The Venza, which I like to call a cross between a Camry and an AMC Eagle, was supposed to be a huge hit. It was supposed to drive off dealer lots in droves and be exactly what Americans wanted; a large 4-door, cavernous cross between a wagon and a sedan.
It turns out Americans would rather just have the sedan.
Could the Venza’s exit be a precursor of what to expect from Ford and Honda?
It’s not uncommon for Toyota to sell 40,000 Camrys in a single month, yet the Venza only sold about 30,000 copies in all of 2014.
The Venza’s biggest competitor is the even slower-selling Honda Crosstour, which moved fewer than 12,000 copies last year. So why is the Crosstour hanging onto life while the Venza is being shown the door?
Because Honda is stubborn.
Toyota can realize and accept its mistake while Honda prefers to put more time and effort trying to right the sinking ship. The same thing happened with the Ridgeline for a couple of years before production finally wound down last year.
All marketing efforts for the Crosstour are pretty much over, yet there are rumors that a new version of the car is coming soon. I’d count on Honda giving it one more try, then pulling the plug if it can’t make things work.
Ford, on the other hand, has it figured out. The Edge isn’t exactly like the Venza and Crosstour because it’s more SUV than wagon. It is, however, based on the same platform as a sedan. Somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 people take home a new Edge every month, so clearly the idea of buying an SUV is much more palatable to most Americans than the thought of bringing a wagon home.
Which would you buy: Edge, Venza, or Crosstour?