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Return of the Toyota Venza?

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The Toyota Venza first debuted in late fall 2008 as a 2009 model. It was immediately successful, but almost as immediately came to be overtaken and became the neglected child of the Toyota lineup. When it came to time to renew the model, Toyota chose to focus its energies elsewhere and shelved the Venza.

The model was last produced in 2017, though actually Toyota recorded sales of 9 units in the U.S. in each of 2018 and 2019 – which meant there was still inventory on dealer lots… and some interest on the part of consumers.

Now, the TLFnow website cites an anonymous inside source who claims that the company intends to bring back the model, in the form of a hybrid-powered crossover. The same source referred to a hybrid Sienna being in the works.

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Photo: D.Boshouwers

The new Venza will be a two-row, five-person utility model, according to the source. Its dimensions and price point will place it in direct competition with the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge and Honda Passport, among others. The mechanics would come courtesy of either the RAV4 or the new Highlander just debuting this year. Both of those models come with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine-electric motor combo. Chances are more than 50-50 that the new Venza would adopt the Highlander’s powertrain, it being more powerful.

The Toyota source also made mention to TFLnow of the renewal of the Tundra pickup, and revealed that the new edition of that model won’t be ready for market for two more years. Expect it to hit dealerships in December 2021.

It’s shaping up to be busy next two years for Toyota, and that’s without getting into what’s in the pipeline at Lexus; a number of the luxury brand’s models are coming due for renewal.