By on April 12, 2015

2011 Toyota VenzaA Camry wagon sounds ideal. On paper.

But Toyota’s announcement that the Venza will be discontinued follows U.S. sales declines in four of the last five years. Venza volume peaked in the model’s first full year at 54,410 units. Two years later, in 2011, Venza sales slid 28%. Last year, U.S. Venza volume was barely more than half what it was in 2009.

In a Toyota showroom chock-full of SUVs and crossovers – RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia – and a close relation at Lexus, the RX, routinely outselling all premium SUV/CUV nameplates, the Venza was tasked with too great a challenge: carve out a niche for a brand which already has all corners covered, but not too small a niche.

Meanwhile, the Camry continued to prove successful at generating sales activity in the mainstream, with increased sales in 2012, 2013, and 2014, all years in which Venza volume declined.

Toyota Venza sales chartThe Venza lacks the Highlander’s third row and, in recent times, operated with a base price 23% higher than the RAV4’s. The standard 2.7L, 181-horsepower inline-four is tasked with propelling 3800+ pounds. And while the Subaru Outback’s success leads many to believe that there’s room in a corridor between traditional cars and utility vehicles, the Venza and far less common (and similarly discontinued) Honda Crosstour consistently imply otherwise. (Other two-row utility vehicles like the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano sell far more often than the Venza.)

Aside from the car’s low U.S. sales volume, the cancellation of the Venza will open up greater production capacity for more popular vehicles built at the same Kentucky site, Toyota’s Avalon and Camry, the latter being America’s best-selling car.

But if the Venza had proven sufficiently popular, Toyota wouldn’t need to rely on the Highlander and RAV4 to generate the volume to make up for Venza losses. Aside from August 2009’s Cash For Clunkers-empowered 8435-unit performance, Toyota USA only sold more than 5000 Venzas in four different months: July, October, and December 2009 and March 2010. Average monthly volume since 2011 fell below 3100 units.

Subaru sold more than 10,000 Outbacks per month during the same period.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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127 Comments on “The Toyota Venza Is Dead: Here’s Why...”


  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Looking back, the old Camry wagons also sold poorly, I blame the mini-van for the demise of the wagon in America.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Alternately, I CREDIT the Minivan and CUV with the death of the station wagon in America. Having spent many thousands of miles in the back of my parents station wagons traveling across America I think our family would have been a lot more comfortable and had a lot more storage space in either a minivan or CUV/SUV.

      People did not begin buying minivans, SUV’s and CUV’s because they are victims of marketing, they bought them because for most people they are an improvement over the sedans and station wagons of old.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      The last-generation Camry stationwagon sold poorly, but I blame that generation’s bad sales on the ugly, weird post-C-pillar windows and the mis-shapen tailgate they put on it. I remember people really disliking it for those reasons. The generation prior to that one was reasonably popular.

      To me, the Venza never was a true Toyota stationwagon, at least to my concept of what a stationwagon should be. The photo posted on this article is evidence enough: the cargo area is a convoluted mess. My current vehicle, a Dodge Journey, is more of a stationwagon than this vehicle ever was. I’d label the Venza as a tallish four-door liftback.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This old lady my mom knew (now deceased since maybe 2005) was driving around in the mid 90s in an emerald green Camry wagon with tan leather, and gold emblems. Man, I remember thinking that thing looked so expensive when she would come over. I never had occasion to ride in it though :(.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The all-important “cargo room behind the second row”, which suffers badly in vehicles like the Crosstour and Venza is probably the reason; they’re heavy vehicles with poor space utilization. The Outback and Forester are better at this.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “The standard 2.7L, 181-horsepower V6”

    You mean inline four. It’s the same engine as in the base Highlander.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      For that horsepower-torque-weight combination, these things have about as much get up and go as, say, a VW Jetta with the old 8 valve 2.0 ;)

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I have Highlander 2.7 – its get up and go just fine. Problem only to pass someone at highway speeds – there you can feel lack of HP

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “I have Highlander 2.7 – its get up and go just fine. Problem only to pass someone at highway speeds – there you can feel lack of HP”

          @slavuta, I think you would enjoy reading the 2.0 Quebec Special article.

