2021 Toyota Sienna Preview

Christian Wardlaw | May 18, 2020
FAST FACTS
  • Redesigned minivan
  • Hybrid powertrain is standard, making 243 horsepower
  • Toyota estimates 33 mpg in combined driving
  • AWD is an option
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
  • Standard blind spot warning system
  • Four different infotainment systems
  • Available rear-seat entertainment system
  • Platinum trim includes a refrigerator
  • On sale at the end of 2020

Introduction

Going all-hybrid, the 2021 Toyota Sienna delivers an estimated 33 mpg in combined driving with the 8-passenger seating and roomy interior that only a minivan can provide. It goes on sale late in 2020, and comes in LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum trim levels.

2021 Toyota Sienna XSE exterior front view in red

Exterior Features

Banishing the boxy look almost required of a minivan, the 2021 Toyota Sienna takes its inspiration from Japanese bullet trains, according to the automaker. Toyota even goes so far as to call the all-new Sienna “bold, sexy, and provocative.”

2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum Gray rear view

Modern Toyota design themes are evident throughout, from Avalon-style headlights and Camry-esque taillight trim to the swollen rear fenders first seen on the Highlander SUV. Angled rear quarter windows lend a rakish appearance to the Sienna’s roofline.

With XSE trim, Toyota equips the 2021 Sienna with dark-finish 20-inch wheels and a sportier look, while the top Platinum version has polished chrome 20-inch wheels that add significant visual balance to the design. To aid maneuverability, front and rear parking sonar is standard with XLE trim and higher.

Interior Features

Minivan customers told Toyota they did not want to feel like they’re driving a bus, so the company modernized the Sienna’s driving environment with a layered dashboard dominated by a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a high, bridge-style center console design. 

2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum interior dashboard view

As is expected of a minivan, storage compartments, USB ports, and cup holders took high priority with the redesign, and Toyota made significant efforts to reduce noise and vibration within the cabin.

Comfort is also in abundance, with heated front seats and an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat standard with XLE trim and higher. Second-row occupants enjoy standard “super-long-slide” captain’s chairs with 25 inches of travel, and in LE and XLE trim there is a stowable middle seat that allows the new Sienna to carry up to eight people. Sliding door sunshades and triple-zone automatic climate control are also standard in every version of the 2021 Sienna.

Cloth seats are included with LE trim, while the XLE upgrades to SofTex synthetic leather and a 4-zone climate control system. Real leather is standard with Limited and Platinum trim, along with ventilated front seats and heated second-row captain’s chairs. They even get ottoman-style leg rests in Sienna Limited and Platinum trims with front-wheel drive.

Still missing in action from the equipment list, however, is a front passenger’s seat height adjuster.

Optional Features

Toyota will offer Plus option packages for the LE, XLE, and XSE trim levels, while a handful of stand-alone options are available for Limited and Platinum trim. Toyota dealers can install numerous accessories, including various types of Yakima carriers. 

Among the upgrades as you work your way up the trim level ladder, the Sienna offers kick-open sliding side doors and rear liftgate (just be careful when you’re standing on icy spots), a power and heated tilt/telescopic steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, a 1,200-watt and 12-speaker JBL premium sound system, an onboard vacuum cleaner, a refrigerator, a 1,500-watt inverter with a 120-volt AC power outlet, and a towing hitch.

Under the Hood

Every 2021 Toyota Sienna is a hybrid, pairing a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with electric assist motors to make a combined 243 horsepower and return an estimated 33 mpg in combined driving. 

In addition to Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes, an EV mode allows for electric driving at low speeds and for short distances. This is different from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which is a plug-in model supplying up to 32 miles of electric driving including at highway speeds. Just like the new Sienna Hybrid, you can drive the Chrysler without plugging it in, getting 30 mpg in combined driving. But the Toyota doesn’t come with a federal income tax credit or state/local rebates.

In Sport driving mode, the Sienna’s electric motors add boost to improve acceleration. Toyota also says the hybrid drivetrain automatically adjusts torque in order to control vehicle pitch and dive, similar to Nissan Active Ride Control technology.

Electronic all-wheel drive is an option for the 2021 Sienna, using an additional electric motor at the rear axle. When accelerating from a stop, the Sienna’s AWD system automatically delivers 80% of the power to the rear wheels to prevent front wheel slip. Toyota says the AWD system also reduces understeer for improved handling feel.

You can tow with the new Sienna, too, thanks to a maximum rating of 3,500 pounds.

Safety

Safety comes standard in the new Sienna. Every trim level includes blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0).

The TSS 2.0 collection of advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) is comprehensive, installing adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, a road sign assistance system, and three lane keeping assistance technologies including warning, corrective steering, and lane centering.

Additionally, the 2021 Sienna has 10 airbags, a rear-seat passenger seatbelt reminder system, and a Rear Seat Reminder system for the driver. It warns you when exiting the minivan that a person, a pet, or something else might be in the back seat, so check before locking up and leaving the vehicle.

Safety Connect is available for every Sienna, too. It includes automatic collision notification, SOS emergency calling, and other connected services.

Technology

Four different infotainment systems are available for the new Sienna. All of them have a 9-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth calling and music streaming capability. 

Additionally, standard equipment includes seven USB ports, advanced voice recognition, and a 3-month free trial of SiriusXM satellite radio. With LE trim, a 1-year free trial of Safety Connect services is included, and the Sienna LE is ready for Wi-Fi Connect but without a free trial period.

Upgrade to the Sienna XLE, and you get two more speakers for a total of eight, Siri Eyes Free, a 3-year free trial of Safety Connect, and a 6-month/2GB free trial of Wi-Fi Connect.

Dynamic navigation is standard with XSE trim, while the Sienna Limited adds the JBL premium sound system with Clari-Fi digital music restoration technology. The sound system is optional with XSE trim and is offered for the XLE along with dynamic navigation. Every Sienna Platinum has the fully-featured infotainment system as standard equipment.

As an option for all Siennas except for the LE, a high-resolution rear-seat entertainment system with an 11.6-inch display stands ready to keep passengers mollified, and it comes with HDMI inputs, a remote control, and two sets of wireless headphones. Driver Easy Speak returns from the previous Sienna, broadcasting the driver’s voice through the speakers (or headphones) so that you need not yell to be heard.

Visibility aids include a standard backup camera with projected-path guidance lines and an available wide-view vantage point. A rearview camera mirror is also available, while Platinum trim offers a surround-view camera system with perimeter scanning and a curb-view feature.

Also exclusive to the Sienna Platinum, a full-color heads-up display helps to reduce driver distraction by keeping eyes on the road.

Toyota is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of May 18, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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