The 2021 Ford Edge and 2021 Toyota Venza take on the midsize crossover segment from different angles, with the Edge bringing a turbocharged 4-cylinder or V6 and the Venza boasting good fuel economy from a hybrid powertrain. Which is better?
- Toyota Venza returns for 2021 as a hybrid compact crossover.
- Both come with a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
- 2021 Ford Edge ST is powered by a 335-hp turbocharged V6.
2021 Ford Edge
Base price: $32,495 / Read our 2021 Ford Edge Review
What we like: Plenty of space for passengers and cargo; respectable handling; high-performance ST model
What we would change: Thick pillars impede outward vision; upper level models get very expensive; wide body; resale value isn’t great
Overview: Surprising for a vehicle of its size, the 2021 Ford Edge is actually kind of fun to drive. The base four-cylinder engine provides plenty of power, sent to either the front wheels or all four, and the chassis balances a comfortable ride with surprising agility. Also on tap is the ST, with a 335-hp turbocharged V6 and a sport suspension, making it a whole different beast entirely. Inside, the 2021 Edge has a comfortable and spacious cabin, with excellent rear legroom, although that also accounts for its rather wide body that requires delicacy when parking. Thick rear pillars don’t help with visibility either, although a blind-spot monitor comes standard. The interior is soft and feels more luxurious than expected, and standard features include dual-zone climate control, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, and a 12-inch touchscreen. Every trim comes with Ford Co-Pilot 360, the company’s suite of driver assist and safety functions. Cargo capacity expands from 39.2 cubic feet to 73.4 with all seats folded, and the maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds. Resale value is not typically very strong.
What’s new for 2021: Most significantly for 2021, the Ford Edge gets an updated infotainment system known as Sync 4A. This includes wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, four USB ports, voice the recognition, and over-the-air updates. Not to be confused with the ST, a new ST-Line trim debuts, although it’s more of a trim package and does not include the ST’s potent turbo V6. Other changes include the addition of rear parking sensors and a 6-way power-adjustable front passenger seat in the ST. New colors include Carbonized Gray and Lithium Gray.
Features and technology: Offered with two engine choices and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the 2021 Ford Edge comes in five trim levels. The base SE is handsomely equipped, with lots of tech including Wi-fi for up to 10 devices, satellite radio, a rearview camera, the Sync 4A infotainment system, and the Ford Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver assists, including forward collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring (necessary given the Edge’s thick C-pillars). Also included are dual-zone climate control, remote unlock and start, and rear parking sensors.
Next is the SEL, which includes an 8-way power adjustable driver seat and 4-way power passenger seat, LED foglights and a 9-speaker audio system. Above that is the ST-Line, which as mentioned above, includes the ST-style grille, body-color bumpers, and 20-inch alloy wheels, but is powered by the base four-cylinder rather than the turbo V6.The Titanium adds leather upholstery, a 6-way power passenger seat, wireless phone charging, a Bang & Loosen stereo, and a 110-volt outlet. The performance ST includes the turbo V6, all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, sport seats with simulated suede upholstery, and a variable-ratio steering system.
What does the future hold: Last redesigned in 2015, the Edge is due for a full update in 2022. Find a 2021 Ford Edge for sale near you
2021 Toyota Venza
Base price: $33,645 / Read our 2021 Toyota Venza Review
What we like: Fuel economy; good standard safety features; standard all-wheel drive.\
What we would change: Single engine choice; no plug-in hybrid; limited cargo space; negligible off-road capability
Overview: When we last saw the Toyota Venza several years ago, it was a boxy wagonlike thing, but in keeping with the times, it returns for 2021 as a hybrid-power midsize crossover, roughly between the smaller RAV4 and the three-row Highlander. Its hybrid drivetrain comes from the RAV4 hybrid, and in this case powers all four wheels. As with most hybrids, it’s not a thrill ride, but the electric motors provide a good boost of acceleration when necessary. Steering is precise and the brakes are strong. The interior isn’t the most exciting thing, but the seats are comfortable, with 8-way power adjustment and decent space. Cargo space is smaller than average, however, with 28.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats expanding to 55.5 with them folded. Standard features are good, and include Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety features, including lane departure warning and a pre-collision system. Also included are an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Options include a glass roof that can switch from transparent to frosted at the touch of a button.
What’s new for 2021: Everything, as the 2021 Venza represents a brand-new model.
Features and technology: Keeping things simple, the 2021 Toyota Venza comes with a single engine/transmission choice and in three different trim levels. The base LE trim has an 8-way power driver seat, hands-free liftgate, and an AM/FM sound system with six speakers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa compatibility. Also included are Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety features, all-wheel drive, and a back-up camera.
Next up is the XLE, which adds a 7.0-inch instrument cluster and a Smart Key system, and on top is the Limited, with heated and ventilated front seats and a 12.3-inch touchscreen. Options across the range include the above-mentioned panoramic glass roof, heated and ventilated front seats, a 12-speaker 1,200-watt JBL premium audio system, a surround-view camera, and a 10-inch color head-up display.
What does the future hold: As the Venza is brand-new this year, we don’t expect much to change too radically, with possibly some new paint colors and the addition of new safety tech features. Find a 2021 Toyota Venza for sale near you
Edge vs. Venza: Strengths comparison
Edge Benefits: More fun to drive; choice of engines, including high-performance ST; cargo capacity; towing capacity.
Venza Benefits: Fuel economy; outward visibility; reputation for quality.
2021 Ford Edge vs. 2021 Toyota Venza: Which is better?
Sized somewhere between the RAV4 and the Highlander, both of which we love, the 2021 Toyota Venza is a reasonable, midsize crossover, boasting 39 mpg combined. But in this comparison test, fuel economy is its only strength. The 2021 Ford Edge brings a roomier interior, more cargo space, and a choice of engines, and it’s actually enjoyable to drive. For these reasons and more, it is our choice here. Find a 2021 Ford Edge for sale or Find a 2021 Toyota Venza for sale
|2021 Ford Edge||2021 Toyota Venza|
|Engine||2.0-liter turbocharged I4||2.5-liter I4 + electric motor|
|Horsepower||250 hp @ 5,500 rpm||219 hp @ 5,700 rpm|
|Torque||280 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm||163 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy||24 mpg (21 city/29 highway)||39 mpg (40 city/37 highway)|
|Also Available||2.7-liter twin-turbo V6||n/a|
|Basic warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 Stars||Not rated|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||112.2 inches||105.9 inches|
|Overall Length||188.8 inches||186.6 inches|
|Width||78.4 inches||73.0 inches|
|Height||68.3 inches||65.9 inches|
|Turning Diameter||39.3 feet||36.1 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.2 inches||38.6 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||40.3 inches||39.0 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.6 inches||40.9 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||40.6 inches||37.8 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||60.3 inches||57.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||60.5 inches||56.9 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||113.9 cubic feet||98.3 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||39.2 cubic feet||28.8 cubic feet|