Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. Toyota Venza

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

, Automotive Editor - October 22, 2020

Toyota’s brought the Venza nameplate back for the 2021 model year in a stylish compact crossover SUV with an efficient hybrid powertrain. It slots in neatly between the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the midsize Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The RAV4 Hybrid was redesigned in 2019.

If you find yourself looking for a hybrid and are cross-shopping the Venza against the RAV4 Hybrid, which one should you go with? That’s what we’ll aim to answer in this comparison.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid & Toyota Venza »

What the RAV4 Hybrid Gets Right

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid takes an immediate edge over the Venza when it comes to pricing. It starts at $29,675 including destination, while the Venza costs $33,645. The $3,970 difference could be used to move up to the XLE Premium trim for just $30 more than the base Venza.

With hybrids, fuel economy is the name of the game. In that regard, the RAV4 Hybrid just barely edges out the Venza with a combined rating of 40 miles per gallon, according to the EPA. The Venza achieves 39 mpg combined. It’s not a large difference, but if you do a lot of driving, the RAV4 Hybrid saves you money in the long run.

While hybrids aren’t known for having sporty designs, the RAV4 Hybrid is available in an XSE trim that brings some of those elements. Standard features include a two-tone paint job, 18-inch wheels, and chrome exterior trim pieces. They might not sound like a lot, but they help the RAV4 Hybrid look athletic.

Additionally, the RAV4 Hybrid offers more cargo space than the Venza. With the rear seats in place, the RAV4 Hybrid can hold 37.6 cubic feet of cargo, which bests the Venza's 28.8. Space expands to 69.8 after folding down the second row in the RAV4 Hybrid, which again beats the Venza's 55.1 cubic feet.

What the Venza Gets Right

Both the Toyota Venza and the RAV4 Hybrid share the same powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors for a combined output of 219 horsepower.

The all-wheel-drive system in the Venza, though, differs slightly from the RAV4 Hybrid’s, as it can send up to 80% of power to the rear wheels. The system in the RAV4 Hybrid can only send up to 50% of power rearward. This makes the Venza more capable in inclement weather and more enjoyable to drive.

With a higher price tag, the Venza comes with more standard features than the RAV4 Hybrid. An 8-inch touchscreen, a wireless charger, remote keyless entry, an eight-way power driver’s seat, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are all standard on the base Venza. Additionally, the Venza is available with more upscale features like an available electrochromic glass roof like the ones found on a few vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.

Lastly, there’s the Venza’s design, which is curvier and more upscale than the RAV4 Hybrid’s. Interior materials are more upscale, as well, while the RAV4 Hybrid doesn’t feel nearly as high-end.

Want Extra Luxury?

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Toyota Venza are very similar vehicles, but differ in one key area – how luxurious they look and feel. The Venza is the more expensive of the two and has clearly been designed to stand out with its upscale design. It does exactly that, though it costs thousands more.

Our Verdict: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

If you’re in the market for an efficient crossover, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the best choice for the majority of consumers. It’s relatively affordable, comes with a lengthy list of standard features, is more spacious, and offers an efficient powertrain with excellent fuel economy figures.

Take a closer look at the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid »

Take a closer look at the Toyota Venza »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Do Not Sell My Personal Information|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer|
COPYRIGHT 1999-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com