For the last three months, rumors have been going around that Toyota would be bringing back the Venza in 2021 as a five-seater hybrid.
The first to make a report about it was French Canadian outlet RPM Web on October 4, before it was picked up by Motor Illustrated. According to the article, a “reliable source” said the Japanese automaker is working to bring back the Venza nameplate in 2021 in the form of a new crossover.
This month, TFLnow also published a report citing “an insider source” who also said that a new model is set to arrive in 2021 and that it will be a hybrid.
These updates from the rumor mill are consistent with previous lineup changes involving crossovers-turned-five-seat mid-sizers from other automakers—Honda previously axed its three-row Pilot to resurrect the five-seat Passport, while Chevrolet cut the three-row Traverse down to make way for the five-seat Blazer.
The Venza was a five-seater crossover that rode the same platform as the Toyota Camry and Highlander. It was first introduced in 2008 and was discontinued in 2015 after its premium pricing and unpopular styling failed to attract buyers.
If it turns out Toyota is resurrecting the Venza on the Highlander platform, this will give consumers a new option over the RAV4.
Both the RAV4 and the Highlander are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with the latter getting more power. The two vehicles also offer an all-wheel-drive from the electric motor used to turn the rear axle. There’s a chance these features would be seen in the Venza, if rumors are to materialize.
For now, consumers can only wait until Toyota confirms or denies the reports.