Toyota Venza Is the Only 2021 Midsize SUV to Get These 2 Consumer Reports Designations

When it comes time to shop for a new vehicle, the recommendation of reviewers can play a vital role in narrowing down your options. The 2021 Toyota Venza ranks well overall in its Consumer Reports testing, but this isn’t the only reason it might appeal to potential buyers: It is also the only 2021 midsize SUV to receive both the Green Choice and CR Recommended designations. Here’s everything you need to know about these designations, as well as what makes the Venza stand out from the crowd.

The Toyota Venza’s Green Choice designation

The 2021 Toyota Venza is a recipient of the Green Choice designation, one of Consumer Reports’ newer methods of assisting shoppers in choosing a vehicle. This designation appears on the Venza’s ratings page as a green leaf.

The Green Choice designation was designed in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency. According to Consumer Reports, the goal of this designation is to help make it easier for the public to identify which vehicles emit lower amounts of greenhouse gases and smog-forming emissions. It includes gas-powered cars as well as hybrids and EVs. 

In addition to being better for the environment, vehicles that have fewer greenhouse gas emissions also tend to be more fuel-efficient, Consumer Reports notes. This means that Green Choice vehicles have the potential to help you save money on fuel.

What it means to be CR Recommended

It is important to note that just because a vehicle meets the standards for the Green Choice designation, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Consumer Reports recommends it — the Toyota Venza stands out as one of the notable vehicles to be both Green Choice designated and CR Recommended. The CR Recommended program considers all the criteria that Consumer Reports uses to determine a vehicle’s quality, such as its safety, reliability, and performance. Vehicles that perform well in enough of these categories are listed as CR Recommended.

According to Consumer Reports, the goal of the CR Recommended designation is to provide shoppers with “easy and immediate access to objective, reliable recommendations.” Manufacturers are able to display Consumer Reports’ recommendations online and in-store to make it easier for people to find vehicles that have received this designation.

What makes the Venza so great?

RELATED: The 2021 Toyota Venza Is the Poster Child for Mainstream Luxury

In addition to receiving the Green Choice and CR Recommended designations, the 2021 Toyota Venza is listed as No. 4 of 11 in Consumer Reports’ rankings of midsize SUVs. It received an overall score of 78 and has a predicted reliability rating of 4/5.

The Venza starts at approximately $32,570. It is exclusively available as an all-wheel-drive hybrid that makes 219 hp. Its fuel efficiency is stellar: In its road test it got 31 miles per gallon in the city, 42 miles per gallon on the highway, and 37 miles per gallon combined. According to Consumer Reports, this results in an estimated annual fuel cost of just $780.

The Venza comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road sign assist, and adaptive cruise control. Other standard features include an integrated backup camera, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and an 8.0-inch touch screen. 

Consumer Reports describes the Venza’s ride as “firm, yet comfortable,” and praises the stylish interior. However, test drivers did observe that the Venza experiences slightly elevated levels of road noise, particularly when driving on rough pavement. The tapered design of the roof also causes some issues with visibility.

Despite these downsides, however, the Toyota Venza is overall an excellent midsize SUV. It comes with an abundance of safety features, its ride is pleasant, and, of course, its fuel efficiency is phenomenal.