Toyota is finally bringing back the Venza as a hybrid-only crossover after 5 years by importing a Japan-market model — take a closer look

klee@businessinsider.com (Kristen Lee)
2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

  • The new 2021 Toyota Venza is an imported version of the Toyota Harrier, a Japanese-market crossover.
  • The original Venza was discontinued at the end of its 2015 model year.
  • The new model will get a claimed 40 mpg combined fuel economy.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Toyota Venza is back in the form of the 2021 Toyota Venza — an exclusively hybrid crossover that's based on the Japanese market Toyota Harrier.

The first-generation Toyota Venza launched in late 2008 as an alternative to sedans, according to a Toyota press release. It was marketed toward people who wanted the looks of a Camry or Avalon but with the utility of a crossover. The resulting Venza was sort of a tall station wagon, not quite a full-fledged SUV or van, but served as a two-row option next to the RAV4 and slotting beneath the larger Highlander. 

Venza sales were most successful in 2009, according to Motor Trend. After that, however, the numbers started dropping: "Numbers started to decline in the following years, and in 2014, Venza sales were down 16.3% with 29,991 examples sold. That's a stark contrast to the 267,698 RAV4s sold, and the 146,127 Highlanders sold during the same period."

Toyota finally made the decision to end production of the Venza after the 2015 model year, citing "customer preference, competitiveness within the segment, and deteriorating sales."

Which meant that for the following years, the Toyota crossover and SUV lineup lacked a mid-size crossover to sit between the RAV4 and Highlander. And seeing as the RAV4 and Highlander were Toyota's two best-selling SUVs last year (indeed, the RAV4 was Toyota's best-selling vehicle overall), there's likely good financial sense in reintroducing the Venza. 

What else is new on the new Venza? Keep scrolling to find out. 

The Toyota Venza is back for the 2021 model year as a two-row crossover.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

The previous Venza launched in 2008 and was discontinued at the end of its 2015 model year.

Toyota Venza 2014

Toyota

The 2021 Venza will be the US-import version of the Japanese-market Toyota Harrier.

Toyota Harrier.

Toyota

Both use Toyota’s TNGA-K platform.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

You can’t deny the visual similarities.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

All of its lines have been sharpened up from the previous Venza to match Toyota's current aesthetic.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

But the Venza will be hybrid-only when it is sold in the US.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

The lithium-ion battery is tucked beneath the rear seats.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Toyota estimates it will get 40 mpg combined fuel economy.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

It’ll seat five passengers.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

And it will have a 12.3-inch touchscreen display.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

There will also be a fixed panoramic glass roof.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

It has "electrochromic glass technology."

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

That means drivers can switch it from transparent to frosted modes.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

The new Venza uses a 2.5-liter engine.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

And three electric motors.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Total system horsepower is a claimed 219.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

There’s an electric-only mode that lets you drive for short distances.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

All 2021 Venzas will come with all-wheel drive.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

The higher XLE and Limited trims come with 19-inch wheels.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Toyota says the Venza will be super quiet inside.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Its engineers built a cabin where passengers can hear music easily.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Or listen to each other talk more clearly.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Toyota claims it’s cut down on the vibration, road noise, and wind sound coming into the car.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

There's also sound-blocking and absorbing insulation and body-sealing material everywhere for extra sound-deadening.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Thirsty people will rejoice because the door bottle holders can hold 24-ounce bottles.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

There is 36.3 cubic feet of trunk space behind the second row.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 has slightly more, with 37.5 cubic feet of trunk space behind the second row.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

But that might be from the way the Venza is shaped.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

Regardless, it is the middle ground between the RAV4 and the larger Highlander.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

No pricing was announced at this time, but the 2021 Toyota Venza will hit dealers this summer.

2021 Toyota Venza.

Toyota

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