Our recent looks at the Ford Edge Ecoboost and GMC Terrain prompted an email from a reader asking us to take a look at the 2013 Toyota Venza with these two American entries in mind. If you have a request or suggestion for a vehicle review, just click the contact link at the top of the page, or find us on Facebook and drop us a note.
In a study for the International Council on Clean Transportation [full study in PDF format here], Lotus Engineering sought to prove that major reductions in the mass and fuel consumption of mass-market vehicles would be possible by 2020 through the use of new materials and architectures. Starting with a Toyota Venza crossover, Lotus was able to show that a 38 percent reduction in vehicle mass (not counting the powertrain, 33 percent reduction including powertrain) will be possible with a mere three percent increase in component costs. Based on DOE estimates, that means the Venza’s efficiency could be improved by 23 percent solely through changes in materials and design, with future powertrain efficiency gains adding cumulative benefits.
Cross a car and a truck, you get an SUV. Cross a SUV with a car and you get a CUV. Cross that CUV with a car and you get a Crossover Sedan, the term used by Toyota marketing mavens for their Camry-based Venza. With this step the evolution comes full circle, as the Venza is really just a good ole station wagon. Not to be outdone, this year Honda released a Crossover Sedan of their own, only they don’t call it a Crossover Sedan. Instead, Honda says their new Accord “blends sporty, low-profile contours with CUV functionality.” Get the picture? Actually, the new Honda should be called the Accord hatchback. So it is that I evaluate these two new Crossover Sedans wrought from the DNA of two of the top selling cars in North America. First up, second place: the Toyota Venza.