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2021 Toyota RAV4 vs Venza

2021 Toyota RAV4 vs Venza
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

2021 RAV4 vs Venza - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

The introduction of new crossovers to an automaker's lineup creates an opportunity for comparison. Allowing buyers to select the model that benefits them the most, comparisons of modern vehicles as they are being considered for a purchase are advantageous because they match up many aspects in a single evaluation. Instead of having to compare each individual facet of the available 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza, we have done the hard work for you. Distinguishing concepts like size and styling, drivability, and safety among the RAV4 and the Venza allow buyers to make an informed decision regarding the model that has everything they are looking for.

With so many crossovers currently available on the market, what makes the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza worth evaluating? The answer can be different for everyone, but we particularly love the contemporary look, hybrid powertrain options, and sophisticated design these models have to offer. They are so much more than your average crossover, and buyers must come to love them for the versatility they promote. Toyota models are also renowned for their constant innovation, and these efforts are obvious in the advancements found within the RAV4 and the Venza.

Despite the similarities the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza, the varying lifestyles of each buyer and their intended purpose for a new crossover purchase will direct them to the model that is best equipped for their aspirations. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is as rugged and durable as they come, placing a great emphasis on off-road capabilities and adequate components for this type of navigation. Whereas the 2021 Toyota Venza was made for city driving. Its inherent style gives way to this intention, and the specs of the Venza cater to agility and urban driving. Let us look to see how each of these models achieves the goals they set forth for themselves.

Size and Styling

While on might assume the size of the all-terrain Toyota RAV4 and the city savvy Toyota Venza would be significantly different, these two crossovers are surprisingly similar in size. In fact, the 2021 Toyota Venza is almost six inches longer than the 2021 Toyota RAV4. However, the RAV4 makes up for this discrepancy in its superior height that is taller than the Venza can achieve. Built upon the same platform, the wheelbase, and the width of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza are identical. With size attributes that align well with one another, the main differences between these two models come into play in their exterior design and interior facets.

Featuring varying personalities, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza are quite different in their exterior aesthetics, as well. The RAV4 was made for exploration, which shines through in its square body shape, jagged wheel wells, and centered front headlights. Its contours do a good job of bringing the focal point up for the RAV4, making it seems taller and larger than it truly is. In comparison, the 2021 Toyota Venza is sleeker and more sophisticated, which fits its enthusiasm for city driving well. Its accents are sharper with headlights that sprawl backward to create a line of vision that moves toward the rear. The longer body of the 2021 Toyota Venza is accentuated with sharp lines that take your attention from the front to the back of this crossover's body.

If it is extra space, you are looking for, either the 2021 Toyota RAV4 or the 2021 Toyota Venza are viable options. As large crossover models, each of these Toyota vehicles feature adequate room within for passenger comfort and cargo stowage. Yet, despite its longer wheelbase, the Venza has less room to spare within its cabin than the RAV4. Tight spaces for passengers and limited cargo capacity are some downfalls of the 2021 Toyota Venza. Yet, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 picks up where the Venza left off, as it offers plentiful cargo storage within cabin. Multiple pockets for storage and ample room for passengers in all rows are highlights of the 2021 Toyota RAV4.


Unlike other crossovers that differ vastly within the same automaker's lineup, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza are surprisingly similar across nearly every aspect. Both models offer a hybrid powertrain, though the Venza incorporates it as standard and the RAV4 offers it as an upgrade. Yet, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 does offer a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for those who are not quite ready to make the jump to a hybrid powertrain. Front-wheel drive is standard on the RAV4, while the Venza automatically upgrades to all-wheel drive as a standard amenity.

Many of the powertrain features for both crossovers are governed by their intended purposes. For example, the RAV4 offers a model with all-wheel drive that can be disconnected to improve fuel economy, when necessary. Yet, the speed and off-road prowess of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is quite impressive. In contrast, the 2021 Toyota Venza pairs a gasoline engine with electric motors to improve is fuel economy from the beginning. Made for long commutes, the Venza does a great job of saving you money at the pump, too.

Since these two crossovers serve two completely different purposes, at times, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 exceeds customer expectations of being powerful and bold. In fact, in its gasoline model, the RAV4 remains stable with solid grounding on any type of terrain to assist in the reduction of front-wheel slipping, the RAV4 sends up to eighty percent of its power directly to the front differential. In contrast, the 2021 Toyota Venza is not as exciting in its ride as you might expect. With its hybrid engine layout, it is not as smooth as we want it to be, either. Actually, the 2021 Toyota Venza is quite mediocre in its performance, despite its exceptional design and appealing physique.

