Not What You Remember: New 2021 Toyota Venza Review (Video)

This 2021 Toyota Venza comes only as an AWD hybrid. It’s very different than the Venza that was discontinued in 2015. (Images: TFLcar)

The 2021 Toyota Venza Is Wonderfully Weird, Here’s Why!

This heading comes directly from the video’s subheading, but it totally describes our feelings about the 2021 Toyota Venza. It is, indeed – wonderfully weird. Seriously, it’s an odd mix that translates to a vehicle Toyota is placing between the RAV4 and Highlander in their fleet. 


The 2021 Toyota Venza’s drive-train is very similar to the RAV4’s regular hybrid. Coming standard with all-wheel drive the Venza has three electric motors, one that’s dedicated to the rear wheels. Combined with its four-cylinder engine and electric motors, it puts out 219 horsepower. While that’s far less than the 2015 (and older) Venza’s V6, it is expected to get about 40 mpg – according to Toyota. 

It comes with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The drive modes available are Normal, ECO and Sport drive. EV-only mode is available, but -like the RAV4 hybrid, it’s for short distances. Not only that, it is dependent on speed and how much power the battery has. 

Unfortunately, the vehicle is under a driving impressions, mpg and price embargo, so we cannot comment on those items – yet. What we can talk about, which Tommy dives headlong into is its design and functionality – inside and out. 


One of the oddest things about the 2021 Toyota Venza is its overall design. Not only does it have a plethora of unusable exterior vents, it has one of the most radically raked rear windshields we’ve seen in a crossover. The exterior shape and design is handsome overall, if a bit mellow. 

The interior is another story. Design cues seem to hark back to the 1980s in a retro-cool way. Even the unusual fabrics on the seats is unusual as it’s something we haven’t seen before. The 12.3-inch optional infotainment screen is SO big, it actually encroaches on the driver’s gauges. 

 Comfort and cargo. 

Seating surfaces, even with the unusual felt/neoprene-like inserts is very comfortable. Not only that, but the rear seat comfort is quite good. In fact, the whole interior is a nice place to be with a clean overall design. Some touch-screen-based buttons annoyed Tommy, but he liked the overall presentation. 

There is 36.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and up to 50.5 cu-ft with the seats down. Those numbers fall a bit short of many crossovers in this class. Fortunately, the space is useful and Toyota placed the batteries under the rear seat, as opposed to the trunk. This means, there’s a sweet looking spare tire and cargo space under the rear floor. 

In time, we will have a full review of this quirky little crossover. For now, enjoy the video and tel;l us what you think!