2021 toyota venza street and off
Altair Club Cars 2021 Toyota Venza Street and Off-Road Review

2021 Toyota Venza Street and Off-Road Review

Toyota’s new 2021 Venza (aka Harrier outside the USA) brings the RAV4’s Hybrid drivetrain to the mid-size market. In this video we review all the key features, try out a 0-60 run and then we take it off-road to see just how capable the all-wheel drive system is without a dedicated trail feature.

Today we’re taking a look at the all-new 2021 twatter venza in this review we’ll hit the street and mountains to see how it stacks up against toyota’s own rav4 and the mid-size competition that’s coming up right now on driving sports tv it appears that toyota wasn’t content to dominate the compact crossover market with the rav4 which was all new in 2019 we were

Especially impressed by the hybrid model of the rav4 which combined efficiency and capability in a compelling package even if it did struggle a bit off-road here we are just one year later and now it’s time to look at a midsize offering from toyota this one is based on the same platform as the rav4 but slightly larger it’s targeting the popular midsize models like

The ford edge honda passport and the chevy blazer the design rejects the blocky machismo of the rav4 in favor of swooping lines that terminate in a fashionably aerodynamic boot toyota is calling it the new venza this resurrects a name that last appeared in 2015 only then it was a slightly larger and more wagon like cross over this 2021 venza starts at 32 thousand

Four hundred and seventy dollars the model we’re testing today is a mid-range xle which starts at 36,000 our test car does include a number of options so be sure to check with toyota for final pricing in toyotas pursuit to electrify their lineup the new venza will only be available with a hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain this combines a 2.5 liter gas engine with

Two electric propulsion motors for a total combined output of 219 horsepower electric power is stored on a lithium-ion battery system the transmission is an electronically controlled continuously variable unit the epa is expected to rate economy at up to 40 miles to the gallon in the city and 37 on the highway even though the wheelbase is the same as the rav for the

Venza is about 6 inches longer measuring 186 point 6 inches our xle has 28.8 cubic feet behind the second row or fold down for larger objects toyota hasn’t released total capacity with the seats down but we expect it’s fairly similar to the rav fours 70 total cubic feet due to the longer body but lower roofline and under the floor is a full size spare now this is

Interesting right here normally this is just a piece of like composite or plastic but in this case they’ve actually added extra sound deadening it all just shows just how they want to make this vehicle more sophisticated than a standard rav4 plenty of room in the second row got legroom i’ve got headroom i have my own vents i even have two 2.1 amp power sockets and

An armrest with cupholders the main cabin of the venza is as dramatic of a departure from the rav4 as is the exterior even in this mid-level trim the design and materials are excellent excellent models come standard with an 8 inch display but ours was upgraded with jbl sound and a 12 point 3 inch screen from the upscale limited model the seats were nicely trimmed

With faux leather and suede like inserts the drivers position features 8 way power adjustments including lower back three-stage seat heating is optional overall the interior is just nicely thought out with details that make this model really stand out against the competition like other toyotas the center display is clear and easy to read with lots of information

Available at your fingertips including powertrain status and safety systems select between the three drive modes including normal eco and sport the e v button allows you to use just electricity at very low speeds one of the highlights is the large touchscreen i really like the latest version of toyotas system even though the navigation graphics are a bit out of

Date but it is functional you can even use freeform voice commands find the nearest starbucks showing results for starbucks you can adjust climate from the touchscreen or you can use buttons beneath the display but be aware that fingerprints are an issue on the piano black surface plug-in a mobile device for android auto or apple carplay compatibility wireless

Charging is available but the position isn’t very convenient switch the car into reverse for a rear-view camera another low res camera but it doesn’t tracking lines and a tow hitch connector line which is funny because this vehicle isn’t even rated for towing other safety features include blind spot warnings collision mitigation with bike and pedestrian detection

And adaptive cruise with steering assist toyota says the all-wheel-drive system can push up to 80 percent of available power to the rear wheels in slippery conditions let’s see how that translates with full throttle on gravel in normal drive mode you can see a lot of wheel spin up front the back wheels are basically going along for the ride now sport mode similar

