ToyotaSienna was first launched back in 1997 it received a lot of critical acclaim. Since then, the Sienna has continued to receive favorable reviews, and sales have been consistently strong.
While Consumer Reports calling it "one of the most sensible vehicles to ever hit the planet" might not get your heart racing, there is a lot to be excited about. The 4th generation Sienna is a well-designed minivan and its
green credentialsare second to none.
What’s new with the 2021 Toyota Sienna?
Starting with the 2021 model, the Toyota Sienna is only available as a hybrid. Between the electric drive and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, it boasts an impressive 245 horsepower. Standard models have front-wheel drive, but an all-wheel drive option is available.
The new Sienna can be configured to seat seven or eight passengers, and the interior feels more spacious than previous models.
What really sets the 2021 Toyota Sienna apart from previous editions is its exceptional fuel economy. In
Consumer Reports’(CR) testing, the Sienna recorded 36 miles per gallon, far better than any other minivan. Thanks to the hybrid engine, it can cruise along on electric power at low speeds.
Consequently, CR gives the Sienna a green rating of 8/10, reflecting the relatively small amount of carbon dioxide it emits. If you are concerned about the environmental impact of driving, but need the space afforded by a minivan, this is the vehicle for you.
2021 Toyota Sienna pros
Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Sienna high marks for acceleration, routine handling and seat comfort.
In testing, it registered a time of 8.2 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, which is competitive for a van of its size, and it maintained good handling when pushed to top speeds.
Testers praised the Siennas electronic stability control (ESC), a new technology that improves a vehicle's traction by reducing skidding.
The second row seats aren’t removable, but they do fold forward to create a lot of cargo room. When used to transport passengers, overall seat comfort and access is good. The low door sill makes it easy to climb in and out, and the second row seats received a perfect score for comfort.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) gave the Sienna a Top Safety Pick Plus award, testament to the car’s considerate and sensible design.
There are a few drawbacks
While Consumer Reports is clearly impressed with the 2021 Toyota Sienna, there is room for improvement.
One complaint is that the powertrain lacks refinement when compared to other vehicles, and even the previous version of the Sienna.
Unlike competitor models, the electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) doesn’t perform simulated upshifts to keep engine revolutions down. As a result, the hybrid engine makes a racket when the driver is looking for a quick burst of acceleration.
In addition to a noisy engine, the steering begins to feel "rubbery" at high speeds, and you can feel the body roll on turns. Stopping distances were disappointingly long on both dry and wet services, but CR points out that this is markedly improved following a recent fix.
While overall comfort is good, headroom is tight for taller passengers in the third row. The trunk area is 48 cubic feet, which is not great for a van of this size.
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