The Toyota Venza vs. The Toyota Sienna - Which Is Right for Your Family?

When you want an extremely reliable, ultra-safe vehicle for transporting your family and other loved ones, everyone knows you should choose a Toyota. For decades, Toyota has been recognized for its dedication to producing quality vehicles you can truly rely on while keeping prices reasonable.

With this year's return of the Toyota Venza as an all-new crossover SUV, there are more options for family-sized vehicles than ever before. In particular, people often wonder whether the Venza or the classic Toyota Sienna minivan would be a better choice for their family. So, in this article, let’s compare both vehicles and their respective strengths. Hopefully this makes the choice a little easier!

I. The Basics

Forget everything you think you know about last year's model.  The new Toyota Venza is completely reborn as an all-wheel-drive crossover SUV with plenty of room for cargo and passengers.  Think of it as the larger sibling to the venerable RAV4. If you're looking at a RAV4 but you're thinking it's just a bit too small or underpowered for your needs, the Venza might be exactly what you need.

Some of the key features of the Venza include:

  • $32,470 MSRP starting price
  • 2.5L Hybrid 4-cylinder engine
  • 176 Horsepower at 5700 RPM
  • Continuously Variable Automatic transmission
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • 40 MPG city / 37 MPG highway
  • Five passenger seats

In comparison, the Toyota Sienna is a full-sized minivan, suitable for larger families or even for light commercial work. Its new design is sleek and stylish - making it one of the nicest looking minivans on the market - while still offering a great mix of power and performance.

Some of the most important aspects of the Sienna are:

  • $34,460 MSRP starting price
  • 2.5L Hybrid 4-cylinder engine
  • 189 Horsepower at 6000 RPM
  • Continuously Variable Automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 36 MPG city and highway
  • Eight passenger seats

II. Similarities between the Venza and Sienna

As you can see, these vehicles are similar in a number of ways. The most important similarity between the Venza and the Sienna is that their 2021 models are hybrid-only. There's no standard gas option for either vehicle. Their hybrid engines ensure excellent gas mileage in all types of driving conditions.

The Venza boasts great gas mileage, whereas the Sienna’s strength is its powerful engine setup. In practice, their performance is quite similar. Either vehicle is great for families looking for a vehicle that can keep going and going on a single tank of gas. Both also have extensive in-cab electronics and entertainment systems. The Venza features an 8-inch touchscreen for its interface, and the Sienna has a 9-inch touchscreen. You also get full compatibility with both Android and iOS devices, so you can easily access entertainment on your smartphone or tablet. (If you really want to avoid hybrids, you might consider a RAV4 or a Highlander instead, which are also large and family-friendly.)

Safety is also a major consideration. Both vehicles come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, the most advanced collection of smart sensor-guided safety features available in passenger vehicles.  Toyota Safety Sense makes driving safer for anyone - and will be particularly beneficial if you happen to have young learning drivers in your family!

Some of the excellent features of TSS 2.0 include:

  • Pre-collision system. Cameras on the exterior of the vehicle are always monitoring for obstacles and pedestrians, alerting the driver if a collision seems likely.
  • Dynamic cruise control. Radar monitors your distance from the vehicle in front of you while in cruise control mode, automatically adapting your speed to match theirs.
  • Lane monitoring. Side cameras keep an eye on the lane lines, helping maintain proper placement and alerting you if you ever start to drift out of your lane.
  • Road Sign Assist. Smart systems watch the roadside for important signs such as stops and speed changes, alerting you on the dashboard.

Combined, these systems make modern Toyotas some of the safest vehicles on the road.

III. Differences between the Venza and Sienna

The biggest difference between the two is the physical size of the models.  The Toyota Sienna is a full-size minivan with a capacity for up to eight passengers, whereas the Venza is a crossover SUV with room for five.  The Sienna has three rows of seats; the Venza has two. 

Because the Sienna being significantly large, it is a bit slower to move and turn, considering that it's also front-wheel-drive only. The smaller all-wheel-drive Venza is a bit snappier and more responsive.

The Sienna also has a larger gas tank, holding 18 gallons versus the Venza’s 14.5 gallons. This translates to the Sienna having better overall range (648 miles on the highway) than the Venza (536.5).

Additionally, as you would expect from a full minivan, the Sienna has substantially more cargo space than the Venza - roughly twice as much. With 816 cubic feet of cargo space, the Venza still has plenty of room, but the Sienna is capable of hauling far more, particularly if the rear seats are lowered or removed.

IV. Conclusion

So, if you're looking for a large family vehicle, should you get a Venza or a Sienna? Well, they're both terrific vehicles which will last you for years. Either could be a great purchase.

The Sienna is best for larger families, or for people who see themselves hauling a lot of cargo around alongside their daily routine.  The Venza is a bit smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable, making it a more versatile vehicle that is comfortable going off-road from time to time. This makes it better for families looking for a single all-around vehicle that could handle any trip they want to make!

Of course, the best way to decide whether a Venza or Sienna is right for you is to try them out. 1000 Islands Toyota is one of Ontario's top sources for new and used Toyota vehicles, along with extensive repair and upgrade facilities. We have both the 2021 Toyota Venza and the 2021 Toyota Sienna in stock, and they're available to test drive any time you like.

All you need to do is contact us and we'll be happy to schedule a test drive so you can decide for yourself.