Toyota is filling some remaining white space in its crossover lineup with a new Japanese import that resurrects an old U.S. nameplate on a vehicle designed to plug the gap between the compact RAV4 and the three-row Highlander.
The 2021 Toyota Venza is a two-row, hybrid-only midsize crossover built on the same TNGA-K platform as the Highlander and RAV4 and known as the Harrier in Japan. Larger than the RAV4, but shorter and with a lower roofline than the Highlander, the Venza will come standard with both an electronic all-wheel-drive system and a hybrid powertrain capable of an estimated 40 mpg in combined fuel economy, Toyota says.
It is expected to arrive in Toyota dealerships in the U.S. this summer, giving the brand a seventh crossover or SUV when Americans are increasingly shifting out of cars to light trucks.
Toyota is following other automakers — think the Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Murano — in fielding a premium, midsize crossover with two rows of seating. The segment expanded 6.4 percent to nearly 950,000 in 2019, making it one of the industry's fastest-growing product categories.