Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Toyota Venza Is the Poster Child for Mainstream Luxury

Shopping for a car usually brings you to a used car lot, a new car lot offering more basic, non-luxury cars, or — if you’re able to afford it — a luxury car lot. Some non-luxury brands have higher-end models, but nothing has ever been quite luxurious enough to be considered luxury.

More and more, brands are blurring the lines between luxury and non-luxury, especially when it comes to the non-luxury brands. Mazda and some Toyota models are great examples of this. So how does the Toyota Venza stack up when it comes to luxury?

How do you define a luxury car?

A Toyota logo seen on the front of a RAV4
A Toyota logo seen on the front of an SUV | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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According to Certified AutoPlex, luxury cars can come from any brand, even though people typically associate luxury with high-end brands like Mercedes.

New data has already proven that the gap between luxury and non-luxury is shrinking, leaving many shoppers wondering if it’s better to buy an entry-level luxury car or a fully-loaded non-luxury car.

To be considered a luxury car, all a vehicle needs to do is have high-end features that go above and beyond what’s deemed average necessities. Luxury helps categorize vehicles that perform better, have lavish interiors, all the latest technology features, and ample standard safety features.

But Certified AutoPlex stresses that there is no one definition and that cost, brand, and type of vehicle don’t matter. 

The 2021 Toyota Venza brings the luxury

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Toyota initially introduced the five-passenger Venza SUV in 2008 but stopped production in 2015. However, 2020 brought new life to the crossover when it was reinvented as a two-row hybrid-only vehicle.

There isn’t much negative feedback out there on the Toyota Venza, showing that it’s become a pretty likable option for shoppers. And it’s already proven its quality among other vehicles in its class and beyond.

The 2021 Venza makes a statement with an elegant design, clean design, and commitment to value and accessibility that Toyota is famous for. It’s already been named a finalist in the Motor Trend SUV of the Year competition.

While it competes against other crossovers like the Chevy Blazer and Honda Passport, the Venza is likely to be confused for a Lexus, Toyota’s luxury sister brand. That’s because it is less sporty and more upscale.

The Venza is well-equipped at the base model, which starts around $32,470 but upgrade trim levels and you get even more. There’s a premium audio system option with a 12.3-inch touch display with navigation and a nine-speaker JBL sound system, replacing the 8-inch screen and six-speaker stereo.

All Venzas have Toyota Safety Sense, which includes several safety features to take the stress off the driver. These include lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, radar cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. It has earned its place as an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Toyota Venza also has excellent fuel economy, with a combined EPA estimated rating of 39 mpg.

If comfort is your thing, you’ll enjoy the refinement that the Venza offers over its sister, the RAV4. The cabin has soft materials, an upscale design, and tons of features that will have your passengers checking the logo to see if it’s a luxury brand.

There are four USB ports, a wireless charger, two-zone automatic climate control, LED projector headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, and more. According to Motor Trend, these are mostly standard on the Venza but are only options in some luxury brands. 

Toyota is creating a new road to luxury with the 2021 Venza

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The addition of luxurious cars to non-luxury line-ups means that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to ride in style. While you may not get the brand name recognition that comes with buying an Audi, BMW, or Lexus, you’ll still get plenty of luxury. So maybe this means that there’s a new road to luxury. Will you take it?