Crossover & Midsize

Toyota Venza vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Which is Better?

The 2021 Toyota Venza is here, and it’s new and exciting. However, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is also here! Both of these Toyota hybrid SUVs suggest that they’re great family SUVs, but which option is best?

2021 Toyota Venza vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 

The Toyota RAV4 is a trusted SUV that’s been around for the past few years, that recently came out with a hybrid model. The Toyota Venza used to be a sedan until it was discontinued in 2015. Now it has returned as a luxury hybrid SUV.

A red 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid at sunset with its lights on
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | Toyota

You can get started in the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for about $28,000. This has a bit of a price bump compared to the non-hybrid RAV4, which starts around $25,000. Meanwhile, the 2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid begins around $33,000. This extra $5,000 in price could be a little difficult for a family budget. 

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets about 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Toyota suggests that the Venza will get about 40 mpg combined, but they haven’t released official EPA ratings. So while the Toyota Venza costs more, both hybrid SUVs have about the same fuel economy. 

Toyota Venza and RAV4 Hybrid power 

The Toyota 2.0 Hybrid system powers both the Venza and RAV4 Hybrid. That means that both transmissions have the same amount of power, which comes out to 219-hp. However, the RAV4 Hybrid takes about 7.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, while the Toyota Venza supposedly can reach 60 mph in 7 seconds. 

2021 Toyota Venza on display
2021 Toyota Venza

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The 2021 Toyota Venza is the sportier vehicle, but this increase in speed may be because the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is larger. Also, both of these gas-electric transmissions come with all-wheel-drive. 

While the gas-electric combo powers the front axle, if there is any slippage on the rear axle, then the electric motor on the rear-wheel axle will engage. So, the SUVs automatically become AWD, which helps gravel, snow, and other slippery conditions. 

According to MotorTrend, the Toyota Venza has a smoother ride than the Toyota RAV4. It seemed to have better handling and a less bouncy ride with efficient transmission shifts. Also, the Venza has a quieter interior. This could be due to the triple-sealed doors. 

Toyota RAV4 and Venza features 

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has up to 69.8 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Venza only has 48.4 cubic feet. That is a lot less room to work with while toting kids around. Also, the Toyota Venza has a smaller backseat that’s only fit for two passengers. So, the RAV4 may be better for larger families. 

Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Roading
Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road Edition

Both vehicles come with similar tech and safety features with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 Suite. But the Toyota Venza is a little more advanced. For example, the sunroof has a glaze mode that can reduce the amount of glare in the cabin. 

However, the Toyota Venza is also a bit more frustrating to use. It doesn’t have any physical buttons. To change the radio or adjust the heat, you have to use the touchscreen, which is a little laggy. In the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, you can quickly adjust a knob.