PINEHURST, NC — August 19, 2021 — This
This week we are reviewing the 2021 Toyota Venza Limited, the top model of the three Hybrids that Toyota is offering under the Venza name.
I like the looks of the 2021 Toyota Venza Limited, and, because of that, I have included several pictures of both the interior and exterior of the car. This is about the third Toyota product we have evaluated over the past couple of months, and I have to say the styling, at least to me (this is John by the way), has a futuristic look to it, that is, well, attractive. I like the lines of the Venza, flowing and certainly aerodynamic in appearance. All the Venza models, the LE, the XLE, and the Limited, feature the 2.5L 4-Cylinder ECVT Hybrid engine. Start the engine, and there is no noise – none. As with many of the Hybrid cars, you know the car is running because a light comes on in the dash that says, “Ready”. However, the electric/gasoline power train puts out 219HP, which is not shabby, and with the electric power to start and quick and smooth transition to gasoline when accelerating from a stop, you get going in a hurry – better than most 4 cylinders I have tested.
Of all the hybrids from various manufacturers that we have evaluated so far, I have to say that this one was the most unique and, from a hybrid standpoint, the easiest for me to relate to.
“Huh?” You ask. “Relate?” Well, when we first got the Ruby Flare Pearl (that’s gray) Compact SUV, it had Hybrid right on the side of car, so we knew it was electric and gas, but the way they functioned together was the best I have evaluated to date. First, most cars that are hybrids have some sort of ‘gauge’ in the dashboard that tells you where you are in the battery function and how low or high the battery power is at any time. Frankly, it’s annoying.
Not so on the Venza Limited. I included a picture of the dash so you can see that on the left is a circle that tells you when you are running on electric power, on gasoline engine power, and when the battery is charging. Since they all flow together, you are not abnormally distracted with where you are on battery power, and the transition from battery to gasoline power was ‘seamless’, with there being no real noise when the engine kicked in. I stopped thinking about electric or gas, and simply drove the Venza like I would any vehicle. The ride was good, and, truthfully, when in electric mode, the only sound I heard was the tires on the road, so it gets good marks for quiet. Also, if you look above the steering wheel on the windshield, you can see the heads up display clearly visible. I like heads up displays as they note your speed, the speed limit, and road signs – gentle reminders of what’s going on as you focus on the road ahead.
I also wanted to include a picture of the 12.3” Touchscreen Display, which I really liked size wise, but took some getting used to as far as touch screen applications for me. Remember I am not the ‘technie’ that some of the younger evaluators are, so what is easy to many is still somewhat ‘technology challenging’ to me. I did get my phone hooked up and got the radio working. Navigation was easy as well. I like the ‘verbal command’ system that doesn’t take you hands off the steering wheel to find your favorite station, call home, or navigate to your favorite restaurant. All good.
Okay, I think we have covered handling, responsiveness, power, good looks, and ease of driving. How about price? The base LE model starts at $32,670; the XLE is $36,200 (Hmmmm – why cheaper than the LE); and the Limited starts at $40,000.
All the models have Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD), Height-adjustable hands-free power liftgate with jam protection, and Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0). More on that later. The XLE has LED projector headlights and Automatic High Beams (AHB) with auto on/off feature, Heated fabric-trimmed seats with SofTex®-trimmed bolsters, and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking (PA w/AB) on top of the LE features. The Limited includes all I have mentioned plus 12.3-in. touchscreen display and am Available Star Gaze™ fixed panoramic roof with on/off control and power sunshade. All models have seating for five and get a wonderful 40 mpg highway and 37 around town. That’s not much of a drop in fuel efficiency. Good job Toyota.
I wanted to review the safety features on the Venza as that, to me, is always such an important part of the vehicle. You can have Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation, nine JBL® w/Clari-Fi speakers, 12.3-in. touchscreen display, and Android Auto™ & Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatibility, Digital rearview mirror with HomeLink universal transceiver, a Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, and Illuminated doorsills and Venza logo puddle lights, and that’s great, but when things get ‘sticky’ you want to feel you are going to be okay.
Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 (TSS 2.0) includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Road Sign Assist (RSA), plus the Star Safety System™ which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology® (SST), and finally, how about, Eight airbags — driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver knee airbag, front passenger seat cushion airbag, and front and rear side curtain airbags. I say Toyota is doing their part to protect you in an accident.
Throw in a No Cost Maintenance Plan and 24-hour road side assistance, again at no cost, and you have a company that believes you are going to stay on the road driving, and/or they are going to be there to help. Pretty hard to beat the Toyota Venza for a practical SUV. To find out more about the 2021 Toyota Venza and see all the features and specs, go to https://www.toyota.com/venza/ Happy Venzaing! (Okay, I made that up.)
10760 US-501, Southern Pines, NC 28388
Tel: (833) 267-2310.
For our listeners in the New York Metropolitan area…
DCH Toyota City in Mamaroneck at 1305 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, New York 10543. Tel: (914) 698-8120. https://www.dchtoyotacity.com/
Mariano Rivera Toyota of Mt. Kisco, at 325 N Bedford Road, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549. Tel: (914) 666-5181. https://www.riveratoyota.com
New Rochelle Toyota, at 47 Cedar St, New Rochelle, NY 10801. Tel: (914) 576-8000. https://www.newrochelletoyota.com/
Westchester Toyota at 2167 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10710. https://www.westchestertoyota.com