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        I had a memorable five days renting a Venza on a business trip that took me all over the Northeast. It was totally able to keep up with manic traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike, venturing into triple digits. It did need a downshift to get much acceleration up at those speeds, but the transmission didn’t hesitate to make that happen.

        The stiffer suspension of the Venza made it more “just right” to me than the floaty Camry. But yeah, the space utilization was not impressive – my two colleagues and I had trouble fitting three roller bags in the shallow rear compartment, which did seem odd for such a large car.

  • avatar

    Starts at $30,000 and rises to $40,000 with the Limited V6 AWD trim.

    Honestly, I never had a problem with the Venza or the Honda Crosstour for that matter.

    My guess is that the Toyota-buyer isn’t willing to spend more unless they are buying a Rav 4.

    I wonder what the market reaction would be if the Camry got optional AWD for $2000 extra?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      BTR, we could call it a Kluger (Highlander).

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      1) My only problem with the Venza was its looks – contra the post head, if it had *looked like* “a Camry Wagon” I’d have liked it more. Whether or not it would have *sold* better is another matter.

      2) AWD Camry? They’d sell like hotcakes.

      • 0 avatar
        Vbstriker

        They have made AWD Camry’s

        • 0 avatar
          Vbstriker

          The big news for the 1988 Camry was a V6 engine option and the availability of all-wheel drive (AWD). The 2.5-liter V6 boasted double-overhead cams (DOHC) with four valves per cylinder and kicked out 153 horsepower. This refined powerplant provided strong acceleration as well as very smooth and quiet operation. The AWD system, dubbed “All-Trac” and available only with the manual transmission, provided additional grip for those who lived in areas of the country prone to slippery driving conditions, such as the Northeast and the Midwest.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Venza’s biggest sin is that it never looked like a Toyota. The station wagon ship has sailed a long time ago. Only the Europeans seem to have any success with this formula.

  • avatar
    CX1

    Those ads though

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    My retirement aged mom is presently leasing one. 2013 2.7 4 cylinder FWD base model. It’s fine, I recently had it for a week while she borrowed my truck. It isn’t powerful but performs adequately, especially for what she uses it for. She doesn’t need a 3rd row but likes to drive my sister’s kids around. Plus it sits up a bit higher, but not too high, so she can get in and out easier. She previously leased a Rav4 and I think the Venza better suits her needs.

    I’ve always kind of liked it. I think it is attractive for what it is. But I always thought it was priced too high and ultimately I think that’s what holds/held it back. That and it seems outwardly a lot bigger than it does inside.

  • avatar
    theonewhogotaway

    This is the problem with the Venza:

    Venza AWD LE:
    MSRP + Dest: 31,400
    Fuel Economy: 20/26

    Subaru Outback 2.5i:
    MSRP + Dest: 25,745
    Fuel Economy: 25/33

    both 108 cub ft passenger volume.

    and

    Venza FWD LE:
    MSRP + Dest: 29,950
    Fuel Economy: 20/26
    Pass Vol: 108 cub ft

    Ford Flex SE:
    MSRP + Dest: 29,995
    Fuel Economy: 18/25
    Pass Vol: 156 cub ft

    So, there were better competitors in both the price/value (Outback) and space (Flex) categories. That car needed to drop $4-5K from the top to compete…

    • 0 avatar
      Sjalabais

      Outstanding comment. That’s the kind of data-driven, concise analysis I’d like to see in the article, too.

      (Even though I think that TMcC’s car statistics articles are the cream of TTAC.)

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      t1wga, exactly! The problem has always been that any and all Toyota products have always been consistently and predictably higher priced than their competition.

