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Toyota has given customers yet another type of SUV to consider. What makes the 2021 Toyota Venza different from many of the others is that it's exclusively available as a hybrid. Rather than giving people many different trim choices and options for the powertrain, Toyota has kept things simple. All the Venzas use the same type of powertrain, and there are only three trims. Overall, the 2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid has many upscale features, and it is a comfortable and reliable vehicle to ride in.
What's New for 2021?
The previous version of the Toyota Venza went out of production in 2015. When bringing it back, the company decided to make the Venza a hybrid model. This was a strategic move that can help bring some attention to the vehicle. The new Venza feels fresh and modern, and it has all the advanced technological components that one would expect from a newly designed Toyota.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid – The Pros
1. Efficiency Is Important
These days, many people are concerned about their carbon footprints. For those drivers who want to cut down on their gas consumption, the Venza makes perfect sense. It can earn up to 40 miles per gallon when driving in the city. On the highway, things are almost as good, as the vehicle can achieve an estimated 37 miles per gallon on the open roads. Trips to the gas station can add up over time, so it's easy to see how the Venza will appeal to people who want to limit their long-term costs.
There are a few different drive modes that can be selected. One of those modes is EV mode, and another is ECO. These can further maximize efficiency.
2. Has Good Horsepower
The 2.5-liter engine and electric motors in the Venza work together to generate 219 horsepower. This is a solid amount of capability for an SUV that's not marketed as a rugged vehicle nor a high-performance model. Most people will be quite happy with the amount of power that the Venza has. The engine feels responsive, and acceleration shouldn't be a problem.
3. All-Wheel Drive Can Be Useful
For those times when the Venza is dealing with difficult conditions, the electronic on-demand all-wheel-drive system should be helpful. One of the three electric motors is dedicated to sending power to the rear wheels, and this should be enough to improve traction when the roads are slippery. Drivers need not worry about knowing when to use all-wheel drive; the vehicle can sense when the time is right to send power to the rear wheels instead of exclusively delivering power to the front axle.
4. Advanced Infotainment System
The standard multimedia system on the Toyota Venza includes an eight-inch touchscreen and the Audio Plus program. This consists of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to Bluetooth, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and Amazon Alexa. These last few components are really nice features to have. SiriusXM and HD Radio can greatly expand entertainment options, and Amazon Alexa can make so many things much more convenient.
The highest trim of the Venza, which is the Limited, comes with a Premium Audio program. Its notable upgrades are dynamic navigation and a JBL speaker system that comes with a subwoofer and amplifier.
5. A Complete Safety Package
Technology isn't just there to keep people entertained; it's also there to keep Venza passengers safe. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is integrated into every new Venza. It includes many monitoring and mitigation systems that can keep people out of harm's way. For example, pre-collision braking can sense when the vehicle is approaching a car or pedestrian too quickly. If so, the driver will be alerted, and the Venza can hit the brakes to slow itself down. Some other driver-assist technologies are lane tracing, lane departure alert, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high beams.
6. Plenty of Interior Space
With a length of 186.6 inches and a width of 73 inches, the Venza has an optimal size for many customers. Leg room in the second row is fairly generous, at almost 38 inches. Behind the seats, there's a cargo hold that has a volume of almost 30 cubic feet. Lowering the rear seats down increases cargo capacity to over 55 cubic feet.
7. An Amazing Panoramic Roof
Available on the top-level Limited trim is a Star Gaze panoramic roof. This roof stretches far beyond a traditional moonroof, and it lets in a lot of natural light. People in both the first and second rows can look up and see the blue sky or the scenery through the roof. The best part is that it has electrochromic glass. In an instant, the glass can switch from being clear to frosted. It's a really cool feature that could be hard to pass up if the budget allows for it.
8. Standard Wireless Charging
People are busy these days, and they're often getting in and out of their vehicles and keeping track of many things at once. Wireless charging is a great feature to have, as it eliminates the need to fiddle with cords and physically plug in a phone to charge it. Wireless charging can be fast and reliable, and the charge indicator light provides some helpful feedback.
9. Bonus Technology Is Impressive
Some Venza models are equipped with very high-end features. For example, the rearview mirror can be a digital version, giving the driver a clearer and wider perspective of what's behind his/her vehicle. There's also the opportunity to get a Venza with a bird's-eye-view camera. This makes parking much easier and keeps drivers aware of what's around them in tight spaces.
10. Sophisticated Interior
If a customer wants a new vehicle packed with luxurious materials, then the Venza can accommodate those preferences. The steering wheel can be heated and trimmed in leather, the seats can be covered with perforated SofTex upholstery, and the front seats can be heated and ventilated. Further, the driver's seat can have a memory function and power lumbar support built into it. Around the driver, various soft-touch surfaces and wood-grain-style trim can add an air of elegance to the cabin.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid – The Cons
1. Not Rated for Towing
SUVs are often thought of as durable vehicles that are ready for any type of adventure. Unfortunately, the Venza Hybrid is much more suited for urban trips than backcountry journeys. It's not rated for towing, and it's all-wheel-drive system might not be able to handle extremely rugged terrain.
2. A Little Pricey
There are quite a few SUVs available in the market, and many of them are affordably priced. While the new Venza isn't extremely expensive, it's certainly not cheap. The base model, which is the LE, costs more than $32,000. The Limited is priced at nearly $40,000. People with budgetary concerns might be forced to look elsewhere when shopping for their next vehicles.
3. Only Three Trims
It's interesting that Toyota chose to limit the number of trims to three. As mentioned at the beginning of this overview, this move certainly does make everything more straightforward. However, it limits the Venza in a few ways. First, there's no base level option that would appeal to people looking for a relatively cheap model. On the other hand, there's not a more premium option with amenities like full leather seats, heated rear seats, and a standard head-up display.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
It's good news that there are now many more efficient SUVs in the market. Fortunately for Toyota, the Venza Hybrid still manages to stand out in a few notable ways from the rest of the competition.
2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid vs 2021 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape is similar to the Venza Hybrid in size and shape. Ford makes the Escape as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, so many potential customers will be comparing these two models. When they do, they'll find several ways in which the Venza outshines the Escape. The Escape's base model just doesn't compare to the Venza in terms of the amenities. For example, it doesn't have power-operated front seats, heated side mirrors, or the power-operated liftgate that the base model of the Venza has.
2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid vs 2021 Hyundai Kona
While the Kona is relatively efficient, it doesn't match up to what the Venza can do. It can earn up to 33 miles per gallon, which is significantly lower than the bar that the Venza has set. There is an electric version of the Kona, but the fact that it has to be plugged in to charge its battery may make it less appealing to some customers who simply prefer going to the gas station.
Inside the cabin of the Kona, the space doesn't feel as elegant as how the Venza is set up. The quality of materials and number of features in the Venza is simply a level above what's found in the Hyundai Kona. Automatic temperature control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and smart key entry are some of the standard components in the Venza that aren't in all of the Kona trims.
The Venza is very appealing when all of its advantages are taken into consideration. It feels upscale without being burdened by a cost associated with a luxury brand, and even its base model is nicely appointed. Of course, one of the best perks of the Venza is that it can travel up to 40 miles on a single tank of gas. The benefit of driving an efficient vehicle can't be underestimated. Plus, the Venza has all the driver-assist technologies, the convenient amenities, and advanced infotainment components that people have come to expect from Toyotas.