Comfort, Options and Performance

Putting a focus on different attributes they find important within their own design, the interior of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 versus that of the 2021 Toyota Venza are quite dissimilar. The RAV4 puts value on providing storage options and cargo storage through the provision of multiple cubbies and compartments. It focuses on functional concepts in lieu of luxury materials, which benefits the traditional explorers who typically opt for this crossover model. The 2021 Toyota Venza puts more effort and focus on the inclusion of contemporary accents and modern facets within its interior. Boasting a panoramic moonroof that is electrochromic and known as the "Star Gaze" feature, the Venza does all it can to stand out from others. It is innovative and stylish instead of preferring off-road accommodations.

As per its focus on high-end qualities, the 2021 Toyota Venza also soars over the 2021 Toyota RAV4 in its tech amenities, too. The RAV4 employs the use of a 7.0-inch touchscreen as standard with an option to upgrade to an 8.0-inch. Comparatively, the Venza starts off with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and offers an upgrade to an enormous 12.3-inch touchscreen layout. The infotainment systems of both crossovers incorporate integration with Apple Car Play and Android Auto as standard, while Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM accompany the Toyota Venza. In-dash navigation and premium audio systems are optional for both the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza, as well, putting them on equal playing fields in this aspect.

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Part of what contributes to the comfort of a vehicle are their safety ratings, crash test performance, and safety feature enhancements. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza each excel in all the aforementioned areas. Both are rated with five stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for their inherent safety features. This rating is determined through the evaluated of active and passive safety features that each vehicle incorporates and their availability across all models. Offering most of their safety attributes as standard amenities, these provisions impressed the NHTSA enough to garner an exceptional rating.

The IIHS is another safety rating entity that evaluates the crashworthiness of vehicles based on their design concepts, structural integrity, and crash response. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 came in at the top in this area and earned a Top Safety Pick+ accolade. This is the highest designation a vehicle can be awarded by the IIHS. Coming in just below that achievement, the 2021 Toyota Venza was awarded a Top Safety Pick designation. Each one of these crossover models is appreciated by buyers with a focus on safety, and they have proven themselves worthy of this achievement through their exceptional performance in evaluations conducted by the NHTSA and the IIHS.

So, what features contributed to these performance-based ratings? These rankings are largely influenced by modern driver assistive safety feature that are somewhat automated and act to either prevent accidents or lessen the effects felt by passengers involved in a collision. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza each offer a plethora of driver assistive safety features that contribute to their exemplary safety ratings. Many key safety features are included as standard, which include lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, and lane-departure warning.

Which Model to Choose?

Comparing two substantial and equipped crossover models leads buyers to delve deeper into the attributes each one has to offer for their benefit. Oftentimes, cost comes into play in the evaluation of two vehicles. Yet, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza are close in price. With the RAV4 being a bit more budget-friendly, those worried about cost may veer toward this option instead of the pricier 2021 Toyota Venza. However, the cost difference between these two is not enough to make a buyer prefer one over the other. Most of the comparative features of these models stem from their performance attributes, interior facets, and exterior detailing.

One of the main concepts worth comparing between the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the 2021 Toyota Venza is their purpose. Every attribute for these models inside and out will be geared to benefit their overall intent for buyers. For the Toyota RAV4, this would consist of making off-road travel feasible and fun. It is well-equipped to take on the challenges that come with traveling on multiple types of terrain, as well as hauling cargo to accommodate this purpose. Camping, playing on sand dunes, and going to the lake are made possible with this adventurous model.

If you are looking for a model to drive to work or use for transport within your business, the look and fuel economy of the 2021 Toyota Venza is a better option. Accompanied by a standard hybrid powertrain, the Toyota Venza aims to make a statement wherever it goes and save owners money, at the same time. This model is also upscale in its interior and strives to provide passengers with a different type of driving experience.

Deciding between these models largely depends on what you find yourself investing the most time in. Spending time with your family off the beaten path or exploring new areas will be better benefitted by the features of the 2021 Toyota RAV4. Yet, those who spend a lot of time in the city or commuting to and from work will likely enjoy the benefits of the 2021 Toyota Venza more. Of course, this is just our general evaluation of these two models, and this theory does not work out for every single buyer. While we enjoy the tenacity of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 the most, the best vehicle overall is the one that works the best for each buyer. So, do not just take our word for it. Explore the aspects of each of these models yourself to find your perfect crossover to purchase.

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