Toyota Axing Venza Crossover

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Toyota is reportedly ending production of the Venza crossover.

The Venza, which sold less than 30,000 units last year, has long struggled to find a foothold in the marketplace. While production will continue until 2017 for export markets, the end of the Venza means that further capacity will be freed up at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant, allowing Toyota to produce more Camrys.

Derek Kreindler
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  • AzulR AzulR on Mar 02, 2015

    My wife needs a new car and we've been looking seriously at a Venza. What she has now is a 2000 Taurus wagon that is finally giving up. What she wants is another wagon, but seems unlikely to find one, which is why she's held on to the old Taurus for so long. My interpretation of requirements: Enough room in the back to put a full load from Costo without having to pack carefully. Enough room if the back seats are folded to be able to go to Ikea in full confidence that whatever you buy will fit in the car. Enough headroom for our son, 6 foot 2 inches and growing. Comfortable and quiet freeway ride. Good audio system. More than adequate power - the Duratec in the Taurus probably placed it in the 8 seconds 0-60 range. Easy storage in front for large handbag (Taurus wins big with empty floorspace instead of transmission tunnel). Preference for cloth over leather. Partly a vestige of living in Florida but the issues of getting into a car that has been left in the sun are still relevant for the Bay Area. Cost and fuel consumption should not be too extravagant. Usage will be puttering around suburbia plus 400 mile trips to see the couple of kids who are now in the LA area. That shouldn't be a demanding set of requirements, but it seems that they are. What we've tried: Jetta Sportwagen. Didn't get past trying out the seats. Trying to pick words carefully, the relatively narrow bolsters might have been designed for a more European physique. Honda Crosstour: Possible, but horrible visibility, ridiculous amount of suspension intrusion into the rear load area. Toyota Prius V: Obvious winner on logic but... A bit noisy and plasticy, unconventional instrument layout much disliked, relative lack of power too noticeable. We could excuse one or two failings, not all of them. I wonder how many Prius sales have been lost due to the instrument layout? Subie Outback: Obvious closest thing to a station wagon, but interior layout left her cold. Nice visibility. Perhaps adequate power with the four cylinder which was all we tried. Subie Forester: Great visibility. Felt naturally at home in this - but cargo area still a bit smaller than desired and not fully flat. The logical buy if the Prius was written off, but no real love for this. Toyota Venza: Liked the styling, liked the conventional instrumentation. Adequate but somewhat awkward stowage for handbag etc. Nice flat load space with seats folded (though still not as long as Taurus). Liked the comfortable power and easy cruising of the V6. Most confortable rear seats. Had a very out of character Jonesing for one on the lot in red. Negatives were the cost, the fuel consumption, the leather that now comes with the V6 and the ridiculous 20 inch wheels. I looked on TireRack and it's not as if you can get decent tires in the standard size. What we briefly looked at but didn't get as far as driving: Mazda5: Seat comfort, load area, sliding doors Mazda3: Too small Mazda7: Pricey, fuel consumption CRV: Non flat load area with rear seat stowed. RAV4: No advantage over Venza apart from price Highlander: The Venza is a slightly better station wagon. Possibles we haven't tried, but would be secondhand only: CTS Wagon: rare, would try one if local but the nameplate is a negative as is the mandatory leather. TSX Wagon: rare, likely too small, mandatory leather (I think). Mercedes E class, BMW 5 series, old style Audi Allroads: Too scarey. So - we're some of the few people to be buying a Venza? Not exactly. You can now only get the V6 with the mid-level trim so we'd be paying for leather seats that we don't want for a list price of $35k, $37.5k with the upgraded audio and sunroof. That's just the FWD, we only want a wagon and don't want or need AWD. We don't care if the CRV/RAV-4/Forester class of CUVs could fit more tennis balls in the load area than the old Taurus, they just don't have the length of cargo space, and the dubious aerodynamics can't help fuel consumption. With the advances in engine technology, a four would probably be all we'd want in a genuine station wagon, while the six seems highly desirable in the bloated Venza. We'd happily pay an extra two or three thousand over the price of an Accord/Fusion/Mazda6/Camry to get a wagon version. We would not happily pay an extra ten thousand over the price of the aforesaid sedan in order to get something which has negative value add compared to a genuine wagon. End result - we're scanning for a Venza on the secondhand market. The combination of red, cloth trim and V6 is rare enough that we'll probably have to wait a few weeks for one to come up locally. People seem to be saying that the Venza was a relative failure because it was too much like a station wagon. We'd like it more and Toyota would probably already have our money if only it was more like a station wagon. But I know we must be very much in a minority. If looking for secondhand CTS or TSX, the numbers sold in wagon form are single digit percentages.

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    • Illan Illan on Mar 03, 2015

      @azulR we used to have 96 ford taurus(same chassis)great vehicle it was used and abused. i learned to drive on it and we used it (abused it) to get parts,supplies and many boxes of penzoil for our small auto parts. not many cars have that intertior space and being "fuel Efficient".

  • Revjasper Revjasper on Mar 02, 2015

    Would it have sold better if they called it the "Highlander Sport"?

  • Crtfour Crtfour on Mar 03, 2015

    You would think this would be a hot seller based on how many Ford Edge's & Nissan Murano's are on the road (at least in my region) as the Venza seems to be the Toyota equivalent of these vehicles.

  • Illan Illan on Mar 03, 2015

    no one has mentioned: Hyundai Santa fe Hyundai Tucson Kia Sorento Kia sportage chevy traverse Mitsubishi Outlander ========================= possible replacement-but expensive to buy and repair audi A4 Quattro audi a6 wagon bmw 3 series bmw 5 series wagon bmw gran tourismo 3 MB c class wagon MB E class wagon (drools of e63amg wagon) ----------------------------- a fit is a good consideration for all that flexibility