      But even accounting for the higher retained value down the road, there are a number of Venza buyers whose chose a Venza over an Outback because of the implied perceptions and prejudices associated with buying any Subaru product.

      This was outlined, argued and discussed extensively within the comment pages on ttac, that dealth with Subaru products.

      IMO, the Flex is a niche-mobile with an even smaller niche than the Venza.

      • 0 avatar
        theonewhogotaway

        Re: Flex:

        Wagons are a niche.

        Not many these days and compete with minivans and SUVs, but they are people who would not be caught dead in a minivan and do not like the SUV cost of ownership, from the pump to the insurance check.

        FWD non-luxury Wagons range from about $15K to about $30K.

        Kia Soul is on the bottom part of that niche, where xB and the Focus wagon used to be, Flex is on the top.

        If you want to haul people and stuff that do not fit on a sedan or a hatchback with relative economy and do not want AWD, this niche is it for you…

        Re: Toyota product pricing: The Campry, RAV4, Corolla are comparably (+/_ $1K) priced to the GM, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Subaru equivalents. The Venza is not.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Based on the articles and comments on ttac I was under the impression that most Ford and GM products had a lot of cash on the hood across the line-up, and that the Average Transaction Price (ATP) is what went down in the books – the price that CarMax uses to track the vehicle throughout its lifespan.

          Also, I knew that wagons were a niche unto themselves in the US, but I didn’t know that Soul, xB and Focus were in the same size and weight class as the Venza and Flex.

          My wife and I were always BIG WAGON fans and users when the kids still lived at home, having bought new a 1972 Olds Custom Cruiser to take to Germany with us on my military assignment there, then later a used Suburban (or two), and finally, as my wife’s last daily driver, a 2015 Sequoia 4X4, in Sept 2014.

          What I do know is that the Venza is popular with a certain demo, and I am wondering what they will replace it with when that times comes.

        • 0 avatar
          Sjalabais

          I may have posted this before, but Ford missed a glorious opportunity a few years back…by branding the Flex as a Ford and not as what it should have been.

          http://s26.postimg.org/4vqzz3015/Flex_Volvo2.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>The problem has always been that any and all Toyota products have always been consistently and predictably higher priced than their competition<<

        'cepting the Camry. Only the Altima appears to be more heavily marked down.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          thornmark, I should have written “The problem has always been that any and all Toyota products have always been consistently and predictably higher priced than their Detroit competition, like the Camry higher than Fusion or Malibu, etc”

          I gained first hand knowledge of that when buying my 2011 Tundra 5.7. I paid roughly $5K more than I would have had to pay for a similar 2011 F150 or 2011 Silverado with a smaller V8 engine.

          The Tundra is/was a better truck but I did not relish having to pay that ~$5K premium over an F150 or Silverado.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Venza never made sense to me – especially 19-inch wheels

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I agree, well done. Undeniably, the Venza represents a poor value. Too many excellent crossover choices around to allow it to survive.

      I know one person who bought a new fully loaded model (Venza) recently. Retired couple, husband has two Tundras that look showroom everytime I drive by (new one and an early 00s). Go figure.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      …And in the case of the Venza versus Outback, Toyota was well aware how it stacked up, as in it did not, from an objective standpoint. So at least in New England, the ad agency handling the Venza portion of the account chose to portray the Venza buyer as stylish active, fit versus the Toyota ad mans’ representation of the Outback buyer as short, pudgy, shaggy, and sandal-wearing granola-eating. The ad managed to misrepresent the Outback and its owners, and link Toyota with slimeball politics-like tactics that Toyota hasn’t ever engaged in prior to or since the last-gasp Venza campaign. When Toyota finally sends the Venza packing, make sure the ad creator and Toyota USA executive who signed off on the campaign are sacked, as well.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Venza’s problem was simple: it didn’t have the ride height people want from wagons these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      8 inches of ground clearance is not enough? Nah, I blame looks and price.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        The real issue was the ride. Toyota put big stupid rims on it that ruined the ride.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          One of the attractions of base trim is the *normal* “small” wheels (and bigger tire sidewall) that come with those levels. I don’t like the current fad that a lot of upper trim packages come with 17, 18, or even larger rims.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Exactly. 90% of autos don’t need anything above an 18″ at most. Off-roaders/performance/etc are exceptions.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            18’s on an offroader? I’ll pass. I think 16 is the sweet spot.

