Crossover & Midsize

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid Has Key Advantages Over the Venza

The Toyota Venza is a new hybrid on the streets, competing with the RAV4 Hybrid and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. While the Venza and RAV4 are incredibly similar, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has exciting features to bring to the table. Choosing between the Toyota Venza and 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid could be difficult. 

The Toyota Venza vs. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid 

When deciding between the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Venza, first ask yourself how many seats you need. The Highlander has a third-row fit for children, while the Venza only seats five passengers. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid driving down dirt road
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Venza is also slightly more expensive, with a starting price of about $40,000. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes in with a starting price of around $38,000, so you’ll save about $2k and gain extra seats. 

But if you want the best fuel economy, the Toyota Venza takes the cake with an average of 40 mpg. The Toyota Highlander gets up to 35 mpg, which is still great for a larger SUV. Gas guzzling three-row options struggle to get near this number. 

Toyota Venza and Toyota Highlander Hybrid performance 

One cool Toyota Venza aspect is the fact that it comes with all-wheel drive. You don’t have to spend more to gain the ability to drive through snow and other slippery conditions. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes in front-wheel drive, but you can upgrade to AWD for about $1,800. 

2021 Toyota Venza on display
2021 Toyota Venza | Toyota

RELATED: Is The Toyota Highlander Hybrid Worth It?

The 2021 Toyota Venza comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with three electric motors that combine to create 219 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque.

It can tow up to 3,500 lb and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. However, when tested by CarandDriver, the Venza took 7.6 seconds to reach 60 mph. 

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid also has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but it’s paired with only two electric motors and provides 243-hp and 1750lb-ft of torque. This increase in power is most likely for the Highlander’s larger size. 

But despite having more power, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid can only tow 3,500 lb, like the Venza. Also, the highlander hybrid can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. We expected the Venza to be a lot faster than the Highlander. 

2021 Toyota Venza and 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid features 

The 2021 Toyota Venza is a luxurious option with a refined interior with soft-touch leather materials, advanced tech layout, and more. However, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is also incredibly comfortable with more space in each row for the driver and passengers. However, it’s worth noting that the third row is viewed as cramped. 

Both SUV options come with a 10-inch infotainment center that can be upgraded to include a 12.3-inch display. Both the Venza and Highlander also come with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Alexis connectivity. 

2020 Toyota Highlander parked outside of a brick building
2020 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

But the 2021 Toyota Venza has an electromechanical sunroof. With the touch of a button, the panoramic roof goes from clear to opaque to reduce the amount of sunlight glare in the cabin while still allowing light in. 

When it comes down to choosing between the Toyota Venza and Toyota Highlander Hybrid, if you have more kids and need more cargo space, go for the Highlander. Otherwise, the Toyota Venza offers a more convenient and luxurious ride.