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Toyota Killing Off Venza – but New Midsize CUV Likely to Follow

Camry-based Venza never clicked with U.S. buyers.

by on Mar.05, 2015

A Venza at the new Toyota engineering center near Detroit.

On paper, at least, it was a great idea. Toyota’s Venza was designed, engineered and manufactured in the U.S. market, and was expected to connect with U.S. buyers in a special way.

But as the sales numbers reveal, that didn’t happen, and Toyota is now set to kill off the Camry-based crossover-utility vehicle. While production for overseas markets is expected to continue at the maker’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant through September 2017, the last Venza will be shipped to U.S. dealers in June of this year.

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No jobs will be lost at (the Kentucky plant) as a result of this decision,” stressed Toyota spokesman Mike Kroll in an e-mail to “At this time, no specific plans are in place for a replacement vehicle.” (more…)

To Russia With Love, Toyota Expanding Exports of American-Made Vehicles

Foreign-owned brands increasingly using U.S. plants as global production base.

by on Feb.28, 2013

A Venza at the Toyota engineering center near Detroit.

Toyota will begin exporting its Venza crossover to Russia and Ukraine later this year, part of an expanding list of products the maker is shipping from its network of U.S. assembly plants to markets around the world.

And Toyota isn’t alone. A growing number of American-made products are being earmarked for export, a reversal of a decades-long downward trend that saw most of the cross-border traffic involving foreign-made vehicles imported for American showrooms.

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Toyota and other Asian makers are rapidly ramping up export programs, but European makers still dominate, as much as half of the production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama going abroad in a typical year. Domestic makers, ironically, have been lagging in the export drive, though that may also be changing.


First Drive: 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

A big, heavy SUV? Say it ain’t so Honda.

by on Nov.03, 2009


Here's Honda with a highly styled, $31,000 to $37,000, large, five-passenger SUV.

At what point does a Honda become an Acura or worse a truck?

Well, with the Accord Crosstour – a 197-inch long, 4,000-pound SUV – I’d argue that the day has arrived. And, I’m not thinking that it’s necessarily a good idea for Acura either, though it’s a better fit.

This faddish vehicle comes from a normally astute company and largely “green” automaker. Honda has — thus far — avoided the ongoing full-size pickup truck and SUV disasters that Toyota and Nissan brought on themselves and are costing their shareholders billions upon billions of dollars as assembly and engine plants lay idle or underused.


Cargo volume because of the fastback is less than twice that of the Accord's trunk.

Now here comes Honda with a highly styled, $31,000 to $37,000, large, five-passenger SUV built in East Liberty, Ohio. The four-wheel drive EX-L version can be fitted with a satellite-linked navigation system and “Real Time” 4wd, available together or separately. The navigation system includes a backup camera with guidance lines integrated into the display.

This will push the asking price toward $40,000 and return, ahem, 17 mpg on the EPA city cycle.

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The lower trim level, EX, in front-drive configuration returns 18 mpg on the EPA city cycle. A day of test driving both models affirmed the ratings. Driven moderately at highway speeds 22-25 mpg is possible.


Spy Shots: 2010 Honda CrossTour

Finding a new niche between CR-V and Pilot.

by on Jun.05, 2009

Honda will launch the 2010 CrossTour by September, with the crossover targeting a niche between CR-V and Pilot.

Honda launches the 2010 CrossTour by September, targeting a niche between CR-V and Pilot.

Once again,  we caught up with Honda’s upcoming Accord-based crossover – not far from where we originally shot it earlier in the week, but this time we managed to get a bit closer! Honda fans have been asking lots of questions and speculating, and we think this newest set of photos will satisfy most.

Based on a modified Honda Accord chassis, this all-new crossover vehicle will start production in September of this year at the East Liberty factory in Ohio. The Accord CUV will slot in-between CR-V and Pilot and will look to do battle with Toyota’s new Venza CUV. It will likely be called the CrossTour.

These early-production prototypes are powered by Honda’s 3.5 i-VTEC engine, but  earlier this year, we observed powertrain mules testing alongside a 2010 Acura RDX. We also noticed these mules accelerating rather briskly, so the 2.3L, four-cylinder turbo motor from the RDX may also have a chance of making it into the Accord CUV.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comOne thing we know we can count on with the Crosstour is the availability of AWD. This means the new CUV will be sporting Honda’s VTM-4 AWD system.

Additional photos can be seen at

Photo: Brian Williams for Brenda Priddy & Company