          • 0 avatar
            LectroByte

            I was looking at Silverado’s the other day, and unless you get a WT, which comes with 17’s, then you are probably looking at 20’s. I did see a couple with 18’s, but apparently size does matter. I didn’t see any 4×4’s that had smaller than a 20. Dubs for the win.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Yeah, I think I’d like my Volvo better with 17s … or ideally even 16s.

          But no. Has to have stupid 18s…

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s looks. Looks too wagony, and it’s not tall enough. All the low-down trim makes it look too close to the ground, no matter the clearance. The Outback has less near-ground trim, and has cladding to say “SUV!”

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    What were the sales like compared to the Dodge Journey? That seems like the real competition despite the huge price difference. Or maybe because of it: the Journey is worse in almost every respect (except when you option the Pentastar V6), but $10k is a lot of money for a family.

  • avatar

    I was at the debut of the Venza. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand it now. Toyota seemed to be slicing the sausage very thin trying to create a niche. A solution in search of a problem. Though not as awkward as the Honda Crosstour, people don’t like pear shaped vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I certainly understand it.
      Easy.
      It is a high riding wagon.
      The problem isn’t what it is…but how it performs for the price.
      It is very costly when compared to competition.

      However…the question as to why is the very same question TTAC asked when the Chrysler Pacifica was around. I think the headline was Chrysler’s Answer to The Question Nobody Asked.
      Well…OK, but it was the first crossover and although it failed…crossovers became the main cars for today’s American drivers.

      Si IF packaged a little better “for the price”, this Toyota might have performed better in sales.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Exactly. I couldn’t figure out why Toyota came out with it’s Chrysler Pacifica clone just as Chrysler itself was giving up on it. Made no sense.

        As if SUVs lose enough utility compared to wagons, these low riding sport utility wagons SUWs? combined the poor space inside with low gas mileage and high price, yet took away the higher seat height that has made SUVs so popular. Fail all the way around.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          I get the less space, as long as you were getting the more car like control.
          But to give poor performance and MPG on top is what kills these.
          Nothing wrong with the high wagon, but it cannot get the same piss poor gas as the larger, higher and more cargo SUV.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          For when you want the driving dynamics of a crossover, and the space and offroad ability of a compact hatchback, with the looks of a van.

          PACIFICA!

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            I always thought the Pacifica was a handsome vehicle, though.

            The Venza, not so much; Toyota’s current styling isn’t my favorite to begin with, and this… did not work.

            (I *like* the Crosstour!)

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “I *like* the Crosstour!”

            You don’t get to talk ANY MORE! It’s the Quiet Chair for you, rest of today.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        It was the first corrsover? – well… first cross over was historically Russian Lada Niva.

      • 0 avatar
        mmarton

        I would argue that the first crossover was the AMC Eagle, which was a raised Hornet wagon with all wheel drive. The Outback was probably next.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I looked at the Venza as an attempt to slice the market demographically. The RAV4 is for young couples; the highlander for families; and the Venza for empty nesters.

      Toyota marketed Venza as Ensure with AWD. Hence all those commercials making fun of young people on social media with ‘lives’ while their parents our out being active.

