Toyota is bringing back the Venza. The mid-size crossover returns in the same category, but with a different slant. Pitched as a more luxury-oriented, diet-Lexus niche-filler between the RAV4 and Highlander, it’s based off the Japanese-market Harrier.
New for 2021: The Venza is all new for the 2021 model year. Instead of the chonky, Camry-wagon-on-stilts look of the original, this one looks more upmarket. It carries with it more premium features than the RAV4, like a larger 12.3-inch infotainment system, 1,200-watt sound system, and a trick glass roof that goes from opaque to transparent at the touch of a button.
The reborn Toyota Venza is not the one you remember from a decade ago. Toyota is positioning it as a premium five-seat crossover in its lineup, with the sort of features you’d typically expect on a Lexus.
Arguably the Venza’s biggest party trick is its Star Gaze panoramic glass roof. At the touch of a button, the roof can go from frosted to completely clear. It’s tech that debuted on a limited-edition Ferrari in the early aughts. Also on the list of tech features is the Highlander’s larger 12.3-inch infotainment, a head-up display, and the most powerful sound system ever fitted to a Toyota.
With six extra inches of length over the RAV4, the Venza offers more space for people and their things.
Just one drivetrain will be available from launch, and it’s a hybrid system. The same as the one in the RAV4, it pairs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a combined 219 hp output. That puts the Venza down on power versus most other crossovers its size. On the other hand, Toyota is targeting 40 mpg overall.
The Venza will go on sale late summer 2020, with LE, XLE, and Limited trims. Pricing will be available closer to launch.
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Toyota Venza Powertrain
You can have any Toyota Venza, so long as it’s a hybrid Venza. Yes, Toyota is going all-in with it’s fuel-sipping tech here, not even offering the option of a straight gasoline drivetrain.
Luckily it’s a good example of the breed. The 2.5-liter engine is the same as the one in the RAV4. So are the two electric motors, the on-demand electric all-wheel drive, and the continuously-variable transmission. Ditto the 219 combined system horsepower. The Venza uses a lithium-ion battery to power its hybrid gubbins, however.
Toyota Venza Features and Pricing
Toyota has yet to release the pricing of the Venza, nor the kit breakdown. What we do know is it will be available in three trims, at least at first: LE, XLE, and Limited. Expect features like that trick roof to only be available on the higher trim.
Toyota Venza Fuel Economy
Toyota is targeting a combined 40 mpg rating for the Venza. That will be with the LE trim, which runs smaller, 18-inch wheels versus the 19s on the XLE and Limited.
|Price Range (USD) /||TBA|
|Engine /||2.5L I4 Hybrid|
|Horsepower (hp) /||219 (combined)|
|Torque (lb-ft) /||206|
|Fuel Economy (mpg) /||40 (combined, est.)|
|Drivetrain /||CVT, AWD|