- the new 2021 venza shares a platform and many dimensions with the rav4, but differentiates itself with a sleek design and upgraded standard technology.
- the venza's all-wheel-drive system is slightly different than the rav4's.
- the venza will arrive on dealer lots this summer.
toyota is expanding its crossover lineup by reintroducing the venza for 2021, a nameplate that was discontinued in 2015. the new 2021 venza is based on the global harrier crossover and is meant to slot between the rav4 and the highlander—but it appears to be similar to the rav4 on paper. how does the new venza compare and contrast with the popular rav4? we dug into its specs and features to find out.
the venza and the rav4 ride on the same tnga platform and thus have a similar exterior footprint, other than the venza's greater overall length. the two crossovers are very similar in terms of interior space, too. head, hip, shoulder, and leg room are all nearly the same, and if they do differ, it’s only by a matter of a few inches both in the front and rear seats. in terms of cargo space behind the second row, the venza offers less space than the rav4.
toyota venza dimensions (vs. rav4)
- length: 186.6 in (+5.7 in)
- height: 65.9 in (-1.1 in)
- width: 73 in (same)
- wheelbase: 105.9 in (same)
- cargo space behind second row: 36 cu ft (-2 cu ft)
nonetheless, with the design of the venza, toyota ensured that it wouldn’t be confused for a rav4. the venza looks more sleek and refined to our eyes, sharing its smoother styling cues with the c-hr and the highlander rather than the sharper, more angled design seen on the rav4 and 4runner.
the venza exclusively comes with a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive, while the rav4 offers an optional hybrid drivetrain alongside a nonhybrid gasoline 2.5-liter inline-four engine choice. the all-wheel-drive system in the venza differs slightly from that on the rav4 hybrid. the system on the venza can send up to 80 percent of power to the rear wheels to help prevent front wheel slip, while the system in the rav4 hybrid only sends up to 50 percent of power to the rear wheels. the venza and the rav4 hybrid's powertrains are otherwise nearly identical, as they both use 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines and three electric motors to produce a combined 219 horsepower.
standard and optional features
both the rav4 and the venza come standard with toyota’s suite of driver assistance features, known as toyota safety sense, which includes pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, and other features.
the venza comes standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment display and offers a 12.3-inch display is optional. the rav4 comes standard with a 7.0-inch screen and offers an 8.0-inch screen as an option. the venza offers a fixed panoramic glass roof which can be switched from transparent to frosted to reduce direct sunlight.
overall, the venza appears to be a more refined rav4 hybrid, both inside and out, with a slightly more advanced powertrain and more standard technology setting it apart. once we get our hands on one, we'll be able to fully evaluate their differences.