      I guess Toyota learned the same lesson with the Venza as they did with Scion: whenever you tell consumers which vehicle they should pick based on their age, they choose otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        That surely is a great social observation. When Volvo offered the 340, they wanted to attract younger drivers – and ended up with frugal pensioners. The same happened with the “Babybenz” (190) and the A-Class. The A-Class actually lowered the average age of private party Mercedes buyers in Germany pretty significantly – but, averaging in at 55 itself, it wasn’t exactly a youthful crowd anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe if they wanted an SUV to appeal to oldsters, they should have gone smaller instead of bigger. The Buick Encore seems to have found a niche among the senior citizen discount crowd. I don’t remember actually seeing any marketing for it, ever. Although I don’t remember any Venzia ads either. Maybe they were all in AARP Monthly.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It has been a platform extension exercise. TMC can afford to experiment, and it probably didn’t cost much to try.

  • avatar
    mmarton

    I think a lot of the criticisms posted here about the Venza are valid. I never had a problem with the styling although the interior is a bit spartan. Otherwise, it has plenty of room and ride height for a two row crossover. Where I think Toyota could have made a difference is adding a hybrid option, given it’s built on a Camry platform. There aren’t too many vehicles with this interior space that would produce that kind of fuel efficiency.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    My beef with the Venza was the feeling I was driving my bathtub. The chop top look is great, but I sit inside more than admire from out. Still, it’s a lot nicer on the road than the RAV4 and with better seats.

    Still, it wasn’t really a wagon at all, and then they marketed it to old people. Never market a car to old people. They don’t even market these new hospital beds for old people to old people.

    In order to market the Venza properly, they needed to beat up on the most profitable cars in the game. Whose going to do that? They would rather you buy the RAV4 at less price, So they aren’t going to point out the road noise, wind buffeting, and sore back you get driving two hours in most SUVs.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The same dealership that offers the Venza also has the Highlander and 4Runner. In a three-choice universe, there hasn’t been much reason for the average consumer to choose the Venza over two other vehicles that are more truck-like (which is the preference in that size class) and that have better established nameplates. The Highlander is built on the Camry platform, which makes the Venza that much more redundant.

  • avatar

    It’s interesting to see that 4Runner sales are going up. I guess being the only fish left in the BOF mid-size SUV pond is a good place to be.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Problem is execution. i just looked up on their website and saw mileage is much worse than the RAV4. Cargo room is about the same as the RAV 4.

    “base price 23% higher than the RAV4’s”

    “3800+ pounds. ” this is a bloated turd.

    A Camry wagon should be 100-200 lb heavier than a Camry, have similar mileage and cost $1k more. (and my sccientific proof is that the European wagons selling along their sedan/hatch counterparts meet those requirements in europe)

    and the looks, people are OK with a wagon, but not with a turd.

    I also assume the 20″ tires must suck in snow and expensive to replace.

    Wrong weight, price, looks and economy to be anything like a Camry wagon.
    Edit: since they didn’t just make a Camry wagon, I assume development and tooling cost also was excessive.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I’m happy to see this model die as a lesson to manufacturers that the “U” in CUV means utility. Roof height allowing ease of access as well as interior volume is paramount for this segment. Those concerned with “style” still have coupes and sedans available to them.

  • avatar
    skor

    Mazda 6 wagon should be made available in the US, I think it might succeed, since it’s a ‘sport’ wagon.

  • avatar
    jfranci3

    The problem with the Venza is that it has Highlander pricing, not Camry pricing. Sitting on the showroom floor, it is sitting next to a Highlander that’s only $1k more expensive on a high $30ks car. The highlander feels like a much more expensive car

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Yes, and really not the RAV4. The highlander has similar comfort, though they took out sound proofing to seperate it from the Lexus. I would like to see a real comparison between the existing highlander and RX that got really into the weeds. I think it would be really illuminating about the industry.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Aside from the form factor, the *Camry* feels like a more expensive car.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      One of the reasons crossovers exist is so that manufacturers can sell them for much, much more money versus wagons (and, to a lesser degree, minivans).

      You wouldn’t realistically expect someone to pay a premium for a Camry wagon, but if you call it by another name, slap dubs on it and raise it a couple inches, they certainly will.

