2021 Toyota Sienna Long-Term Test Drive: Introduction

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No one ever thinks the minivan is the answer when asked: What car is a bunch of automotive journalists most likely to jog for? But he is. Give us a minivan and we instantly remember how much we love a practical machine. Our long-term Toyota Sienna did just that. He has been practically on the move since arriving at the end of May, making trips as the family’s day schlepper from the CD long-term fleet.

If you didn’t know, the Sienna is new for 2021, and while it’s doubled in front of the grille proportions that border on the comedic, the big news is the powertrain: All Sienna’s are hybrids. The move earned the people transporter a huge 15 mpg improvement in the EPA’s combined metric. The front riders are now 36 mpg machines, and the all-wheel-drive Siennas, like our longtime, get a hefty 35 mpg on the Monroney label.

Marc UrbanoCar and driver

We asked Toyota for a Sienna Cypress Green, a color available only on the top two trim levels. We went with the penultimate Limited. It costs less than $ 50,000 to start, but once we have the rear entertainment ($ 1,415), an AC inverter ($ 300), a rearview mirror that can also display a video feed if your van is loaded. down to the gunwale ($ 200), a mini spare tire ($ 75), and $ 220 all-weather floor mats, we ended up with a machine at $ 51,885. There are eight-passenger versions, but the Limited’s only have seven seats, and the second-row captain’s seats are much more comfortable than a Chrysler’s Stow ‘n Go seats.

Unlike the Sienna of yesteryear with all-wheel drive, the rear axle is directly driven by an engine. There is no driveshaft like in other Toyota / Lexus all-wheel drive hybrids. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models produce the same output of 245 horsepower, as the electric power is limited to what the hybrid battery can produce. Early tests revealed a time of 7.6 seconds at 60 mph and a quarter-mile elapsed time of 15.7 seconds. That’s pretty much what it feels like. A Honda Odyssey is 1.1 seconds faster, and the previous V6-powered Sienna was also faster than the new one.

Marc UrbanoCar and driver

At least this swap to the hybrid pays off at the pump, as we’ve averaged 32 mpg so far. That’s 39% better fuel economy than our 2018 Odyssey in the long run. Like most families making an economic decision, we’d love to save the money at the pump for the cost of a few humming engine sounds at full throttle. These emanate from the internal combustion half of the hybrid powertrain, a 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder Atkinson cycle. Once on the highway and installed in a cruise, the Sienna purrs at 67 decibels.

Right after the van arrived, the sliding passenger door wouldn’t close on its own – a first world problem we know – and we took the Sienna to the dealership for an unscheduled maintenance visit. very different from Toyota to fix it. . Turns out we could have easily fixed the problem as the weatherstripping had dislodged from its track and made a very good impression of a child’s figure. Since then we have had the Sienna for two regular services. Both were typical – oil, filter, inspections – at 5,000 mile intervals. The first was free, but the 10,000 mile service cost $ 61.

Marc UrbanoCar and driver

Other than that the van was immaculate. Some people complain about the engine noise when accelerating. The engine hum is very noticeable as you enter hilly country. And the van is somewhat lacking in driver-centric areas such as braking and steering feel. A strong crosswind causes the Sienna to drift, but most seven-passenger SUVs do.

As we mentioned, the Sienna has been in almost constant motion since arriving: Maine, North Carolina, Upper Michigan Peninsula. This may be due to a slight increase in car trips or the fact that we haven’t had a minivan for a while. Either way, it’s a staff favorite, and even if he stood still long enough to collect the moss, we’ll never know because of his color.

Months in the fleet: 5 months Current mileage: 10 135 miles
Average fuel economy: 32 mpg
Fuel tank size 18.0 gallons Observed fuel range: 570 miles
Service: $ 61 Normal wear: $ 0 Repair: $ 0
Damage and destruction: $ 0

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