Villa had scored just four away goals all season in the league but doubled that tally in the first 44 minutes as the visitors tore Sunderland apart. But for a glaring miss by Scott Sinclair, Villa could have led 5-0 at the break.
Benteke ended a 614-minute wait for an away goal in the league by scoring in the 16th and Agbonlahor doubled the lead two minutes later. Agbonlahor made it 3-0 in the 37th and Benteke added his second just before the break.
The win puts Tim Sherwood's team two points above Sunderland in 16th place, six points away from the relegation zone.