  • avatar
    George B

    Driving the streets surrounding the future Toyota headquarters I see large numbers of RX 350s and almost no Toyota Venzas. I also see many Toyota Camrys, but mostly the lower trim levels. Similar deal with Avalon vs. ES 350. Around here consumers seem to prefer a big “L” on the front of their expensive Toyota.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Is it just me or does Toyota and Nisson only have two engines each?
    They have a 4 and then some six, guess a 3.5. And it goes in everything. With some changes..it still seems to be in every car they have now for 10 years.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      The 3.5 replaced the 3.3 several years ago (which had replaced the 3.0 several years prior) and the 2.7 has similarly taken the place of the 2.4.

      Toyota has more than just these two engines but these two work just fine in Camry-sized vehicles in their lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      TT, my guess would be it is “the economies of scale”.

      It is simpler and cheaper to ramp up or scale production based on the need for each engine, then adjust the gearing and final drive in each vehicle-class based on each vehicle’s weight to achieve the desired performance results with the same engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      They have more than one four; the four in the Camry ain’t the same as the one in the Yaris, or the other one in the Corolla, or in the Tacoma.

      They’re all fours, and some of them have the same displacement, but they’re NOT the same engines.

      They also have the 4.6 and 5.7L UR-series V8s, too (Tundra, Sequoia, LandCruiser, GX, LX).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Why would you buy a Venza? Even putting aside the harsh 2.7 Hilux engine.

    It not quite a wagon and not quite a hatch.

    If you are after a short “wagon” you would buy a CUV. A CUV has the occupants sitting more vertically increasing the use of available space.

    A CUV generally comes with a choice as well in either AWD or 2WD.

    As an aside, I didn’t know the Highlander (Klueger) come with a Hilux engine. I have yet to see or hear of one here in Australia.

    • 0 avatar
      sintekk

      As so many others have mentioned IT’S NOT A PROPER WAGON! Compare this to a Matrix. My father was looking at one and commented that the cargo space is useless with it’s “pooping dog” tailgate. He settled on a CR-V to compliment my mom’s Element.

      They previously had “proper” Toyota wagons (Camry and Corolla) from the late 80’s which were awesome cars.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      If I understand you, you are saying the 2.7 is a truck engine? I thought it was used in a lot of Toyota’s, seems fine if it’s the same engine in the rental Camrys I get now and then.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Shocker of the year here, but Big A is wrong. The 2.7 in the hilux is a TR family engine. The 2.7 in the Highlander, Venza, and previously in the Sienna is a long stroke version of the 2.5L AR family engine. They happen to have the same displacement, but that is where the similarities end. The bores and strokes are different, longitudinal block versus transverse block. I’m not certain if the TR even has dual VVTi.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Beat me to it.

          Same cylinder count, same displacement, different engine.

          If you want a TR engine in the US, you need to buy a Tacoma, or a 2010 4Runner.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I can see what Toyota was going for. There was and is a gaping hole in their lineup between the RAV4 and the RX350. Something like the Murano or Ford Edge would have sold by the hundreds of thousands.

    But I can’t see how Toyota started with that hole and arrived at this car. All they had to do was fatten up a RAV4 by $6 or 8,000 and they could have sold them for a $15,000 premium all day long. Instead they took the Camry, a car which they already had not one but two upscale versions of, and proceeded to differentiate a third one by making an absurdly overstyled wagon out of it.

    I’d like to think that the market punished them for styling out the visibility and cargo room, the harsh ride of absurdly big wheels without sidewalls. One look at, say, everything that Hyundai sells 25 days after it hits the lot puts the lie to that.

    The market punished them for making a wagon. Q.E.D.

  • avatar

    It was simply too expensive for what you got.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I didn’t know they made a 4 cylinder version of the Venza. That must be horrible.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Pch nails it, there was simply no reason for this model to exist in the Toyota lineup. I suspect it started as a pet project of someone who liked the last Camry wagon and got mangled by committee thinking.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Whoa, I didn’t quite said that. On the contrary, it’s worthwhile for the large automakers to experiment with differing designs, particularly in a segment that is sure to grow.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I liked the Venza a lot better after the 2012 refresh. But I always felt they should have adapted the hybrid system from the get go.

