Test drive: 2021 Toyota Sienna

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Despite the ridiculousness it endures, the minivan is still the most practical personal passenger vehicle on the planet. Now, with the 2021 Toyota Sienna, there is one less argument against it.

For the first time with any minivan, all Sienna models are hybrids. So, along with their other attributes, they deliver impressive fuel economy with their whopping 206 cubic feet of passenger and cargo space, roughly the same as in two Nissan Versa sedans.

The city / highway / combined EPA figures for the front-wheel-drive tested Sienna XSE are 36/36/36 mpg. That’s 1 mpg less combined with the available all-wheel drive.

The hybrid system combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with a 134 kW electric motor for a net output of 245 horsepower. They’re linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission capable of delivering what Toyota calls a “sequential shift mode,” meaning it can be shifted manually with the console-mounted shift lever. There are no paddles on the steering wheel. It doesn’t change much, so most people are unlikely to bother to change for themselves.

There are five trims, starting with the LE model at $ 35,635, followed by the XLE at $ 40,925, the sporty tested XSE at $ 43,175, the Limited at $ 47,875, and the high-end Platinum at 51,075. $. Prices are for front drivers. Add value-priced all-wheel drive for $ 740.

Like other minivans, the Sienna is 16 feet 9 inches tall. But with an all-new improved styling on the XSE model with 20-inch wheels, it’s also graceful and less heavy in handling than a full-size sport utility vehicle like a Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, or the Sequoia de. Toyota.

In fact, it looks like a much smaller vehicle on the road and can even be pushed around in moderate curves without being disturbed. There are different driving modes including Eco, EV, Normal and Sport. But the differences are minor, although the Sport tuning offers a modest tightening of the steering and suspension system. It also appears to provide slightly more decelerated regenerative braking to help recharge the battery.

Overall, the Sienna XSE tested was a pleasant, quiet traveling companion with enough power to handle any situation on public roads and a ride that was definitely enhanced by its length. Independent tests have timed the acceleration time from zero to 60 miles per hour in the seven-second range.

The XSE’s seven-passenger cabin was a welcoming space. It comes standard with second row captain’s seats, providing access between the seats in the third row, where there is plenty of headroom and knee room as long as the second row seats are pushed out. the front – they have 25 inches of travel. But if you cram three passengers into the third row, they better be kids or very skinny adults.

Soft black and white embossed faux leather covered the seats of the tested XSE, with well-reinforced sport seats up front. The second row seats cannot be stowed away but can be wallowed by pulling a lever to provide additional space for cargo. The third row seats, split two-thirds and one-third, can be folded almost flat with the pull of a lever and easily raised with the lever and a pull strap.

Up front, the center console has integrated non-adjustable armrests to the same height as the door armrests. There is a deep bin and four cup holders, two large and two small, and a dozen other cup holders throughout the cabin. Seven USB ports are scattered to serve passengers. Below the dashboard is a narrow side shelf with a wireless smartphone charging port.

The Sienna is equipped with Toyota’s extended safety detection system, including a pre-collision system with automatic emergency braking, low-light pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection; lane departure mitigation with lane keeping assist, roadside detection and sway warning; blind spot monitoring and dynamic radar cruise control.

Convenience items included advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone operation, Wi-Fi, and an intuitive nine-inch center display that controls a navigation system, premium audio system, Bluetooth, Apple Car Play, SXM satellite radio and HD radio. There is also a 1500 watt electric inverter.

Other XSE equipment: Electric side doors and tailgate; four-zone automatic air conditioning; second row side window sunshades; black roof bars, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass and two lockable upper and lower glove boxes.

To prevent mom or dad from getting laryngitis while yelling at children, a Driver Easy Speak microphone amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

Characteristics

Model: 2021 Toyota Sienna XSE Seven-Passenger Minivan

Hybrid engine / engine system: four-cylinder 2.5-liter; 134 kW electric motor; combined system 245 hp

Transmission: Electronically controlled continuously variable automatic with sequential shift control and front wheel drive

Total length: 16 feet 9 inches

Height: 5 feet 9 inches

Passenger / cargo volume EPA / SAE: 167/39 cubic feet

Weight: 4,430 lb

Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds

EPA city / highway / combined fuel consumption: 36/36/36 mpg

Base price including destination charges: $ 43,175

Price tested: $ 44,625


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