Back for an encore, Venza returns to the Toyota lineup for 2021. Once again offered as a 5-passenger, 4-door wagon, Venza was last seen in Toyota dealerships in 2015. Riding Toyota’s TNGA platform, which also underpins the similarly sized RAV4 and larger Highlander, the midsize Venza competes with crossovers like the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Escape, Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano, Subaru Forester and Volkswagen Tiguan.
In a unique twist, Toyota has given all Venza models a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive. Powering the front wheels is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine coupled to electric motors and a continuously variable automatic. Twisting the rear wheels is a single electric motor. There is no mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels and the rear motor operates independently from the hybrid powertrain. Total system output is 219 horsepower. Like all hybrid models there is no need to plug in, Venza’s 0.9 kWh lithium-ion battery is charged through normal engine operation.
The model lineup includes LE, XLE and Limited. All come standard with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning with brake intervention and lane-departure warning. LE starts at $32,570 and includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple Car Play, pushbutton start, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging dock, and hands-free power liftgate. The $36,100 XLE adds front and rear parking sensors, 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink, heated front seats and simulated leather interior. Limited models have an MSRP of $39,900 and include 12.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, JBL audio system, digital rear-view mirror ventilated front seats, power passenger seat, heated steering wheel and 360-degree camera system. Options include a head-up display, rain sensing wipers and auto-dimming panoramic sunroof.
Visit the official Toyota site for more information