Remember the Toyota Venza? Part wagon. Part SUV. All family schlepper. Well, after fading into relative obscurity and, ultimately, oblivion for the past five years, the Venza lives again, this go-round as a Camry-sedan-based hybrid SUV for the 2021 model year. In Cars.com’s most popular article of the past week, we run down the roster of the things we like about the reinvented Venza — and we tick off the things that ticked us off.
In the plus column are a premium-feel interior, a respectable 39-mpg fuel-economy estimate, an impressive 219 horsepower from its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and trio of electric motor-generators, isolated cabin, generous complement of safety and driver-assist features, the Predictive Efficient Drive feature that learns your habits to help reduce fuel consumption and the Star Gaze electrochromic panel that essentially serves as a (non-opening) moonroof. Dings include unsatisfying touch-sensitive controls, a lack of cargo-management amenities, an inefficiently laid-out multimedia display, a rubbery-feeling continuously variable automatic transmission and numb brakes. For the deets on all this, follow the link below to our No. 1 story of the week.
The Venza’s victory means that fellow former-wagon-turned-SUV the Subaru Outback must settle for second despite its zealous fanbase. At No. 2 this week is our rundown of what’s changed for the 2021 model year on the Outback along with our expert recommendation as to whether you should snap up the latest version or hunt for a sweet deal on an outgoing Outback still sitting on the dealer lot. (Pssst! In case you don’t click through to the full story, we recommend the 2021 model on account of lower-level trims and the new Onyx Edition XT adding adaptive LED headlights as standard, with just minimal price increases on all models.)
Rounding out the top five are Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek’s comprehensive critique of the 2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan, at No. 3; our report on the all-new-for-2021 Carbon Editions of the Mazda CX-5, CX-9 and Mazda6, at No. 4; and our reco on whether it’s worth that extra dosh to you over the equivalent base models for the R-Line trims of the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV.
Further on down the list, we got headlines on the Kia Telluride, Toyota Yaris, Ford Bronco and Lincoln Corsair, so be sure to keep reading “below the fold,” as the newspaper folks say. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:
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