The 2021 Toyota Venza Isn’t Your Dad’s Wagon: This Time It’s A Hybrid Crossover

The hybrid Venza debuts alongside the new Sienna hybrid, making it Toyota's 10th gas hybrid model.

Toyota is launching a new Venza for 2021, and this time its all-hybrid. Toyota manufactured the previous model Venza from 2008-2015 for North America.

While the previous Venza was based on the Camry platform, the new model uses the Toyota New Global Architecture K platform (TNGA-K). The recently redesigned RAV4 and Highlander use the same platform, and the similarities don’t end there.

[Photos: Toyota]

Like the RAV4, the 2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid puts out 219 horsepower. The front wheels are driven by a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder hybrid system, while the back wheels are powered by a separate electric motor. Because there is no driveshaft going to the rear wheels, the Venza can send up to 100% of its power to the front wheels, or up to 80% of its driving force to the rear. For extra efficiency, the gas motor has variable valve timing, as well as a variable cooling system and a variable oil pump.

Toyota estimates the crossover to get approximately 40mpg. The smaller Rav4 Hybrid gets 40mpg and the larger Highlander hybrid manages 36. In the real world we can expect the Venza to fall somewhere in the middle, though official EPA ratings won’t be available for a little while longer.

To make it more efficient, a system called Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) remembers your most frequently traveled routes. That way the crossover can fine tune its charging and discharge to use less energy over hills and through traffic.

Active Cornering Assist (ACA) improves handling, using stability control to reduce understeer. To further save energy, the Venza directs air conditioning only towards occupied seats to further save energy.

The LE and XLE models come standard with an 8 inch touchscreen, whereas the Limited gets a 12.3 inch screen. The 12.3 inch infotainment also features a 1,200 watt JBL audio system — the most powerful system in a Toyota vehicle to date.

Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa are all compatible. The Venza may also be had with a power lift gate, digital rear-view mirror, top down camera view, 10-inch HUD, and a particularly unique glass roof. 

Called Star Gaze, this electrochromic piece of glass can go from transparent to “frosted” at the press of a button. 

Safety features on the Venza include 8 airbags, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and radar cruise control.

The 2021 Venza will go on sale this summer. Though Toyota has not officially announced pricing, the Venza should start somewhere in the low-to-mid $30,000. We expect pricing to fall between the RAV4 Hybrid’s $28,350 base price and the Highlander Hybrid’s $38,200 MSRP.