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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2021 Toyota Venza XLE Hybrid
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2021 Toyota Venza XLE Hybrid

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 22
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $36,000
Price as Tested: $38,050
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 14.5
EPA City mpg40
EPA Highway mpg37
EPA Combined mpg39
with specific headlights
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
Advanced Headlights [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Blind-Spot Warning [S]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [S]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:
star star star star star
Overall Observations
Toyota shelved the Venza nameplate after the 2015 model year but has resurrected it for 2021. The new Venza, offered only with a hybrid powertrain and AWD, is a handsome vehicle, resembling a sleek wagon more than a crossover SUV. Its powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, a CVT, and an electric motor that send power to the front wheels; a rear motor provides power to the back wheels when needed. The total system output is 219 hp. Driving the Venza is somewhat of a disappointment: It accelerates slowly, the ride and handling could be smoother, and its powertrain is noisy. The interior is a mixed bag. A nice touch are controls for fine-tuning the position of the rear seats. The Venza also comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 - a strong package of driver-assistance tech - and LED headlights as standard equipment. Unfortunately, the Venza's stylish exterior compromises passenger and cargo space; it's less roomy inside than Toyota's RAV4, for instance. In addition, the HVAC controls are oddly placed and, along with the infotainment controls, are difficult to use. On the other hand, the Venza's fuel economy is excellent: an EPA-estimated 40 mpg city/39 mpg highway/39 mpg combined.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Standard AWD
  • Stylish exterior design
  • Adjustable rear seats
Weak Points
  • Unimpressive driving dynamics
  • Large blind spots
  • Hard-to-use infotainment and HVAC touch screen
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 3860.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 186.6 / 73.0 / 65.9
Wheelbase (in): 105.9
Number of air bags: 7
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Ecopia
Front and rear tire size: 225/55 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): Not recommended
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 2.5L 4-Cyl. Dynamic Force
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 5700
Electric motor horsepower: 118
Combined system horsepower: 219
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: 6.80
EPA Emissions Score: 7.00
Acceleration: 4.44
Braking: 2.72
Crashworthiness: 3.98
Handling: 7.53
Ride Quality: 7.86
Interior Size: 4.40
Easy of Entry and Exit: 7.17
Visibility: 6.76
Interior Noise: 6.85
Cargo Capacity: 2.77
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 21/27
Price as Tested:  $65,020
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2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place SUV/Minivan
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/114
Price as Tested:  $53,190
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2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Large
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Vehicle Type:  Large
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 28/31
Price as Tested:  $73,840
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2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 80/72
Price as Tested:  $84,276
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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Small
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Small
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/108
Price as Tested:  $43,735
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