The King of Crossovers is making a comeback for the 2021 model year as the Toyota Venza returns packed full of new features. The all-new two-row crossover utility vehicle will be built on the TNGA-K platform that offers drivers better handling, feel, and a drivetrain that makes for an unparalleled experience behind the wheel or in the back seat. Standard with this reborn model is Toyota's famed and updated Hybrid powertrain, Electronic On-Demand AWD, and Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) to keep everyone in and out of the Venza safe as they reach their destination. Other standout features like the Star Gaze fixed panoramic glass roof with frost control, 12.3 inch multimedia touch screen, and handsome styling offering plenty of road presence will make this a must have for those seeking a vehicle that checks all the boxes.
First, let's discuss the Toyota Hybrid System II powertrain with advanced Electronic On-Demand AWD. The hybrid system features a 2.5 liter four cylinder engined combined with three electric motors that is good for 219 horsepower while delivering an estimated combined 40 mpg in LE trim. The gas engine has Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft, while cooling is handled by an electric water pump and thermostat as a variable oil pump helps improve engine efficiency. Acceleration and responsiveness is synonymous with Toyota hybrids as their latest system makes a seamless transition between electric assist and the workload of the four cylinder engine by giving a boost to low-end torque to help acceleration without needing to rev so high. With a new generation lithium-ion battery reducing weight, added performance and efficiency is seen and can be controlled with the three driving modes, Normal, Eco, and Sport. Normal mode is the optimal setting for everyday driving, giving the driver adequate acceleration while returning above average miles per gallon. Eco mode changes the throttle mapping and environmental logic to return optimal fuel and battery usage; perfect for city driving or a long road trip. Sport mode remaps the throttle by making it sharper adding some fun to the fuel efficiency game while behind the wheel, and finally a full EV mode that allows the use of battery power only at low speeds.
Toyota's hybrid setup in the all-new Venza has a few more tricks up its sleeve, when approaching a tall incline, the driver can "downshift" to increase regenerative braking functionality in steps which adds greater control in these situations. While driving in these steep inclines through hilly areas, the hybrid system also controls the drive torque to suppress pitch under acceleration and deceleration allowing you to comfortably manage steering inputs. Making further use of the hybrid powertrain system is the Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive system that does away with a transfer case by adding a stand-alone electric motor at the rear axle to power the rear wheels when needed. Working behind the inputs given to the advanced Toyota Hybrid System, the rear motor can help dish out up to 80% of drivetrain power to the rear wheels to help when those conditions apply, all seamlessly reducing front wheel slips off the line, and reducing understeer through corners. Torque distribution can be managed now from a 100:0 split in normal FWD capable conditions, up to 20:80 front to rear on slippery surfaces which can be monitored on the Multi-information Display and audio system screen. Saving the best for last is the announcement of the Venza's Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) system that uses the navigation system to analyze driving habits, memorize road conditions, and traffic in order to optimize hybrid battery charging. With PED, optimum accelerator pedal release timing guidance helps reduce energy consumption through this learning environment.
