We’ve come to know our 2021 Toyota Venza really well after four months and over 7,000 miles. Not only did we take a two-way cross-country trip in it, the Venza has also been a great family hauler for special family visits. There’s no denying the Venza’s cabin is comfortable and premium, but interior space is not one of its fortes. Whether we look at its cargo or passenger space, the Venza isn’t as roomy as others in its segment or a segment below. This doesn’t mean the Venza has poor interior room, but we’d still like to have a tad more space in our two-row midsize SUV.
The Cargo Room Problem
More than passenger space, it’s cargo room that’s limited. First, the cargo floor is much higher than in any other SUV in the segment, making it complicated to place heavy items—such as a large suitcase—inside the Venza. During our road trip or when picking up family members from the airport, the high cargo floor made it a harder task to load the luggage.
Looking at the specs, the Venza is less spacious than the smaller RAV4 Hybrid. The RAV4’s cargo volume is a roomy 69.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, compared to the Venza’s 55.1 cubic feet. With the seats up, cargo room is 28.8 cubic feet in our Venza versus 37.6 cubic feet in the RAV4 Hybrid—over 30 percent more capacity. Part of that has to do with the Venza’s swoopy roofline and angled hatch. This design constraint makes it impossible to load more than two large suitcases in the hatch. Passenger volume, on the other hand, is basically the same—98.3 for the Venza versus 98.9 for the RAV4 Hybrid.
With these data, you might be wondering why should you buy a Venza over a RAV4 Hybrid since it’s more expensive, a tad less fuel efficient, and has less cargo room. The answer lies in its beautiful and premium design. Without the Toyota badges, the Venza could be confused for a Lexus, and the limited number of trims (three) positions it as great alternative if the RAV4’s rugged looks are too much for you.
The First Service
Cargo room aside, we’ve been pretty happy with the Venza’s behavior over the past few months. It’s already visited the dealer for its first 5,000-mile service, and given that every new Toyota comes with Toyota Care, we didn’t have to spend a dime on getting it serviced. Our Venza underwent a tire rotation and a multipoint inspection as part of the service, and because everything looked good with it, we were out of the dealership in just over an hour.
We’ll have to go back to the dealer to get it serviced again soon, as the 10,000-mile mark is quickly approaching. Stay tuned.