This is not the same Venza you might remember from a *few* years ago.
I still see them on the road sometimes. The Toyota Venza, a midsize crossover SUV, smaller than the Highlander and less SUV-ish than the RAV4, it had AWD so it was great for snowy climates. It was a true crossover, not really an SUV, and for many people who needed the function but didn’t want a truck-like car, it fit the bill. Until it ceased production.
This September it’s back, but it’s a different animal. The 2021 Toyota Venza has been reinvented to not just provide an AWD alternative to Toyota’s SUVs, but also, provide a more elegant experience; a sort of Lexus alternative, as the Avalon sedan is, but with more modern technology and a few advancements you’ll only be able to get on the Venza.
And then there’s this: The Venza is only available in a hybrid. 40 MPG y’all. In an AWD SUV.
Who the 2021 Toyota Venza was Designed For
This is the conversation I imagine went on in the Toyota product development office:
“We need something for Prius driver who wants a really premium experience but still wants great fuel efficiency.”
“Yes, the ones who are early adopters, who love new technology and cutting edge design.”
“Oh, and the ones who wrote letters and emails asking for all wheel drive.”
“But who are true Toyota fans and don’t want to or are not ready to move up to Lexus.”
Newly designed from the ground up, this two-row 5-passenger SUV doesn’t look like its predecessor. It’s sleeker, with the tell-tale tail: the rear end is carved with classic Toyota (and maybe a bit of Lexus) sharpness and capped with a spoiler along the top of the liftgate. The roof line slopes from the front to back for a more aerodynamic look, and it’s got bigger tires and sits a bit wider on the ground than the last model. Overall, it’s designed to turn heads and impress intellectual minds. That’s because inside it’s filled with top-notch technology.
Related: Toyota Goes All In On Hybrid, the Only Option for the Redesigned Sienna Minivan and Re-Introduced Venza SUV
The Magic is In the Details:
When the Venza rolls into Toyota showrooms in September it’ll be filled with lots of goodies, even in the LE base model. Here are just some of the features:
- Hybrid is the only option; it should deliver 500 miles on a tank of gas, or about about 40 MPG
- All wheel drive is standard
- A “Star Gaze” fixed panoramic roof, an option on the top-line Limited model, has both a fabric screen and something called ‘frost control;’ with a click of a button the panel will ‘frost’ over, letting in light but not the sun’s rays
- There is a roof rail option, but not available in conjunction with the Star Gaze roof
- Pricing: The top of the line model will be priced just under $40,000; add premium features like head up display and the Star Gaze roof, the price will creep up to about $43,000.
- Connected car technology includes Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A Qi wireless phone charger is standard as are 4 USB ports
- Connected phone systems are wireless! That means once you connect your phone via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto will automatically connect every time you get in the car. This is brilliant.
- In-car technology includes a larger media screen (8” or 12.3” touch screen) with the newest Toyota technology, WiFi and a premium JBL audio system will be offered
- Toyota Safety Sense with adaptive cruse control, road sign assist, pre-crash braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, steering assist and automatic high beam headlights
- Luxury options include, rain sensing wipers, head up display, birds eye view camera that operates at low speeds, the Star Gaze roof, smart key keyless entry and push button start
Related: 2020 Toyota Highlander 3-Row SUV: It Starts with 35 Amazing Hybrid Miles Per Gallon and Then, Gets Better
We haven’t been able to take a test drive yet, but with the promised technology inside and a hybrid engine that gets 40 MPG, we can’t wait.