Competes with: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, non-hybrid minivans like the Kia Sedona and Honda Odyssey
Looks like: A minivan with a Shinkansen face
Powertrains: Hybrid featuring two electric motors paired with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 243 total horsepower; all-wheel drive available
Hits dealerships: Late 2020
Toyota may be known for offering one of the first mass-produced hybrids with the Prius, but Chrysler was first to market with a hybrid minivan in the Pacifica Hybrid. Toyota is catching up with the new-for-2021 Toyota Sienna, which will be available only with a hybrid powertrain.
Related: 2020 Toyota Highlander: Well-Equipped But Whoa-Nelly Priced
Aside from the big news about the hybrid-only powertrain, the fourth generation of Toyota’s popular minivan also gets a fresh look, more comfort and convenience features and additional safety equipment.
The new model wears a mixture of both sleek and boxy design cues. Toyota says the front was inspired by the Japanese Shinkansen bullet train, which translates to a sleeker headlight design, large lower grille and additional front and bodyside sculpting. Redesigned slitlike headlights stretch across the front into a minimized upper grille. Below that sits a huge gaping grille, integrated foglights and pronounced sculpting that flows into aggressive bodyside creases. The rear end caps off the new look with a blocky, sculpted tailgate highlighted with thin bands of LED taillights and an integrated spoiler.
The sport-oriented XSE model adds dark 20-inch split five-spoke wheels, plus more aggressive looking front and rear bumpers.
The interior has been completely redesigned, too. Front and center is an updated touchscreen multimedia system. The 9-inch tablet-like screen sits high on the dash and is standard on all models. The system features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility; seven USB ports; and hands-free phone capability with voice recognition. Navigation is optional.
Also new is a front console design that Toyota calls Bridge Console, which sits high between the driver and front passenger and connects the instrument panel to the center armrest. Toyota says this design positions much more within easy reach of the driver, such as the shifter, cupholders, wireless charger and storage bins. Beneath the bridge is a large open storage area.
Minivans strive to outdo each other with everything-but-the-kitchen-sink lists of features, and the new Sienna continues the one-upmanship. On top of innovative features the van already offered, such as the Driver Easy Speak voice amplification system and long-recline captain’s chairs with ottomans, the 2021 Sienna offers a host of new features including kick-open and -closed sliding side doors and tailgate, a four-zone climate control system, onboard vacuum and refrigerator, power tilt and telescoping steering column with heated steering wheel, digital rearview mirror, HD entertainment center with 11.6-inch display, a 10-inch color head-up display and 12-speaker JBL premium audio system. Seven- and eight-seat packages are again available, and 18 cupholders are standard.
Engine and Gas Mileage
The 2021 Sienna rides on a new chassis and new electrical platform. Power comes from two electric motors paired with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 243 total horsepower. The previous gas-powered 3.5-liter V-6 is no longer available.
Toyota estimates the van will get 33 mpg combined for fuel economy (the current V-6-powered Sienna gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive). The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid — the only other hybrid minivan on the market — gets an EPA rating of 82 mpg-equivalent. Note that the Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid with an electric-only range of up to 32 miles, so it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison with the Sienna hybrid. It is EPA-rated for 30 mpg without the electric range, however.
The new Sienna has four drive modes: Normal, Eco (which maximizes mileage from the fuel and battery), Sport (which Toyota says unlocks boost from the hybrid system for improved acceleration) and EV (which allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances. Toyota didn’t provide specs on the latter mode, and it has proven difficult to sustain for longer than a minute at slow speeds in other Toyota hybrids).
Like the previous version, the new Sienna will again be available with all-wheel drive (available this year on all trims) and have a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds.
More From Cars.com:
- Shopping for a 2020 Toyota Sienna? Research One, Here
- Find a 2020 Toyota Sienna for Sale Near You, Now
- How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2020 Toyota Sienna?
- What’s the Best 3-Row SUV for 2020?
- Find Your Next Car
The 2021 Sienna will be available in base LE, XLE, XSE, Limited and the new-for-2021 topline Platinum model. Standard on all trims is the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-speed radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams and a road sign assist system. Also standard is a blind spot monitoring system and a rear seat reminder that provides a warning to remember people or things in the back of the van.
Toyota spokesman Zachary Reed confirmed in an email to Cars.com that the 2021 Sienna is expected to go on sale in late 2020.
Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.
Source: Read Full Article