The 2021 Toyota Venza Drives Like a Prius in High Heels

Stellar fuel economy, a smooth powertrain, and a comfortable ride are all characteristics that you would expect when driving a Toyota Prius. After all, it is made to do one thing: get the best mileage possible. But although it is comfortable for a compact car, it doesn’t exactly scream luxury. However, the 2021 Toyota Venza aims to fill that void by providing a more plush interior experience as well as a higher driving position. That being said, it drives like a Prius in high heels.

The 2021 Toyota Venza offers a smooth driving experience

After driving the 2021 Toyota Venza around for a few days, I’ve come to enjoy all of the amenities that the top-trim Limited has to offer. This includes the premium JBL sound system (which is a must-have in any Toyota product), the large 12.3-inch infotainment display, and supple SoftTex-trimmed seats. Overall, the interior of the Venza is a great place to spend time in, especially if your time is mostly spent sitting in traffic or commuting long distances.

What’s even better than the interior experience is the hybrid powertrain that sits under the hood. The 2021 Venza is powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s connected to three electric motors – one in the rear, two in the front — to produce a total of 219 hp. Altogether, the engine setup powers all four wheels and can achieve an EPA-estimated 40 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Best of all, it’s smooth as can be and very quiet in its operation.

2021 Toyota Venza on display
2021 Toyota Venza

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You’ll enjoy the elevated ride height

My main takeaway from the Toyota Venza thus far is that it does well in splitting the difference between a regular car and a larger SUV. In a sense, it takes the best of all possible worlds by combining the fuel efficiency of the Prius with the taller stature of the Highlander to provide a commanding driving experience. If you’ve always wanted a larger car but didn’t want the hassle of parking in a small garage or hoisting yourself to get into it, then the Venza offers a great compromise.

2021 Toyota Venza | Toyota
2021 Toyota Venza | Toyota

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While driving the Venza, I noticed how composed the overall ride is, but I couldn’t help but notice that it feels like an oversized Prius. That’s not a bad thing by any means, since the Venza was always meant to be a crossover, but just know to expect the same numb steering feel that you would get in a Prius, as well as a super-soft ride on the streets and a decent amount of body roll when taking turns. Again, it’s like a Prius with high heels on; it tiptoes more than it sprints.

2021 Toyota Venza Interior
2021 Toyota Venza Interior | Toyota

It’s not sporty, but it’s not meant to be

If you do happen to be in the market for a crossover, then the Toyota Venza will work well if you enjoy a comfortable ride over a sportier one. If something more rugged is what you seek, then I would suggest going with a Subaru Forester or even a Ford Escape. The Toyota Venza is meant for those that would rather drive on autopilot while getting the best mileage possible, just like you would expect out of a Prius.