Yes, you'll be corrected..

The HL, RX, and Sienna are NOT 4WD, at least not in any traditional sense. These vehicles are equipped with a simple "open" center diff'l and will, thereby, distribute engine torque roughly 50/50 F/R as long as long as both "ends" have roughly equal traction.

And therein lies the RUB...

Lose traction on any one wheel or wheels and now all engine torque is limited to only the level required to freely spin the wheel or wheels having lost traction.

EXCEPT...

TC, Traction Control.

Once wheelspin/slip develops due to the application of too much engine torque for roadbed conditions the slipping wheel(s) will have the brakes moderately applied via the ABS on-and-off sequence, while at the same time the engine is dethrottled, INSTANTLY dethrottled. Fuel starvation via EFI in the early models and DBW, E-throttle later.

Since these vehicles remain predominantly FWD, torque biasing to the front, recovery from the resulting (front) wheelspin/slip is of the UTMOST importance. Otherwise directional control cannot be sustained thereby substantially raising the potential for a serious accident.

The RX has had a few changes over the model years. The early RX F/awd models had a fully functional VC, Viscous Clutch, mounted across the center diff'l and therefore could reasonably quickly route engine torque to the rear should front wheelspin/slip develop. In 2001 the RX300 adopted VSC and TC and the VC was made basically, if not actually, non-functional since TC would automatically prevent front wheelspin/slip.

So the VC was dropped entirely for the RX330 model run. Lexus marketing states that it was adopted yet again for the RX350 series but none of the factory shop/repair manuals support that position. And since TC operation is described in the RX350 manual in the same manner as the RX330 it is not likely a VC could ever become functional even were it installed.

There have been so many complaints regarding the inadequacy of the HL, RX, and Sienna TC implemented F/awd system that the new models now the ability to turn TC off so as to enable engine revving to get unstuck.
 

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Okay, I'm really confused. Can anyone explain how this compares to my Subaru Outback? The AWD is amazing on it, so would like to use it as a reference point if possible.

Thx.
The following is simply a guess..

In light of the STELLAR F/AWD system, SH-AWD, brought to the market by Honda/Acura, Toyota and Lexus should be HIGHLY embarrassed about the wannabe F/awd system they have have been peddling to their customers in the HL, RX, and Sienna.

The latest news is that the 2010 RX350 is getting a new F/awd system that works more along the lines of the SH-AWD system. An electrically operated variable clutch pack located in the rear driveline just in front of the rear diff'l. Should they also provide a small % of overdrive to the rear, as does the SH-AWD system, then an even greater % of engine torque could be diverted to the rear, maybe even 70%

IMMHO it would be patently foolish of Toyota to have such a more fully functional F/awd system in production for the RX350 but not put it to use in the Venza.

Oh, Subaru..

Subaru's AWD system does not compare to the SH-AWD system, too obsolete.
 

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Okay, I'm really confused. Can anyone explain how this compares to my Subaru Outback? The AWD is amazing on it, so would like to use it as a reference point if possible.

Thx.

The Highlander is full time AWD with a 50/50 power distribution

The Venza uses a electromagnetic clutch system that varies the torque front to back (sounds similar to what is used on the RAV4)

It is a compact, lightweight, and high performance active torque control 4WD system that
optimally controls torque distribution to the front and rear wheels through the electromagnetic
control coupling in the rear differential.
Active Torque Control 4WD
Based on information provided by various sensors, the 4WD ECU assembly controls the
amperage applied to the electromagnetic control coupling in order to transmit an appropriate
amount of drive torque to the rear wheels when needed. The following describes the features
and benefits of the active torque control 4WD:
- Optimally distributes drive torque to the front and rear wheels.
- Ensures optimal start-off performance based on information provided by various sensors.
- Suppresses the tight corner braking phenomenon* during low-speed cornering.
- Reduces the amount of torque distribution to the rear wheels and improves fuel economy when the system judges that the vehicle is traveling steadily.
- Disengages the AWD during braking deceleration.
Starting Off
- The system ensures start-off performance by optimally distributing engine drive torque to the front and rear wheels.
- To prevent the tight corner braking phenomenon from occurring during low-speed cornering, the system reduces the amount of torque distributed to the rear wheels.
Normal Driving
- During normal driving, when the system judges that the vehicle is traveling steadily, it reduces the amount of torque distribution to the rear wheels.
This allows the vehicle to operate in conditions similar to front-wheel-drive, which improves fuel economy.
- The system optimizes torque distribution to the rear wheels to ensure both excellentstraightline acceleration performance and excellent driving stability while cornering
 

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Presently we have a 2007 Avalon, when we recently moved to N. California (snow country) we discovered quickly that we needed to have a car more conducive to the environment, either AWD or four wheeel drive. We are looking at the Venza and the Highlander among other vehicles with AWD. The decision so far seems to be going in favor of the Venza. The sticking point seems to be the AWD system. Bottom line, how does the Venza's AWD perform in snowy, icy conditions? How does the Highlander' AWD handle in these conditions. Anybody have experience with these cars in these conditions.
Thanks for your comments.
 
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