According to the Chinese zodiac, 2021 is the year of the ox, but according to automakers, 2021 is the year of the minivan. That’s because the 2021 model year welcomes an all-new Toyota Sienna, along with refreshments for the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey. While the Sienna, Pacifica and Odyssey are the big players in the segment, these three aren’t the only vans available to consumers. In fact, Chrysler also sells the Voyager, a cheaper Pacifica alternative that doesn’t have the updated look of its more expensive sibling. Likewise, Kia maintains its hold in the class with its attractive but aging Sedona. On paper, which of these vans is the best?
Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager: performance
The Toyota Sienna goes from the most powerful to the least powerful in the segment. Blame Toyota’s decision to ditch the old 296-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 for a hybrid powertrain made up of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors (all-wheel-drive Sienna adds a third motor on the rear axle). With 243 horsepower in its stable, however, the Sienna should offer enough power for most. That said, the six-cylinder Kia, Honda, and Chrysler produce 276, 280, and 287 horsepower, respectively. The Pacific Hybrid plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid, meanwhile, locks 260 ponies out of its powertrain. Those interested in burning rubber as much as carrying passengers are likely to prefer the performance of the Odyssey over its minivan competitors. The last time we tested one of Honda’s movers, it hurtled at 60 miles an hour in 6.7 seconds. Previous testers of Sedona, Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid broke the mile-per-minute mark after seven seconds. While we haven’t tested the 2021 Sienna yet, its lack of power (as well as the extra weight it surely carries due to its battery) likely limits its chances of bringing the Odyssey down in a straight line.
Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager: design
People carriers are not known for their looks. Still, automakers continue to try to bring some sex appeal to this largely utilitarian style of bodywork. More conservative consumers will likely appreciate the more understated design of the Chrysler and Kia. Those looking to turn heads, however, will surely be looking at the Sienna and the Odyssey. Our eyes have a soft spot for the clean lines of Chrysler minivans. While the Sienna’s design strikes us as somewhat inconsistent and bloated, the van at least takes styling risks, even if it fails to fully deploy.
Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager: safety
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have tested the 2021 Sienna yet. That said, the new minivan comes with many active and passive safety features as standard, including automatic front braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane centering, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
While Honda, Kia, and Chrysler all earn five-star NHTSA ratings, only certain Odyssey and Pacifica models offer the products to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Certainly, these vans were awarded these prizes in 2019; changes to the Odyssey and the 2021 Pacifica could change the ranking of both models with the IIHS.
Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager: fuel efficiency
Toyota estimates that the 2021 Sienna makes 33 combined mpg, a remarkable figure next to the EPA combined figures of 21-22 mpg of its gas-only competitors. Only the Pacifica gasoline-electric hybrid and its EPA-rated 30 mpg combined figure come close to the Sienna’s estimated fuel economy. While the Sienna seems to win the gold medal in this category, the Toyota concedes some efficiency to the plug-in powertrain of the Pacifica Hybrid. Thanks to its 16.0 kilowatt-hour battery, the Chrysler offers 32 miles of emission-free driving on a full charge, according to the EPA. Meanwhile, the Sienna’s EV drive mode limits electric driving only to short distances at low speeds.
Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager: tow
Vans are not pickup trucks, and each of these vans’ maximum towing capacities reflects this. Still, Toyota, Honda and Kia’s 3,500-pound figures make it easy for the three vans to haul small trailers and boats. The Chrysler leads the segment with its 3,600-pound capacity. Avoid the Pacifica Hybrid if towing is a requirement, however, Chrysler discourages owners from using the plug-in van in this manner.
Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, Chrysler Pacifica and Voyager: pricing
The prices of most of these 2021 minivans remain under wraps; However, if every vehicle’s 2020 counterpart is something to go by, then the Kia Sedona and Chrysler Voyager are the cheapest ways to own a new minivan thanks to each model’s under $ 30,000 price tag. Expect the Sienna, Odyssey, and Pacifica to start in the low to mid range of $ 30,000, and the Pacifica plug-in hybrid to carry an entry cost north of $ 40,000.
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