    It was overpriced, and the huge wheels were unnecessary…

  • avatar
    Spartan

    The Venza is dead because the Lexus RX and the Subaru Outback lives.

    1. Most people who wanted a moderately equipped Venza probably cross-shopped an Outback.
    2. Most people who wanted a fully equipped Venza probably cross-shopped a Lexus RX.

    The Venza was stuck in the middle and lost.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    The “premium” midsize two-row CUV/tall wagon segment isn’t especially weird (Edge, Murano, Santa Fe Sport, Outback do well here) but the Venza was overpriced and poorly-executed. It also had the misfortune of rolling out at the nadir of Toyota’s “quality-drift” period, meaning its interior sucked, too.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I looked at a Venza several years ago at the local car show. Really not bad, but far from great. I must be getting old, as I thought who wants to pay for replacement 20″ tires?

    Others have noted that the car was akin to being the Toyota Pacifica, to me it was more like the Toyota Magnum, but without the HEMI option. I also thought it was rather pricey for the amount of stuff in it.

    Oh well, Toyota will just have to console itself with all of the mega dollars they rake in with the Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Highlander and various Lexus models. More power to them, I guess.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    OT, and no offense to any particular TTAC staffer, but WTF, the dearth of articles, reviews & op/eds lately is unnerving & has seen the comments & activity here slow to a crawl.

  • avatar
    baconpope

    The Venza tied with the Highlander as the “Most Like Driving an Articulating Fire Engine” and with Toyota’s insistence on negating the cool horn and lights, I say good riddance.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I like the Venza, I think it is a good vehicle. I think it will be a great vehicle to own in the used market. Hopefully poor sales = low used car price. This would be a great extra vehicle to have for light towing, carrying people around and picking up furniture, TVs etc.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    It’s funny how the mind works. You say “Camry Wagon” and I say “Oh, I may just want one of those, wagons (as we all know) are cool. Bring it on.”

    You say “Venza.” And I’m left scratching my head. “What the hell is that?”

    Hindsight being what it is, I understand why Toyota may not have wanted to saddle the Venza with the Camry label, or vice versa, but in light of such a name (what the hell is a “venza”?), maybe Camry Wagon, or Camry Town & Country, or Camry Country Squire, or Camry Custom Cruiser, wouldn’t have been so bad.

    “Venza” kinda sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yes, that’s a good idea. They could have called it the Camry C (for crossover), and it would sell better.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Claw

      The RAV4 and the Highlander existed, plus it really wasn’t a Camry “wagon”. I agree with those who say it should have had “Camry” branding.

      It would have even been cooler if they actually just made a Camry wagon (much like how Honda should have just made an Accord wagon). Even the Prius has a wagon version.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I owned a Malibu Maxx, and when the Venza debuted I thought, “Yep, trust Toyota to take a good idea like the Maxx and do it right.” Which, they mostly did. I think to be a 2-row vehicle, it needs to be overtly sporting or lux/sport in character (Does anyone really use 3-rows though?). The Venza may have carved a bigger niche as a Lexus, in fact I’m surprised there wasn’t a Lexus version.

  • avatar
    jbarsoti

    I own a Camery 2000 and we needed a second car for our family. We really wanted a diesel station wagon but the only option in our price range was a Jetta. That car is a waste of money in my opinion.

    Seeing the Venza was like the perfect surprise for me.
    I did not want SUV or a Subaru.
    I am very happy I grabbed a brand new 2011 Venza and I am very pleased with this car.
    Knowing toyotas really gives a good ROI if you just maintain it right.
    For me it’s a station wagon not an SUV.

    It is annoying not having many Hondas and toyotas option of station wagon like in Europe, but the American market is different.
    This is my two cents.


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