2021 Toyota Venza Crossover

Toyota

Toyota Motor is resurrecting the Venza crossover as a new hybrid model as it pivots to electrify its vehicle lineup.

The Japanese automaker unveiled the midsize crossover as well as a redesigned Sienna minivan virtually on Monday. Both vehicles will exclusively be available with gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains. 

“Both of these products, I think, really represent our next step to what we committed that we will have 100% electrification across our entire lineup by 2025,” Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America, told reporters during a call. They’re “two exciting products.”

Hybrids, unlike all-electric or plugin hybrid vehicles, do not require drivers to plug the vehicles in to charge their batteries.

The Venza will be available beginning this summer, followed by the Sienna toward the end of the year, Carter said. 

Toyota discontinued the Venza crossover after roughly seven years of production for the U.S. in 2015, leaving a gap between its top-selling Rav4 compact crossover and large Highlander SUV. Carter said the Venza is “perfectly positioned” in “the white space” between those models.

Toyota expects to sell about 50,000 Venza models annually, according to Carter. That compares to more than 400,000 Rav4 models or 240,000 Highlander vehicles per year.

The five-passenger 2021 Venza is estimated to achieve 40 miles per gallon combined in some models, according to Toyota. Powering the vehicle is a combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors.

The Venza is a sleek-looking crossover that features several characteristics of Toyota’s current lineup including duo grilles, hybrid badging and lighting. It will be produced and imported from Japan. 

For the 2021 Sienna, the fourth-generation minivan combines “the best aspects of a minivan with those of an SUV,” Carter said.

The Sienna’s hybrid system is expected to deliver 33 combined miles per gallon, according to Toyota. It also features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to assist in low-speed torque.

Toyota also is adding a top-end “Platinum Luxury” model to fulfill consumer demand for increasingly higher-content, more expensive vehicles. Officials compared the minivan’s interior to a private jet more than a car.

“We are getting demand for a really, truly premium grade Sienna,” Carter said. “I keep comparing it to a private jet experience.”

The minivan features a suite of standard safety features as well as optional vacuum and refrigerator. It will be produced in Indiana. 

Toyota Sienna sales were down 16.1% last year to less than 74,000 vehicles.

Toyota did not announce pricing for the new vehicles. Starting pricing for the current Sienna ranges from between $32,000 and $50,000.

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