Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Toyota Venza Only Has 1 Real Advantage Over the Ford Edge

The original Toyota Venza, released in 2009, was one of the most distinctive cars you could buy at the time. Thanks to its wagon-like appearance, it boasted generous passenger and cargo accommodations compared to larger rivals. Now, after a six-year hiatus, the Toyota Venza is back with a fresh face and a new hybrid powertrain.

But the Venza has some stiff competition, including the Ford Edge. According to one expert comparison, the Venza is superior in one key area.

2021 Toyota Venza highlights

The Toyota Venza is one of only a few crossover SUVs offering a hybrid powertrain. It pairs two electric motors with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for a total of 219 hp. Autotrader says the Venza exhibits good acceleration and great handling, even if it isn’t the sportiest SUV.

Plus, Venza boasts impressive fuel economy. Toyota claims it gets 39 mpg combined city/highway. It also comes with standard all-wheel drive. However, Autotrader cautions that it’s not suitable for intensive off-roading.

Autotrader also gave the Toyota Venza high marks for its upscale interior. It can seat up to five riders on either fabric or synthetic leather upholstery. Just like the last generation, the 2021 model gives everyone room to stretch their limbs. The cargo area is spacious too. And the high seating position gives drivers good visibility from all angles.

The Venza also sports some interesting technology, including the available Star Gaze panoramic sunroof. It comes with a “Frosted” setting that filters out direct sunlight while still brightening the interior. And higher trims feature a 12-inch touchscreen for the center stack.

Every Toyota Venza also features the automaker’s latest suite of safety features. This includes staples such as lane-keeping assistance and forward collision warning with low-light pedestrian detection. Full-speed range adaptive cruise control also comes standard.

Toyota Venza vs. Ford Edge

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Both engines available for the Ford Edge are more powerful than the Venza’s powertrain, Autotrader reports. The base option is a 2.0-liter turbo-four capable of 250 hp, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Ford Edge ST comes standard with a twin-turbo V6 capable of 335 hp and riding on a fine-tuned sports suspension. This is the only model with standard AWD.

Also, the base engine’s athletic handling and comfortable ride surprised Autotrader. The Edge ST’s ride is predictably a little firmer than the Toyota Venza’s, but the Ford benefits from better acceleration off the starting line. It also comes with upscale sports seats to keep riders as comfortable as possible.

Although the Ford Edge is fun to drive, its thick roof pillars greatly hinder visibility. And though the Edge is still efficient by class standards, it trails behind the Toyota Venza in fuel economy. The EPA rates the base engine for up to 24 mpg combined, while the twin-turbo gets 21 mpg combined.

Autotrader liked several new tech upgrades on the 2021Edge. The base trim features wireless smartphone integration, a Wi-Fi hotspot, voice recognition, and a 12-inch touchscreen. Like the Toyota Venza, the Ford Edge also comes standard with many safety features.

Which one is the better buy?

Though the Ford Edge demonstrates better performance, the Toyota Venza boasts better gas mileage. Autotrader also noted the Edge’s higher trims are overpriced, and the vehicle doesn’t have a great resale value. Its wide body and poor visibility might also prove annoying for some drivers.

The base 2021 Toyota Venza is slightly more expensive than the Edge, but it’s still a great value for a well-equipped hybrid. Both SUVs offer a decent powertrain warranty and plenty of interior space for extended trips.