Result but is that a little more bite in the back i think it might be finely sport with traction off a lot of spin up front and similar results in the back to see how this compares against the rav4 hybrid let’s look at our tests from last year yep that is pretty similar overall of course most venza owners will never leave pavement on the road the vents that can

Use both the rear motor as well as brake vectoring to help the crossover handle even twisty roads with ease it’ll apply a little brake on the inside corner front wheel to help rotate the vehicle as well as use extra power in the back to assist with the same toyota also tuned the suspension specifically for the venza to give a ride that smoother than the rav4 but

Not quite at highlander levels of refinement now let’s see how it does with a zero to 60 test i’m gonna go ahead and stop completely right here i’m gonna put the car into sport mode okay it’s in sport mode it’s in sport for the transmission em three two one go everything flies back 20 30 40 50 60 you know that’s pretty quick i mean what do you need it to do

It’s a family crossover right driving this car on country roads is really a joy because you know the rav4 is a pretty decent vehicle and of the different rav4s the hybrid is my favorite and this venza is only available as a hybrid the model we’re driving is the all-wheel drive kind of mid trim edition but it still has all the things that makes the venza special

Compared to the rav4 specifically that’s suspension that is a little bit nicer it’s also a little bit quieter overall and then of course there’s the looks now in terms of capability is the venza you know better than the rav4 well i would say instantly probably not because it doesn’t even have a trail button like the rav4 does which really positions this as kind

Of a street going hybrid rav4 for people who don’t really see themselves going off-road however this is an all wheel drive vehicle and i think it’s our duty my responsibility to test that all-wheel drive system ideally we would test it in the snow because that would be the primary condition that you would be driving this vehicle in however since it’s mid july

In the pacific northwest yeah there’s no snow so we’re gonna do the next best thing we’re gonna take it up on a trail and see how this all-wheel drive system responds to slip because honestly if you’re slipping on rocks or you’re slipping on sand or you’re slipping on snow its kind of the same thing terms of how the all-wheel-drive system reacts whether it just

Spins those wheels freely or if it locks up and redistributes torque as needed so without let’s go ahead and dip into the mountains and we’ll see how well this offends it does so taking this offroad is of course pretty ridiculous it has 7 point 8 inches of ground clearance which isn’t a lot also it doesn’t even have a trail mode which is actually why i’m really

Curious to do this because we’ve taken of course every rav4 up here which this is based on and tested it out but we’ve never done it on the standard all-wheel drive setting so let’s see what that can do so here’s the first little challenge i mean getting through this really isn’t a question but we’d really want to see how this system responds let me get the screen

Up here actually let me put the screen up here that has the all-wheel-drive system so i can see what the wheels are doing there we go okay already i’m getting a little bit of wheel slip now let’s put it into comfort mode we don’t need to be in sport so normal normal mode it’s using wheel braking as wheels slip it clamps down and redistributes that power back into

The system just like a normal rav4 putting a lot of torque to the back motor there and gets us through it with you know minimal drama all things considered i think that’s a fairly favorable first test now let’s see if it’ll do the rest now to the rock hill climb this is a 20% grade with large rocks and a very uneven surface like the rav4 hybrid all-wheel drive and

The highlander hybrid the venza forgoes the typical mechanicals to power the rear wheels instead the back half is powered exclusively by one of the electric motors which produces up to 89 pound-feet of torque in our prior tests with the rav4 hybrid that vehicle did struggle a bit even with a trail mode so it’ll be interesting to see how well the venza does today so

I’m gonna go ahead and keep this in drive i’m also going to set the drive mode to normal which should do a decent job of shifting power to the front in the back as necessary like i said this has less ground clearance than a rav4 you’re looking at about seven point eight inches also no underbody protection and i need to look up the numbers but i believe the approach

