Tuesday, July 6, 2021

2021 Toyota Venza XLE: Revived As An AWD Hybrid Crossover


Highlight: The five-seater crossover is only available in a hybrid powertrain.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $39,735 (Base Model$33,745)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a stability control system; back up camera; electric parking brake with brake hold feature; collision system with pedestrian system; a lane departure alert system with steering assist; a lane tracing assist system; automatic high beams; a full speed radar activated cruise control system; a road sign assist system; traction control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a blind spot electronic monitoring system

Standard Equipment (LE): 18-inch tires; color-keyed outside door handles with touchsensor lock/unlock feature on front doors and liftgate; multi-reflector LED headlights with automatic high beams with automatic on/off feature; black rear spoiler with LED stoplight; LED daytime running light with an on/off feature; a manual operated day/night mirror; a leather-trimmed power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a dual zone automatic climate control system; fabric trimmed seats; power driver’s seat with memory setting; center stack with push-button/dial climate controls; black soft touch armrests; center console with ambient lighting; a push button start system; a leather-trimmed shift lever with sequential mode; keyless entry system with front doors and rear liftgate; and a cargo area tonneau cover

Standard Equipment (XLE): 19-inch tires; dual LED headlights; LED projector automatic high beams; low profile silver roof rails; touch ensue door handles and liftgate; soft touch dashboard; color-keyed with gloss black accent rear-spoiler with full; a push button ignition starter system; automatic dimming rearview mirror; a heated leather timed power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; pseudo leather seats; power driver’s seat with memory; front and rear parking assist with automated braking; a dual zone automatic climate control system featuring intelligent touch capacitive controls;

Options: a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system; a navigation system; a 360-degree camera; a 9-speaker JBL sound system; pseudo leather seats; ventilated/heated front seats; power front seats and a heated steering wheel

Other Trim Levels:



Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system with AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Hybrid Battery Warranty:  10 years or 150,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine/211-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Towing: N/A

Standard Fuel Mileage: 40-city/37-hwy

What’s New:  After a short absence, the Venza returns as AWD hybrid crossover this go around. The initial Venza was here from model years 2009 to 2015.


A fuel-efficient hybrid Stylish

An oversized infotainment center

A variety of driving modes

Ventilated/heated front seats available

Door bottle holders can take 24-oz bottles

10-year/150,000 mile hybrid battery warranty

Comfortable seating

Great drive for long road trips

Host of standard safety driving features  

Available in three trims

Standard radar activated cruise control system

Upscale looking interior with higher end trim

The only hybrid in the midsize non luxury crossover segment

The side rear looks sort of Jaguarish



No front wheel drive configuration, which could lower the price point

A non engaging driving experience

Towing rating not available

XLE trim wired-like wheels looks like a throwback from the 80s and 90s


Verdict: This year’s midsize five passenger Venza returns in an all-wheel drive configuration. The stylish and roomy five passenger crossover returns after nearly a six year absence in a hybrid form, making it one of the most fuel efficient vehicles in its segment.

Unlike the compact hybrid crossover segment, which holds a place for the Ford Escape, Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4, this is not case for the midsize crossover segment. Until this model year, with the revival of the all-new Venza, no other midsize hybrid plays in this segment. Thus, Toyota has driven into a sweet spot with the Venza. In fact, the Venza is a more affordable alternative to the luxurious, but aggressively styled midsize Lexus RX hybrid. Also unlike the Lexus, which requires premium fuel, the Venza doesn’t.

The all-new Venza is a worthy contender that we welcome back to the marketplace.

Hybrid Competition: None




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