Let's take a look inside the new Venza to where new owners and their passengers will spend the majority of their time enjoying its many features. The Audio Plus system is standard on LE and XLE models with an 8 inch touchscreen while upgrading to the Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL on the XLE model (standard for Limited trim) employs a 12.3 inch touch screen with controls that can be switched from driver to front passenger. Along with the usual AM/FM capabilities seen in any standard audio setup, Toyota audio systems come standard with many connectivity options like bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, HD Radio, and SiriusXM which comes with a free three month trial across all trim levels standard. The standard speaker system features 6 speakers with a 4-channel amplifier that will certainly keep all occupants entertained, however those wanting a more powerful system should upgrade to the JBL audio system with its 9 speakers, rear mounted subwoofer, 12-channel, 1200 watt amp(most powerful setup in a Toyota to date), all engineered to specifically for optimal sound performance in the new Venza. While enjoying your favorite music don't forget to look up when it's safe to do so in your new Venza so you can experience one of the coolest features on any new vehicle today, the Star Gaze panoramic fixed roof. Above both driver and passenger is a panoramic glass that features electrochromic technology that allows you to switch between transparent and frost with just the switch of a button. Transparent mode allows you to see directly through the glass while in frost mode the cabin becomes brighter while blocking out harsh sun rays giving you fresh light and tranquility. The vision above is not the only thing that is important when you're not fixed on the road ahead, a 4.2 inch MID comes standard on the LE while a 7 inch MID is used in the XLE and Limited models, both full color screens displaying driver system output and regeneration for eco-friendly driving with a points system to help you make the most of your drive with the energy at your disposal. An optional 10 inch heads up display helps keep important information at eye level like the speedometer, hybrid system indicator, and TSS 2.0 functions. For years backup cameras have been standard, but here they are enhanced, with grid lines that project a path and a system to clean off the camera in the case of mud or snow buildup, this same camera is used on the digital rearview mirror. The digital rearview mirror on the Venza is available with a HomeLink universal transceiver, it also is auto dimming to block out lights that may blind you from behind, as well as being able to pull up the backup camera when you're unable to see what's behind you due to cargo or other obstructions. Limited models come standard with Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, which allows for a panoramic overhead view of everything around the vehicle.
Digging deeper into the cabins features will unveil something very important to any driver or passenger...the seating. Standard on all models are 8-way adjustable driver's seats and on Limited models the passenger gets 4-way adjustability. When the driver enters or exits the seat employs an automatic slide-back feature that moves the seat as far back as possible to help ingress and egress, and when you start the car back up it goes right back to where it was last. The Venza's seats are available with a three-mode heating system and an S-FLOW cooling system on Limited models that taps into the vehicle's air conditioning for added comfort on those hot weather days for seats that are occupied for added efficiency. Comfort is important and because of that Toyota has made an effort to reduce in-cabin noise from outside influences to create an elevated standard of comfort. The TNGA-K platform is the first way road noise is reduced, the structure's strength flattens out vibrations while strategically placed insulation and acoustic glass help keep out both road and wind noise. Insulation for noise cancelling is featured throughout the Venza, sound-blocking and absorbing insulation was placed throughout the vehicle as body sealing material filled every crack, crevice, and hole during assembly. A floor silencer pad is one of many of the materials used to give up to 92% area coverage including sound dampening materials under the hood which reduce air intake noise in the 530Hz and 650Hz ranges. An already comfortable space for occupants means that you will want to take your Venza everywhere you go with everything you need with 36.3 cu. ft of cargo space behind the second row. The standard tonneau cover can be stored beneath the deck board when not in use as things like the smaller lithium-ion battery packs take up minimal space beneath the rear seats. For your personal belongings up front with large cup holders with 24oz door bottle holders up front and a center stack tray that can hold the largest iPhone available.
Great handling means great safety, the new Toyota Venza features both of these through the TNGA-K platform and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). With the use of high strength steel, front and rear multi-link suspension tuning, and Active Cornering Assists (ACA), the ride on the Venza is sharp, supple, and safe. Standard LE models feature 18 inch wheels while XLE and Limited come standard with 19-inch multi-spoke super chrome finished alloy wheels, maybe not a safety feature but they do provide quiet road-going and better handling through a wide contact patch. Safety is first however, and TSS 2.0 is standard across the Venza model range with an extensive feature list.
Pre-Collision System with Daytime/Low-Light Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection, plus Daytime Bicycle Detection (PCS)
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
Automatic High Beams (AHB)
Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
Road Sign Assist (RSA)
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB) (XLE and Limited)
Other safety features include eight airbags including side curtain airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
All of this comes in a package backed by Toyota's Limited Warranty that includes Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty which applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against perforation from corrosion for 60 months with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. The HV battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferable across ownership. The 2021 Venza also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.