It’s not every day when a vehicle lineup is given a second chance and re-enters production. Sure, it’s happened in the past, but there’s something special about the all-new 2021 Toyota Venza. This new Venza continues the foundation that had previously been left behind by the original Venza, an SUV with a production period that lasted over five years in the US market before-hand.
Due to an ever-changing industry, the Venza was then discontinued by Toyota in what turned out to be a hiatus of sorts. Fans of the departed Venza had hoped for the lineup’s return to the market, while others thought the lineup to be long forgotten. However, the lineup is back in full swing with the new 2021 model year and is well worth your attention.
Like the Venza before it, this new iteration of the lineup supports a maximum seating capacity of five passengers. However, what separates this next-generation Venza from its predecessor is its omission of purely gasoline-powered engines and instead opts for a hybrid approach. While the hybrid approach doesn’t come as a surprise to many who keep up with hybrid and EV news, it’s seemingly the right choice for the Venza, given the response it has garnered from fans and critics alike. The question might remain for some drivers regarding how else this new Venza differentiates itself from the past, and the answer is rather interesting.
Picking Up From Where We Left Off
Anyone familiar with the previous generation Toyota Venza will notice the three trim levels from then have returned for the next-generation. This means the base model is still the LE and is then followed by the XLE and Limited with LE starting at an MSRP of $32,470. One of the biggest highlights of the Venza LE is its inclusion of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, granting drivers an array of advanced safety features. The LE also comes with a comfortable 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat for the utmost comfort while traveling. The XLE is the next available trim, with one of the more notable features being an integrated Blind Spot Monitor to alert the driver of obstructions in their blind spot, which is very useful during highway travel. Both Rear and Front Parking Assist are also present on this trim.
The last available trim for the 2021 Venza is the Limited. The Limited upgrades the seats to support both heating and ventilation and replaces the standard 8-inch touchscreen on the infotainment center with a giant 12.3-inch display. Even more tech-centric features are available for the Venza, including a powerful 12-speaker premium audio system and a large 10-inch HUD. In addition to this, you may also opt for a panoramic sunroof for an immersive driving experience with plenty of natural light to fill the cabin. Regardless of which trim you opt for, the driving experience will mostly remain the same as there is only one powertrain. However, it’s these extra amenities that make the XLE and Limited an intriguing offer over the base LE model.
Powerful and Efficient
As mentioned, the new Venza is a hybrid vehicle, and there is only one powertrain configuration for the lineup. Since the Venza is a hybrid and does not run solely on electricity, the Venza utilizes an engine that works in tandem with electric motors to provide its power output. The engine that’s utilized in the lineup is a 2.5L 4-cylinder, which works with the electric motor to help produce a net total of 219 hp. Paired with the engine is an Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission, which will provide a smooth ride.
The biggest advantage in swapping over to a hybrid powertrain is fuel-efficiency. To fully appreciate the changes that have been made, we have to take into consideration that the last time the Venza was on the market. In 2015, the Venza was capable of achieving only 20 MPG city and 26 MPG highway, which made for 23 MPG combined. In the current day, the new Venza can provide EPA-estimated ratings of 40 MPG city and 37 MPG highway, with 39 MPG combined. This is a significant upgrade to the previous generation.
Plenty of Safety Features
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is included with every Venza. What this means is the Venza is equipped with some of the most state-of-the-art safety features at no additional price. The safety features you’ll find within Safety Sense 2.0 include a Pre-Collision System that will alert the driver of an imminent collision. This not only works against vehicle collisions but includes Pedestrian Detection as well. Lane Tracing Assist is enabled alongside Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which will keep your vehicle within its intended lane during highway travel. Unlike the traditional means of cruise control, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will shift your speed according to the distance between you and the vehicle in front of yours.
Also included as part of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is Lane Departure Alert, which, as the name would suggest, will warn you if your vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane. This feature then works alongside Steering Assist to provide a slight amount of steering input to correct your vehicle’s alignment with your lane. Road Sign Assist is a highly notable safety feature amongst the bunch as it will show any road signs that you should be following onto the display on your dashboard. This includes the likes of yield, one way, and of course, the stop sign. Lastly, Automatic High Beams are present on the Toyota Venza, which dynamically switches your headlights on and off depending on road visibility or oncoming traffic. It’s able to do this by utilizing sensors that are built into the vehicle.
The Venza is Here To Stay
The return of the Toyota Venza has been one of the more interesting developments to come out of the automotive industry recently. Toyota has seemingly gone back to the drawing board with this new iteration of the lineup and has developed a model that serves as a triumphant return. In many ways, it feels like the Venza never left, thanks to its similarities with the models that had preceded it. However, all of the modern-day advancements that have become commonplace, such as hybrid powertrains and robust infotainment centers, grant the Venza a sense of relevancy. This sort of relevancy is something that a returning lineup such as the Venza needs to compete with the latest and greatest automobiles that are available today.
Although this new Venza is being met with positive reception, it has opened floodgates for speculation about where the lineup will go from here. Hybrid powertrains are consistently becoming more powerful and fuel-efficient, and we hope that upcoming models grant drivers more ways to power their Venza. Compared to the previous model, the new Venza is a perfect example of an older lineup finding a new audience with what is essentially an entirely new vehicle, albeit with the Venza label. The future is looking bright for manufacturers such as Toyota, and bringing back older lineups such as this has been resulting in a massive success for other manufacturers as well. The Venza is highly recommendable, and we can only imagine how its success can lead to older lineups being resurrected as well.