Car News

Toyota Outlines Changes and New Models for 2021

Toyota has announced updates to its lineup for the 2021 model year, which include safety upgrades like a new version of Toyota Safety Sense, more smartphone remote features, all-new models, some product refreshes, and some special new trim levels.

Affecting nearly all of Toyota's products for 2021 is an upgrade to the Remote Connect services. Now all so-equipped 2021 models (it will also work on 2020 vehicles) offer a Toyota Skill for Amazon Alexa, Apple Watch compatibility, and a Toyota Action for the Google Assistant. This means features like engine remote start, door locks, fuel level, and door status will work from your smart device.

As part of extensive upgrades to the Toyota Camry for 2021 that include a refreshed interior, Toyota has upgraded its Safety Sense system to version 2.5+. This adds emergency evasive steering assist to the pedestrian detection as well as emergency braking and detection of oncoming vehicles and pedestrians when turning left at an intersection. The same 2.5+ features come standard on the Highlander.

A new Highlander XSE grade will be offered with 20-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and trim-specific grille and bumpers front and rear. It also gets a special interior design featuring lots of red, and this trim will start from $48,450.

The Tacoma gets two new trim levels as well, the first a newly announced Nightshade that adds a black grille, mirror caps, tailgate insert and more to Limited trim trucks with an MSRP of $52,150. Tahe lready announced Trail version has 16-inch off-road wheels, Predator side steps, black fabric with tan stitching, and more highlights for $43,770, based on the SR5 double cab short bed.

Already announced, the special TRD Pro colour this year is Lunar Rock, the feature colour of last year's RAV4 Trail model. The Trail trim is available this year on the Tundra, 4Runner, Sequoia, and Tacoma with changes depending on the model and whatever else is covered here.

The biggest new product offering is the return of the Venza badge. We covered the model in detail here, but it's an all-new stylish crossover offered as only as a hybrid with all-wheel drive. The two-row five-seater slots in between the RAV4 and Highlander in size, aiming for the luxury and feature side of the coin as opposed to, say, the 4Runner's rugged off-road capability.

Toyota's Sienna minivan is all-new this year, and it too is hybrid-only. It offers available AWD, an onboard vacuum, and a fridge to keep things cool. It also boasts new luxury features and Toyota says it has worked on the traditional bus-like minivan feel.

The RAV4 gets a plug-in hybrid version called the Prime. It's the quickest RAV4 yet and the second quickest Toyota of all. A 68-km electric range that converts to conventional hybrid operation when the battery is depleted, we've already driven it earlier this year.

The Corolla gets an Apex edition with a body kit for the sedan offered in manual and CVT versions from $27,300. The Hatch offers a Special Edition we've already covered with a body kit and special wheels.

The Supra coupe adds 47 hp for a total of 382 and gets chassis revisions. A four-cylinder model joins the lineup as well, and there is a special blue A91 edition.

Finally, the Prius adds Android Auto and the C-HR gets a Nightshade trim with black roof, door handles, and trim.