Difference between 2021 Toyota Venza and RAV4
By Rachel Jones - July 9, 2023

Toyota expanded its crossover lineup in 2021 by reintroducing the Venza, which was discontinued in 2015. The 2021 Venza was designed to sit between the RAV4 and the Highlander and was based on the global Harrier crossover. How does the new Venza stack up against the popular RAV4?


The Toyota Venza 2021 is a hybrid crossover SUV that seats up to five people and is based on the RAV4. The Venza, smaller than the three-row Highlander, brings back an older Toyota nameplate previously used on a wagon/crossover version of the Camry. Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Honda Passport are competitors.

Toyota’s RAV4 is the best-selling non-truck vehicle in America, and for a good reason: many credits the RAV4 with popularizing SUVs in general. The RAV4 is available with a gasoline, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid powertrain. Each model type can then be outfitted with various trims that improve styling, convenience, and technology offerings as you progress through the lineup.

Venza vs. RAV4

The Venza is the only vehicle with a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive, whereas the RAV4 has a hybrid drivetrain option and a non-hybrid gasoline 2.5-liter inline-four engine. Venza’s all-wheel-drive system differs slightly from that of the RAV4 hybrid. The Venza’s system can send up to 80% of its power to the rear wheels to help prevent front wheel slip, whereas the RAV4 hybrid’s system only sends up to 50% of its power to the rear wheels. The powertrains of the Venza and the RAV4 hybrid are otherwise nearly identical.

The Venza has an 8.0-inch infotainment display and an optional 12.3-inch display. The RAV4 comes standard with a 7.0-inch screen, and an 8.0-inch screen is available. The Venza has a fixed panoramic glass roof that can be switched from transparent to frosted to reduce direct sunlight. Overall, the Venza appeared to be a more refined RAV4 hybrid, both inside and out, with a slightly more advanced powertrain and more standard Technology distinguishing it.

Comparison Chart
  1. Hybrid powertrain and All-wheel drive
Hybrid and Non-hybrid options
  1. 80% rear wheel power
50% rear wheel power