And departure are worse on this vehicle at least looks like it’s worse because of that long nose in the front so let’s see can you off-road ivenna because we’re just creeping along here it’s doing it in all-electric mode right now i didn’t tell it to it just decided that electric would be good for this so we’re gonna go ahead that beeping is the parking sonar here

Comes the first challenge as we put all of the weight on just two wheels yeah this one in this one it’s trying to apply brakes as that are spinning what does it look like i just keep my foot into it will it get us up it it does it was able to take some of the power from those two wheels and redistribute it back into the system first challenge to can care of let’s

See how we continue do as it gets more challenging dip a wheel down really concerned about that nose okay before i go any further i’m gonna stop right here and i’m gonna take a look at our ground clearance oh yeah i think we’re okay it’s looking good so far ten yuan now we’re about to go over that big log ii thing it’s doing a decent job here now even though this

Is a very similar system to the rav4 it’s quite possible that they’ve reprogrammed this to be a little bit more aggressive with the all-wheel-drive system we just don’t know and yeah slipping right there actually huh really impressed i mean this is a very capable system when i first brought it up here because it had no trail mode i honestly thought that it would

Have a harder time with that but it was fine now let’s look at downhill toyota’s not really known for doing downhill assist they like to do crawl control on their more advanced off-roaders so there’s really there is no crawl control on this vehicle so i’m just gonna have to use my foot i have to be careful about compression when i come down so i don’t clip the

Nose on a rock because that would be awkward did i mention this is a pre-production vehicle probably hand-built i’m sure it’ll be fine i think there’s like five of these in the us right now it’s got only seven point eight inches but it’s got it in the right places i guess nice okay well that’s it test number one but we’re not done yet i got one more test for this

Thing yeah still can’t get too eager here got to be safe even after a couple tests i think we still need to learn a little bit more about how this all-wheel-drive system works time to break out the slow motion four that have come up to the short slant climb and we’re gonna see what it does now we have a slow-motion camera attached to the outside so we can see the

Wheel spin and see how well this system responds to slippery situations now the whole concept here is we want to see how this all-wheel drive system does compared to vehicles like the new rav4 prime and even the subaru outback which though isn’t a direct competitor would certainly be cross shop buy some now we haven’t tested the outbacks non ex mode here but the

Outback comes with ex mode so you’re gonna have that additional capability now granted this is a rock face with some light dust and gravel on it it’s basically very similar traction wise to what you would find you know going up a snowy hill so because we can’t have snow we’re gonna use this as our reasonable facsimile now let’s see how it does i’m in normal drive

Mode and i have the transmission in normal as well i’m gonna crawl up and now i’m going to stop right here and now we’re gonna see what the all-wheel-drive system does when it has like not much grip at all we’re on a steep incline and let’s do it it’s breaking that wheel putting as much power as it can to that back motor it’s now breaking both front wheels that’s

Interesting you don’t see that very often up over let’s look at the the outside in slow motion now and see how that responded you can see that front wheel really struggling for grip with those all-season tires here the wheel braking is much more apparent than in the previous test as you can see the front wheel come to a complete stop as it attempts to push torque to

The opposite wheel as for me i have the gas pedal down all the way allowing the computers to sort through the traction issues and though it does struggle it does manage to make it up the obstacle this means it’ll probably do quite well in everyday slippery conditions like hills covered in snow and ice even if a venza owner will never really take it offroad comparing

It against the subaru outback on xxt with ex mode you can see subarus trail system really does a much better job of redistributing power from spinning wheels back into the system giving more power to the wheels with grip likewise the plug-in electric rav4 prime which has a similar all-wheel-drive system as the venza does a better job because of that trail specific

Mode plus of course it has extra power from the bigger batteries i think that’s certainly more than anybody else is gonna do with a 2021 venza in the real world i have to say the system is very capable who knew i mean honestly i did not expect it to do this good for more tests just like this be sure to subscribe also take a look at our back catalogue we have over

500 videos i’m sure you’ll find something you like for driving sports tv i’m ryan douthit thanks for watching

Transcribed from video
2021 Toyota Venza Street and Off-Road Review By Driving Sports TV

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