2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

Here’s a little trivia: Did you know that Toyota has always been in the minivan segment in this country since 1983?

The 1984 Toyota Van arrived around the same time as the debut of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. It was different than their Detroit rivals, since the Toyota was originally a Japanese market vehicle with its engine mounted behind the driver and front passenger.

Things have changed since 1984. Toyota still makes a minivan that is now more American than its predecessors. In its fourth generation, the 2021 Toyota Sienna is now the first minivan powered by a standard Hybrid driveline.

2021 Toyota Sienna

How does the new Sienna stack up against the other minivans in the market?

It does so on the New Generation Architecture it shares with the Toyota Highlander. From there, it is a fresh design that follows current Toyota styling signatures. The front end has a huge lower grille integrated into the bumper, while a black trim piece bridge the headlamp units with the Toyota badge. The silhouette is less boxy and more entertaining, especially with a SUV-like side glass profile.

Out back is a more compelling piece of design. The taillight treatment and overall effect came from the Toyota Camry. It has a family resemblance to many of its fellow Toyota models, as well. In all, Toyota went for a different design approach in this new 2021 Sienna and has won a lot of us over.

2021 Toyota Sienna

Step inside the 2021 Sienna and you are greeted with a great environment for both driver and passenger alike. A new instrument panel features a shelf that runs from the center stack to the passenger door. A suspended console houses a cool shifter that arches back at put into Drive. The instrument cluster on our Platinum tester features a large seven-inch digital information screen planked by two analog dials.

A ten-inch head-up display helps make driving less distractive with enough information for the eyes to stay on the road. Our Platinum tester also featured a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment module crowning the center stack.

2021 Toyota Sienna

The leather-wrapped front seats in this Platinum tester were comfortable and provided some support for longer drives. The second-row captain chairs were equally comfortable and can be heated during the winter. There is ample room in the third row for two adults or three children.

Access to the rearmost passenger area can be done without using your key fob or door handle. Just kick below a sensor underneath the front doors on each side to open up the sliding side doors. The liftgate is also foot operated. A great convenience for those of us who are too busy to put down anything before loading up our Sienna.

2021 Toyota Sienna

Our tester featured a 11.6-inch high-definition entertainment screen that dropped from the ceiling for second- and third-row passengers. There were two wireless headphones and a remote control that also came with this screen.

For cargo space, it starts off with 33.5 cubic feet behind the third row. The third-row seats fold down for a flat loading space from the bumper, expanding to 75.2 cubic feet to the second row. With all of the second- and third-row seats folded, you have a total of 101 cubic feet of usable cargo space.

The standard hybrid driveline starts with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, coupled with a total of three permanent magnetic synchronous electric motors – two in front and a third in the rear. Altogether, this system puts out 248 combined net horsepower. A continuously variable transmission send power to all four wheels on our tester. The all-wheel drive system is available on all Sienna trim levels.

2021 Toyota Sienna

On paper, we were concerned that this might not have enough power for a minivan weighing over 4,700 pounds. We were definitely surprised when we experienced solid performance out on the highway and around town. However, we were definitely not surprised by the fuel economy average we observed. We came up with 35.4 MPG – right where the Environmental Protection Agency had rated it.

The ride quality is soft, but very smooth. Rougher roads were no problem as the Sienna absorbed the ruts and cracks along the way. Under evasive maneuvers, it does react well with some roll. Yet, the Sienna felt very composed through the turns overall.

The steering system is very good on the 2021 Sienna. The on-center feel is OK. However, the system can make tight turns with ease. As for the brakes, expect a bit of a “hybrid delay” when stopping. The pedal feel is fine, but you will feel some unnecessary boost in the system. You may need to do some self-modulation to get the b raking system to stop normally.

2021 Toyota Sienna

Pricing for the 2021 Toyota Sienna starts at $34,460. There are five trim levels to choose from. Our Platinum AWD tester came with a sticker price of $54,582.

The Sienna comes into the minivan/MPV market with a hybrid-only driveline. It still attracts competitors to this segment, including the Chrysler Voyager and Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival, and the Ford Transit Connect.

Because of its unique driveline and other advantages, the 2021 Toyota Sienna offers the space families want, along with class-leading fuel economy and solid driving manners. It is everything you want in a minivan today.

Story Credits: CarSoup Editors

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