In its home market, it received 15 times more orders than expected.
The Toyota Venza is scheduled to arrive in the US before the end of the year as a hybrid-only crossover that is a slightly larger and more premium alternative to the popular RAV4. Along with its Lexus-like styling and classy interior, a 219-horsepower hybrid powertrain will provide a strong mix of power and efficiency.
In Japan, the Venza is known as the Harrier and is also offered with a gas-only powertrain. Based on early sales numbers in Toyota's home market, the SUV is proving to be a massive hit. According to local publication Asahi Shimbun, the Harrier received a massive 45,000 orders in its first month. This is around 15 times greater than the company's sales target of 3,100 units.
Due to the surge in orders for the model, deliveries are expected to take up to five months. "Originally it was a popular model, but the new model has received more than expected orders," said a spokeswoman about the incredible first month. By original, she is, of course, referring to the first Harrier which launched in Japan in 1997. It was this version that was sold as the Lexus RX in North America from 1998, where it went on to become a massive hit.
The question now is - will the latest Venza sell as strongly in the US when it goes on sale here imminently? And what impact may this have on not only RAV4 sales, but also sales of the Lexus NX/RX? A bit earlier this year, the RAV4 passed the epic milestone of ten million units sold globally, with half a million of those from the US alone.
We'll have to wait until the Venza officially goes on sale here before we can answer those questions, and of course, what unfolds in Japan is not necessarily what will follow in the US market. But it's clear that the Venza's upscale appearance has found favor with plenty of buyers.
While there is no word yet on a more powerful Venza that could match the performance of the RAV4 Prime PHEV, the crossover does look surprisingly good when dressed up in sporty GR garb, so a sportier version would be welcomed sometime in the future. We expect the Venza to start at around $35,000 when it goes on sale here in late summer 2020.