SUV elegance meets hybrid functionality.

Toyota Venza Review | CarMax

Making a welcome return to Toyota's SUV lineup is the 2021 Toyota Venza. Presented with a stunning ground-up redesign for its second generation (2021 onward), and available exclusively with a hybrid powertrain, the Venza's sturdy five-seat midsize crossover has the cargo storage and passenger comforts that make road trips, weekend errands, and daily commutes a pleasure. With a poised ride, high-end interior touches, and all-wheel drive athleticism, this feels like the luxury midsize SUV you've been waiting for.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2021 Toyota Venza review:

Key Specs and Features:


  • The 2021 Venza and its hybrid powertrain get an EPA-estimated 39 mpg combined fuel economy across all models.1

Cargo Space

Toyota Venza Review: Trunk | CarMax
  • 28.8 cu-ft of cargo storage with all seats in place.
  • This expands to 55.1 cu-ft behind the front row.

Seating Capacity

  • Seating for five passengers

Engine Options

Toyota Venza Review: Engine | CarMax

All 2021 Venza models feature a hybrid powertrain. The 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine and three electric motors (one purely for delivering AWD to the rear wheels) combine to deliver 219 horsepower.

Tech features

  • Intelligent clearance sonar
  • Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa™ compatibility
  • Integrated backup camera
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • Star Gaze™ electrochromic panoramic roof with frost feature (Limited trim option)


The Toyota Venza has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists.

5 Reasons to Buy

1. A Peaceful Ride

Toyota Venza Review: Exterior | CarMax

Enjoying a graciously quiet cabin is something hybrid and electric vehicle owners love to boast about. And why not? The 2021 Toyota Venza has layer upon layer of noise dampening features. It's structurally designed to minimize road vibration, insulated from tire noise, and further protected from wind with acoustic glass windshields. On top of this, further sound-blocking elements are added throughout, including a floor silencer pad, and sound-absorbing insulation around the engine. The result? A stunningly calm cabin that your passengers won't stop talking about.

2. Driving Statistics

If you want to get the most out of your new hybrid and love statistics, switch on the Venza's Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) system. PED analyzes driving habits, memorizing repeated routes, roads, and traffic conditions. This makes battery charging smarter because knowing when slow-downs and stops are most likely to happen allows systemic reductions in energy consumption. Pretty cool, huh?

3. Thoughtful comfort touches

Toyota Venza Review: Front Seats | CarMax
Toyota Venza Review: Backseats | CarMax

The Venza's interior has a luxurious look yet feels supremely comfortable for you and your passengers. Step into or out of the driver's seat and the Venza will automatically slide it back first to ease your entry or exit. Start the engine and your seat automatically returns to the last driver setting. With a total of eight cup and bottle holders, a spacious center stack tray, and full connectivity for smartphone users throughout the cabin, everything feels within reach and tailored to you.

Toyota Venza Review: Tech | CarMax

4. Hybrid Powertrain

If you regularly find yourself driving the stop-start of an urban commute, hybrid technology makes it feel easy. The symbiotic relationship between the gas engine and electric motors boosts the low-speed torque typically needed as you move through city traffic or merge onto the highway. This makes your acceleration and real-time road responses feel smooth and effortless. Want to tailor the Venza's response for long-distance drives or those more exciting roads? Select NORMAL, ECO or SPORT mode to define the performance you require. The 2021 Toyota Venza makes it very clear; hybrids are a lot of fun.

5. Driver Assistance Features

Toyota Venza Review: Dashboard | CarMax

The 2021 Venza comes equipped with a package of driver assistance features that come as standard across all trim levels. If you regularly travel out of town seeking the new and unfamiliar, you'll love the Venza's Road Sign Assist feature, which includes a forward-facing camera that detects speed limit, stop, and yield signs. Analyzing in real-time, the Venza sends that data to the driver information display screen.

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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • LE: Includes all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, push-button ignition and keyless entry (front doors), eight-inch touchscreen, 4.2-inch information display, power-adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights, wireless smartphone charging, leather-trimmed power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth® wireless technology, and more.
  • XLE: Adds automatic parking assist, roof rails, 19-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming mirror, projector-style LED headlights, seven-inch information display, heated front seats, leatherette and cloth seats, keyless entry for rear doors, universal remote transmitter, and more.
  • Limited: Adds leatherette upholstery, 12.3-inch touchscreen, premium JBL® audio system with nine speakers and sub-woofer, digital rearview mirror, heated and ventilated front seats, compass, heated steering wheel, 360-degree view camera system, panoramic roof option, available head-up display, and more.

Available Colors

  • Black (LE, XLE)
  • Blizzard Pearl (available option)
  • Blueprint
  • Celestial Black (available option for XLE, Limited)
  • Coastal Gray Metallic
  • Ruby Flare Pearl (available option)
  • Titanium Glow


  • Seating for five passengers
  • 28.8 cu-ft of cargo space, expanding to 55.1 cu-ft with rear seats folded back
  • EPA-estimated interior volume of 127.1 cu-ft
  • Front- and rear-seat headroom of 38.6 inches, and 39 inches, respectively
  • S-FLOW cooling seat technology

Average CarMax Prices

The 2021 Toyota Venza is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Toyota Venza.

2011 — Average prices less than $14,5002

2012 — Average prices less than $14,0002

2013 — Average prices less than $15,0002

2014 — Average prices less than $17,0002

2015 — Average prices less than $18,5002


NHTSA Safety Ratings – 2021 Toyota Venza

The 2021 Toyota Venza received an overall 5/5 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Toyota Venza you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Toyota Highlander

For large families or ride sharers, the three-row 2017–2019 Toyota Highlander is available in six trim levels and should absolutely be on your radar. From 2018, the base level LE trim is powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with six-speed automatic transmission. All higher trims have a 3.5L V6 engine as standard, delivering 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. Features of the 2017–2019 Highlander include:

  • 13.8 cu-ft of standard cargo space (expands to 83.2 cu-ft, behind the first row)
  • Seating for eight passengers (reduced to seven with second-row captain's chair option)
  • Five USB ports

Toyota RAV4

Toyota delivers fun and excitement with its RAV4. All 2017–2019 trim levels offer a rugged character that's just as home in the city as it is on a dusty country road. 2017–2018 models feature 38.4 cu-ft of cargo storage, while the fully redesigned 2019 RAV4 has plenty of upgraded tech including a larger seven-inch touch screen display and Apple CarPlay capability. All 2017–2019 models feature:

  • 2.5L four-cylinder engine with automatic transmission
  • Five-passenger seating
  • Rear privacy glass

Toyota Sienna

The 2017–2019 Toyota Sienna minivan is a comfortable seven- or eight-seater (trim dependent) with superb practicality and a comfortable ride. The Sienna's 3.5L V6 engine makes light work of challenging drives and, with the option of all-wheel-drive, this is a capable vehicle for longer journeys. Family and friends will love the Sienna's tri-zone climate control and spacious 164 cu-ft of cabin space too. From 2018, the base L trim Sienna features:

  • Five USB ports
  • Sliding side entry door
  • 39.1 cu-ft of cargo storage (expanding to 150 cu-ft behind the first row)

The Bottom Line

The 2021 Toyota Venza is a head-turning hybrid for buyers with a green-conscious lifestyle and luxurious tastes. Thanks to its athletic exterior, the latest in tech, and plentiful driver assistance features, the Venza will be a welcome addition to your shopping list.

Looking to learn more about this class of SUV? Take a look at these related articles:

1 Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2Based on prices on carmax.com between January 2, 2019, through June 4, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.