2021 Toyota Venza: Five Things to Know

The Toyota Venza as you know it is long gone. The beefy, Camry-based wagon disappeared from the Canadian market after the 2016 model year.

Well, it’s back! The Japanese automaker has revived the nameplate, announcing a more SUV-like crossover that should appeal to today’s families.

The all-new 2021 Toyota Venza will arrive at Canadian dealerships this summer. Pricing has yet to be disclosed. In the meantime, here are five things you should know about it…

Exclusively Hybrid

The only available powertrain with the 2021 Venza consists of a 2.5-litre gasoline engine mated to three electric motors, generating a total of 219 horsepower and achieving preliminary manufacturer-estimated 5.9 L/100 km combined fuel consumption. Eco, Normal and Sport modes are included, while drivers can “downshift” using a sequential shifting feature to increase the regenerative braking in steps.

Will there be a plug-in hybrid variant at some point? It should not be ruled out, but for now Toyota prefers to focus on the RAV4 Prime, which will also go on sale this summer.

Photo: Toyota

Standard AWD

Built around a version of the Toyota New Global Architecture K (TNGA-K) platform that underpins some of the company’s sedans and crossovers, the 2021 Venza slots between the popular RAV4 and Highlander. It will directly rival the likes of the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Chevrolet Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Murano.

A key element is standard all-wheel drive, designed to pre-emptively distribute up to 80 percent of driving force to the rear wheels when the front wheels slip. Toyota is also promising a smooth, quiet ride thanks to optimized chassis and suspension tuning.

Photo: Toyota

Safety First

Another thing that’s standard on the 2021 Venza is Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a suite of active safety systems that includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Bicycle Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist and Automatic High Beams.

Furthermore, all models feature a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, while XLE and Limited add Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking.

Photo: Toyota

Impressive Content

If you love technology, you’ll be pleased to find many of the latest and greatest gadgets modern vehicles have to offer. Highlights include a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, 7.0-inch multi-information display behind the steering wheel, 10-inch colour head-up display, nine-speaker JBL audio system designed exclusively for the Venza and a digital rear-view mirror displaying the image from a camera in the back.

Apple CarPlay compatibility includes access to Siri, while Android Auto users can access Google Assistant. Moreover, all Venzas are equipped with Remote Connect (one-year trial), Safety Connect (one-year trial) and Service Connect (10-year trial).

Photo: Toyota

Let There be Light

When it comes to design, the 2021 Toyota Venza doesn’t particularly stand out from the competition with fairly conservative lines. However, you have to look at the details, such as two-tone or super chrome-finished alloy wheels plus elegantly styled headlights and taillights, the latter connected by a thin LED strip.

There’s also that brand new Star Gaze panoramic roof (optional). A first for Toyota, it uses electrochromic glass technology to allow drivers to switch from transparent to frosted modes within one second at the push of a button.

Photo: Toyota
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