Journal Staff

The 2021 Toyota Venza was quite roomy and filled with various elements and options that appeal.
Photo by Morgan Legel

Atkins Kroll Toyota introduced its new 2021 Venza to island residents in February. The Marianas Business Journal was given the opportunity to sit behind the wheel to see how it handles Guam’s roads. (I bagged that quickly).

The new model of the crossover sport utility vehicle not only offers a jam-packed experience with options I didn’t even know existed, but also steps up its game as a heavy hitter in Toyota’s line-up of hybrid vehicles. Starting at $32,470, the four-cylinder engine can give a driver up to 40 miles per gallon.

My ride in the 2021 Venza proved to be eye-opening. From the technology features and modern interior to the smooth, quiet ride and safety, the Venza is perfect for either solo drivers, couples or a small family (which we are).



The Venza I test-drove was finished with the “Blizzard Pearl” paint, making it quite the beauty. The color had a hint of sparkle — just enough to catch the Guam sun rays and anyone’s attention. The LED headlights and taillights, combined with alloy wheels, give the car a modern, luxurious feel, appealing to both younger and older generations — and certainly to me.

While the vehicle had a similar look to other types of crossovers on the outside, the inside really caught my attention.



Immediately upon entering the vehicle, I couldn’t help but notice the middle-console and the 12.3-inch touch-screen display. The large console, followed by two, deep cupholders led to an elegant shifting knob and the control panel of my dreams. While it did take a while to get used to, I could see everything — from how the engine was operating and other specs about the car to my music and temperature on the screen.

At my elegant height of 5 foot 11 inches, I had plenty of space around me.

The black seats were ventilated, ensuring I would not get too hot — even with the windows down and the air conditioning off (I tried that out).

Moving to the backseat — which was much roomier than expected — I was surprised. Coming from someone who would need a rear-facing car seat there, there was room for the car seat and two adults, a feat not met by my current crossover. With that in mind, the seat would also comfortably fit three adults, depending on their height.



The technology the vehicle has is perhaps the most engaging aspect for me. It seemed the Venza was designed to make every-day life a little bit easier, with features including a hands-free power lift gate, triggered by a quick swipe of my foot below the back bumper; a special place for my phone, below the control panel, equipped with wireless charging, along with multiple other USB ports; and a dashboard with a multi-information display to glance at while I’m driving.

The touch screen display also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, as well as an Amazon Alexa option.



This Venza is an easy, smooth and quiet drive — the steering, breaking and acceleration are very responsive; it made easy work of Guam’s sometimes bumpy roads; and road and engine noises were virtually non-existent.

For those that need, or would enjoy, a little extra support in the handling department, the vehicle is equipped with lane-change and blind spot sensors. When the driver drifts into another lane without a turn signal on, the steering wheel lets out a small vibration; when the driver is intentionally changing lanes, if another car is within hitting distance, a small light will brighten on the side-view mirror.



I would feel completely comfortable piling my family into this vehicle for a long, cross-island drive.

In addition to some of the basic safety features and the handling features listed above, the Venza has eight airbags, a back-up sensor that will alert you if a car is coming as you’re pulling out of a tricky parking spot, and a back-up camera that lets you see the distance of objects behind you. mbj