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2021 Toyota Venza hybrid vs. Chevy Blazer, Honda Passport and more: The new midsize

Let's see how Toyota's new Venza stacks up against its key five-passenger SUV rivals.

2021 Toyota Venza
The Venza is the only vehicle in the class that offers hybrid power.
Toyota

A tweener class of five-passenger crossovers has slowly been growing over the years, slotting between compact offerings like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 and their 'traditional' midsize counterparts, the Pilot and Highlander. We're talking about SUVs like the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Nissan Murano or, to the point of this story, the 2021 Toyota Venza.

On the heels of the 2021 Venza's debut on Monday, it's time we have a look at how these new-midsize CUVs stack up. Toyota hasn't released the full smattering of 2021 Venza details, but we know enough to get a pretty good idea of how it'll compete in this red-hot segment.

Powertrain

The new Venza is the only SUV in this class to offer hybrid power. Toyota's new gasoline-electric powertrain combines a 2.5-liter I4 with three electric motors, with a variable all-wheel-drive system that can send as much as 80% of the system's power to the rear wheels when needed, though it defaults to a front-wheel-drive setup under normal cruising conditions for maximum efficiency.

The other vehicles in this class rely on gasoline-only four- and six-cylinder powertrains. The Blazer offers the most choice, with a 2.5-liter I4, 2.0-liter turbo I4 and 3.6-liter V6. The Edge is only available with a 2.0-liter turbo I4, unless you spring for the high-performance ST, which we won't include in this comparison. The Murano and Passport, meanwhile, come standard with V6 engines, both measuring 3.5 liters in capacity.

Powertrain


Engine Power Torque Transmission
Chevy Blazer 2.5L 2.5-liter I4 193 hp 188 lb-ft 9-speed auto
Chevy Blazer 2.0T 2.0-liter turbo I4 230 hp 258 lb-ft 9-speed auto
Chevy Blazer 3.6L 3.6-liter V6 308 hp 270 lb-ft 9-speed auto
Ford Edge 2.0-liter turbo I4 250 hp 275 lb-ft 8-speed auto
Honda Passport 3.5-liter V6 280 hp 262 lb-ft 9-speed auto
Nissan Murano 3.5-liter V6 260 hp 240 lb-ft CVT
Toyota Venza 2.5-liter hybrid I4 219 system hp N/A CVT
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Fuel economy

The Venza may be down on power compared to its competitive set, but it'll handily make up for that with fuel economy. Toyota says the Venza has something called Predictive Efficient Drive (PED), which can analyze your driving habits and use navigation data to read route conditions, and alter the behavior of the hybrid battery accordingly.

All in, Toyota says the 2021 Venza should achieve as much as 40 miles per gallon combined in its most efficient LE trim, putting it well ahead of the pack. For comparison, the next-best combined fuel economy number is 24 mpg, achieved by both the Chevy Blazer and Ford Edge.

Fuel Economy


City Highway Combined
Chevy Blazer 2.5L FWD 21 mpg 27 mpg 23 mpg
Chevy Blazer 2.0L FWD 21 mpg 28 mpg 24 mpg
Chevy Blazer 2.0L AWD 21 mpg 27 mpg 23 mpg
Chevy Blazer 3.6L FWD 19 mpg 26 mpg 21 mpg
Chevy Blazer 3.6L AWD 18 mpg 25 mpg 21 mpg
Ford Edge FWD 21 mpg 29 mpg 24 mpg
Ford Edge AWD 21 mpg 28 mpg 23 mpg
Honda Passport FWD 20 mpg 25 mpg 22 mpg
Honda Passport AWD 19 mpg 24 mpg 21 mpg
Nissan Murano FWD 20 mpg 28 mpg 23 mpg
Nissan Murano AWD 20 mpg 28 mpg 23 mpg
Toyota Venza LE AWD N/A N/A 40 mpg (est.)

Cargo space

A big reason to buy a crossover is for its spaciousness, for both passengers and cargo. Toyota hasn't released the 2021 Venza's full specs yet, but the company did confirm its new SUV has 36.3 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seats, and the hybrid system's battery is small enough to be packaged under the rear seats, for greater cargo space.

Still, if it's maximum space you want, the Honda Passport is by far the most capacious, with just over 50 cubic feet of space behind its second-row seats.

Cargo Capacity


Cargo capacity behind second row seats
Chevy Blazer 30.5 cubic feet
Ford Edge 39.2 cubic feet
Honda Passport 50.5 cubic feet
Nissan Murano 32.1 cubic feet
Toyota Venza 36.3 cubic feet

Technology

Beyond a robust multimedia system, safety technology is a hugely important factor when purchasing an SUV in this class. That means companies are bringing their A-game, with many of the cars in this segment packing a ton of kit into every trim level.

The 2021 Venza is no exception. It comes standard with Toyota's Safety Sense 2.0 suite, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high-beams, lane-tracing assist and traffic sign recognition. All Venzas come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and the XLE and Limited models add front and rear parking assist.

On the infotainment front, the Venza LE and XLE will use an 8-inch touchscreen, while a 12.3-inch display is optional on the XLE and standard on the Limited. Regardless of screen size, Toyota's multimedia system comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Setting the Venza apart from other competitors, it'll be offered with an electrochromic glass roof, as well as a 10-inch color head-up display.

The Blazer's safety tech roster is less impressive; a high-definition rear-view camera is the only standard feature. Technologies like adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist are all available, but even then, the vast majority are optional -- even on the most-expensive Premier model. Lame. An 8-inch touchscreen is found inside every Blazer, with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, running the easy-to-use Chevrolet Infotainment 3 software. Once again, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the board, and higher trim levels upgrade to a high-def display.

Moving to the Edge, Ford gives every one of its crossovers the Co-Pilot 360 suite of safety tech, which includes automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. You can add adaptive cruise control, but only on higher trim levels. Every Edge also comes with Ford's super-simple Sync 3 multimedia tech, housed on an 8-inch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and buyers can opt for the FordPass Connect system, which offers a number of connected-car services as well as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Moving to the Edge, Ford gives every one of its crossovers the Co-Pilot 360 suite of safety tech, which includes automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. You can add adaptive cruise control, but only on higher trim levels. Every Edge also comes with Ford's super-simple Sync 3 multimedia tech, housed on an 8-inch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and buyers can opt for the FordPass Connect system, which offers a number of connected-car services as well as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Passport comes standard with the Honda Sensing driver-assistance package, with lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beams, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning and collision mitigation braking. Blind-spot monitoring is also included on all but the base Sport level. Inside, the Sport uses a dinky 5-inch multimedia display with next to no features, though every other Passport gets an 8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the HondaLink connected-car suite and Wi-Fi.

Finally (phew), the Murano. Automatic emergency braking is the only standard safety feature on the base trim, but you can add pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring, which are standard features on all other Muranos. Adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition join the party higher up the trim walk, and every Murano gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though Wi-Fi appears to be a no-go.

Pricing

We don't yet know how much Toyota will charge for the 2021 Venza, but expect it to slot between the RAV4 and Highlander. That means we should be looking at a base MSRP in the low-$30,000 range, which puts the Venza right in the heart of its competitive set.

Pricing


Base price Destination charge
Chevy Blazer $28,800 $1,195
Ford Edge $31,100 $1,245
Honda Passport $31,990 $1,120
Nissan Murano $31,530 $1,095
Toyota Venza $31,000 (est.) TBD