Venza was a worldwide Toyota model produced in United States from 2008 to 2015, with the export models built until early 2017. That’s not a bad result, but Toyota’s strange marketing and minor issues with the model make sales weak, with the best result in 2009 with 54,410 copies sold.
There are some rumors fluctuating about next generation Toyota Venza, but here are some other reasons why Toyota Venza failed and unlikely to be reborn in the nearest future.
SUV or Station Wagon?
The concept of Venza was quite unique – the combination of a wagon with an SUV – or station wagon body with SUV’s ground clearance – to be exact. The same concept used in Outback by Subaru, Volvo XC70, and Passat Alltrack. However, all those cars are designed as simple station wagons. Aforementioned modifications are just ‘lifted’ versions.
On the opposite, Toyota Venza was designed from a scratch (despite sharing many components with another Toyota models), with a whole new marketing concept, to drawn buyers of both segments of the market. Unfortunately, most buyers prefer bigger SUVs or more practical station wagons. The slogan ‘You’re More than One Thing. So is Venza’ simply doesn’t work – people don’t need two bad cars in one, they need one good car.
The car lack of practicality of station wagon and off-road abilities of the SUV.
Unwise Powertrain Options
Powertrain options weren’t the good choice either. Standard 2.7L 4-cylinder 1AR-FE was a bit weak for a heavy car (just like it was not enough for Highlander), despite good characteristics by design. Upper-trim 3.5-liter V6 was the opposite – too big and powerful for the car. That leads to overwhelming fuel consumption, especially with AWD layout.
The car needed something in between, like 2.5 liter turbocharged or 3-liter V6. However, there wasn’t such option in all Toyota’s engine range at that time.
Prices are the last reason, obviously not the major one, mainly because it was quite reasonable – a bit over $25,000 for a basic car, up to $30,000 for V6 AWD without options. Nevertheless, for that price, you may afford entry-level Highlander or nicely equipped Camry.
People prefer to spend money on cars with good reputation rather than newbie vehicle which couldn’t explain the reasons why it should be purchased.