New Model News
Return of the Venza: Toyota brings back crossover for 2021 to face off with Murano, Blazer
Showcasing a new model isn't what it once was. Nor is the Venza the same. During this time of coronavirus "shut down", Toyota used a virtual platform to open up the five doors of the all-new 2021 Venza, at its headquarters in Plano, Texas.
The five-passenger midsize crossover gets its moniker from a blend of "venture" and "monza", a city near Milan, Italy, that is known for its historic race track. Venza was first introduced in 2008, updated in 2012 and then discontinued after the 2015 model year. The CUV's sales had declined as it competed with a large number of offerings in its class and became lost in a sea of sameness.
The model features design that is on-brand for both Lexus and Toyota.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
Venza returns to an American market that is overflowing with crossover and SUV models. Toyota is striving to break "the sameness barrier" with Venza's standard hybrid powertrain, electronic on-demand all-wheel drive, and cutting edge technology. Engineers also worked to create the sophisticated crossover's "intuitive driving experience" derived from smooth acceleration and predictable handling, as well as instill a low level of noise, vibration, and harshness.
Designers gave the Venza looks to make it mesh well within the Toyota family portfolio. It's been drawn with clean and sleek styling lines, wearing a face that wears large, wide and dominant grille. The crossover appears couple-like from the side with teardrop glass that accentuates this idea and nips tastefully behind the C-pillar.
The back end is boxy and has been penned with cues that give more of a planted CUV look and feel; a light bar stretches across the back end and accentuates its width.
Toyota's new Star Gaze roof is fixed and allows light to flow through without having to open a sunroof.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
The cherry on top is an available Star Gaze fixed panoramic glass roof; clever electrochromic glass technology allows it to switch from transparent to frosted modes within one second using a button. In the frosted mode, Star Gaze adds illumination to the interior while reducing direct sunlight, providing a more open, airy cabin environment.
Toyota will sell the model in LE, XLE, and Limited trim levels.
Venza LE rolls on 18-inch multi-spoke two-tone alloy wheels, while XLE and Limited come standard with 19-inch multi-spoke super chrome finished alloy wheels.
A standard hands-free power liftgate can be set to lock automatically upon closing; XLE and Limited grades come standard with a Smart Key System that works on all five doors.
Venza gets its power from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with three electric motors in a compact system that produces 219 total system horsepower. Drivers can choose between EV, Normal, Eco and Sport drive modes. The EV mode allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.
The front of the 2021 Venza features looks a large grille and penetrating headlamps.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission and has a sequential shifting feature that allows downshifting to increase the regenerative braking in steps that gives more control in some conditions, such as descending steep hills.
Predictive Efficient Drive) acts like an onboard au pair utilizing the navigation system to analyze driving habits and memorize road and traffic conditions to help optimize hybrid battery charging.
All Venzas come standard with all-wheel drive. The system allows for torque distribution from front to rear to provide traction as needed.
The interior has been modernized with a cockpit that is smartly-styled and uncluttered; high-back, well-bolstered seats have tastefully-integrated headrests. Power seats are standard (eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat on all grades and four-way power-adjustable passenger seat on the Limited model) and the driver's seat features an auto slide-away function to aid in ingress and egress.
The two-row crossover is similar to a Lexus NX and may show off what to expect next from that model.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
Space has been maximized with cupholders that can hold large drinks; the center stack tray accommodates the largest iPhone models. Goods and gear can be stowed behind the second row with 36.3 cubic-feet of carrying space; a standard tonneau cover can be stored beneath the deck board when not in use.
Connectivity and entertainment with Toyota's audio systems varies by grade.
Audio Plus is standard on LE and XLE grades and includes an 8-inch touchscreen.
Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL is optional on Venza XLE and standard on Venza Limited. It features a 12.3-inch touch screen display with controls that can be switched between driver or front passenger operation in addition to AM/FM radio, connectivity tech includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth wireless technology, among other features.
Apple CarPlay includes access to Siri, while Android Auto users can access Google Assistant.
Toyota is giving the top-tier Venza a 12.3-inch touch screen that comes standard with Apple CarPlay.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
All Venza grades come with a complementary SiriusXM All Access three-month trial.
Available dynamic navigation features enhanced 2D landmark display, land guidance display, and freeway exit display.
A six-speaker sound system is standard. An available JBL Premium Audio System with 9 speakers, including a rear subwoofer, with by a 12-channel, 1,200-watt amp – the most powerful system launched in a Toyota to date, is available.
The Venza LE grade features a 4.2-inch color multi-information display (MID), while XLE and Limited grades receive a 7-inch color MID - both have a Hybrid System Indicator shows the driver system output and regeneration status to encourage eco-driving habits.
An available 10-inch color head-up display projects important information at eye level. An available digital rearview mirror with a HomeLink universal transceiver adds functionality: if rear passengers or luggage in the cargo area are blocking the view behind, a flip of a switch on the digital rearview mirror gives a wide, unobstructed view from a rear camera.
Venza Limited comes standard with bird's eye view camera with perimeter scan, which provides a panoramic overhead view of the vehicle's surroundings. The standard backup camera features projected path and dynamic gridlines, while an available rear camera cleaning system sprays washer fluid to clear away water droplets, mud, snow, and snow-melting road treatments from the lens.
The new Venza features a new multi-informational display design .Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
The 2021 Venza is equipped with eight airbags and the Toyota Star Safety System, which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, anti-lock brakes, and smart stop technology. Additionally, the SUV gets Toyota's second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0). You can learn more about it here.
The cost of the 2021 Toyota Venza is still under wraps. It's likely to sit between the Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Highlander.
The model will go on sale this summer.