The migration away from passenger cars and toward SUVs and pickup trucks in recent years has been well documented. But what about minivans? Do they still factor into the mix?
Toyota, with its launch of the all-new 2021 Sienna, offers a resounding, “Heck yeah!”
The lower profile segment might have experienced a slow but steady decline over the past four years. But in 2019, there were still more than 400,000 customers in the United States who gravitated to the humble minivan’s unique strengths. With its fourth-generation Sienna, Toyota believes it has created a highly innovative mobility solution that doubles down on those attributes — and extends them even further.
“This all-new Sienna takes style and versatility to a whole new level,” says Bob Carter, Toyota Motor North America executive vice president of sales. “It delivers on SUV-like looks without compromising the convenience and utility of a van.”
100 Percent Hybrid
The Sienna’s rakish new exterior will no doubt grab your attention. But the big news lies underneath: Every model is now propelled by the latest generation of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain. That will appeal to the number crunchers, balancing 296 total horsepower with a projected class-leading manufacturer preliminary estimated combined fuel economy of 33 mpg.
But the new Sienna will also connect with drivers who go by feel, with its ultra-smooth acceleration and reduced engine noise.
All drivers, though, will notice the low-speed torque kick from its two electric motors working in concert with a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine.
Drivers of vans tend to be swayed more by practicality than performance. So, they’ll be intrigued to learn that all versions of the 2021 Sienna are rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. That’s enough to pull a well-equipped travel trailer.
Among the new Sienna’s many innovative interior features is an available built-in vacuum cleaner.
And if they opt for the available E-Four All-Wheel Drive system, they can optimize the Sienna for the outdoors. To this end, Toyota has teamed up with Yakima, one of the leading makers of outdoor equipment, to offer a range of new active lifestyle accessories — such as a rooftop carrier, crossbars, bike rack, top tent and more. And Toyota dealers will offer an accessory 1,500-watt inverter with 12V AC outlet to power camping gear.
THE VISION THING
The new Sienna offers enhanced outward visibility and sightlines, augmented with a standard back-up camera and available digital rear-view mirror.
Fully Functional Features
This emphasis on functionality carries through in many other ways, such as:
- A choice between an eight-seat configuration with a bench-type middle-row seat or a seven-seat model with Super Long Slide second-row captain’s chair seating with ottomans
- Enhanced outward visibility and sightlines, augmented with a standard backup camera and available digital rear-view mirror that can be engaged when the Sienna is loaded with people and cargo
- Similarly, the available Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan provides a 360-degree view around the Sienna
- A 10-inch color head-up display that projects information such as speed, navigation and safety functions at eye level
- A wide array of connectivity choices, such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, as well as Bluetooth, seven USB ports and available Wi-Fi
- Available kick-type hands-free dual power sliding doors and back door with jam protection
- Available vacuum, refrigerator and Nano-e air purifier
The Sienna is, at heart, a family vehicle. So, it should come as no surprise that all grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a comprehensive active safety system that includes:
- Pre-Collision System with low-light Pedestrian Detection
- Daytime Cyclist Detection
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Lane Departure Alert
- Lane Trace Assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Road Sign Recognition
The new Sienna will be offered in five grades: LE, XLE, XSE, Limited and Platinum. It’s scheduled to hit dealerships in the fall.