2021 Toyota Venza

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For all of us who though the Venza wagon was going to be back to compete with the Subaru Outback: we were wrong.
The “new Venza” is not a wagon. 
And it’s not a Venza either. It is the new Toyota Harrier they unveiled just last month.
Which is mostly a fancy RAV-4.
So this basically will replace the old (1st gen) Highlander in the US, which was a 5 seater only. It is not replacing the original Venza wagon.
(Not sure why they didn’t use the name “Harrier ” in the US as well…)
Although it is actually a few inches longer than the RAV-4, it uses the same AWD 2.5 Liter Hybrid system (Just like the new Sienna, the Venza is a hybrid-only model in the US)
The Hybrid/CVT combo is supposed to return an average of 40MPG. Which will be the best in its segment.
(Which, I guess, includes the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, and a few others)
Inside and out, the Venza looks more like a Lexus. (I even mentioned last month that the Harrier would make a great second-generation Lexus NX.)
Instead, it now is a weird “Toyota that looks like a Lexus”.
At least the design is very clean and pleasant. 
Although, inside, the screen is just way too high. Which ends up being very distracting when driving, especially at night,
It also has, for some reason, no physical knob for the volume. 
Being a new SUV from Toyota, I am sure we will see this everywhere. 
I just wish Toyota had offered us a proper Outback competitor…

Conversation 9 comments

  1. great looking if a bit generic SUV, if it really gets 40mpg and is reliable, it will sell like crazy. could easily outsell Ford Edge and Honda CR-V hybrids.

  2. Seems bit crowded with the RAV4 & Highlander since it seems another SUV now. I would not be surprised if this would rather take Highlander sales away.

    Agree don't like that screen sticking out, but seems sad trend nowadays as Toyota/Nissan/Audi all do that with lots of new models. As if driving is secondary to watching infotainment screens.

  3. Too bad that giant "grill" is 90% fake. Does anyone really want giant unpainted plastic panels on the front of their cars that only LOOK like real grills?

  4. The new Venza only comes in hybrid in the North America market. I think the front end looks as hideous as the current Lexus model front ends. I would not buy the new Venza because of the front end look!

  5. Again, center screens can be TURNED OFF so that they do not distract the driver if they are causing that issue. It's probably not called "Harrier" hear because people would think it is spelled "Hairier" and means just that…a car that's "hairy" is not exactly appealing to consumers.

  6. When I was in Japan, I had seen it on the road. It has a premium feel to it. This may hurt Rav4, NX and Highlander sales, IMO.

  7. I drove one recently. It is MUCH better than my Honda CR-V, inside and out!! Also, it really is one of the most attractive SUVs out there. My only complaints (2) are the limited legroom for rear seat passengers and the high cargo floor which limits cargo volume. Otherwise I'm very impressed and will most likely make it my next vehicle.

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