2021 Toyota Sienna

Discussion in 'Toyota' started by Jay, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Next year all the major mini-van manufacturers have updated or new wares. Toyota has a completely new Sienna with major changes to the drivetrain that set it apart from the competition. Gone is the V6; replaced by a 2.5L naturally aspirated inline-4 mated to their power-split hybrid transmission. It's very similar to the engine and drivetrain used on Highlander. It's the only engine/transmission option available. The traction battery is a 1.9kwh NiMH pack located under the driver/front passenger seats. The cherry on top is an optional electric motor for the rear axle making it 4wd.

    So we have a 7-passenger minivan now that has a hybrid drivetrain, optional 4wd, a tow rating of 3500lbs (!) and a standard payload of 3500 lbs with an EPA rating of...wait for it...36mpg city/36mpg hgwy/36mpg combined! Let that sink in! One autovlogger reports well over 40mpg on the road! The fuel economy absolutely smashes the competition which get about 25mpg if that.

    The fly in the oinkment is that the 2nd row seats do not stow or remove (Toyota doesn't want customers removing the 2nd row seats because of airbags located in them). This really hurts cargo-hauling utility. Also, the styling is ahem...polarizing. The 240hp rating, with all the electric motors helping, makes it the weakest and slowest in the segment. Nevertheless, I am amazed that this ~4500lb, 7-passenger vehicle can get fuel economy that abolutely punks my poor, aging 2700lb Acura RSX.

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I have some experience driving the RAV4 Hybrid , with essentially the same powertrain ,
    and it's excellent. Minivans are for hauling humans. Yota will be happy to sell you an
    SUV or pickup if you need to haul large cargo.
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  3. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    But many of us resemble said cargo. :D

    I'm very happy that Toyota is putting this excellent powertrain in the bigger/heavier vehicles. How about the Tacoma and Tundra? The Tundra may require a slightly less efficient but larger engine since it competes against more powerful vehicles that handle heavier payloads. These trucks need a lot of help as well, to reduce their thirst.

    These hybrids are not the EV future, but the more quickly we can get 10-15 MPG trucks off the road, the better.
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  4. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I seriously doubt that I would be able to tolerate the hybrid funkiness of the Sienna. Most people have no trouble adapting, but I'm extremely sensitive to how a vehicle handles and feels in my hands. I've never driven a hybrid that I would buy because of rubberbanding transmissions, or some other non-linear throttle response and weird non-linear hybrid brakes. I'll certainly test drive the new Sienna though.

    You're right about minivans being primarily people movers and secondarily cargo haulers and my needs are the opposite. What I need is something like the Mercedes Benz Metris which is a mid-size cargo van--similar in size to the minivans. The Metris has no plastic or carpeting in the back. It has a bare, flat, steel floor with tie-downs, etc. Perfect. The problem with the Metris is that it's very crude. Want cruise control? That's an option. I read that it's noisy on the road. And it's FE won't touch the Sienna. I'd have to drive both.
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  5. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    FCA is taking an interesting tack with the 4xe Wrangler. They are marketing a PHEV to folks that would never consider a hybrid by leveraging the low-speed, high-torque capability of the electric motors for off-road superiority. It's working. I've visited the forums and enthusiasm for the new hybrid Wrangler is high. Even the Ford Bronco enthusiasts are asking Ford for a hybrid. Of course, I don't think FCA has announced a price yet...
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  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    re: Jeep - Fun reading about planned charging stations along some trails like the Rubicon in CA and some trails in Moab, UT. Poor use of resources, but good marketing maybe.
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  7. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    competition of sorts... The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (plug-in) has enjoyed its spot as an efficient people hauler though I don't know how successful it was in adoption by families. Some were sold to the self-driving car companies. But if not plugged in, the Pacifica Hybrid is only rated 30 MPG overall so the Sienna Hybrid would be a clear winner in the efficiency department.
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  8. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Car and Driver really panned their long-term PHEV Pacifica. They had a laundry list of failures after 40,000 miles, including the traction battery. Their most damning criticism was that the non-hybrid Pacifica got better FE on the road. They called the PHEV a science experiment and not practical transportation. The PHEV Pacifica 2nd row seats don't fold into the floor because Chrysler chose that area for the traction battery. No 4wd version is available and the tow rating is 0 lbs.

    In contrast, Toyota's HSD has proven itself as their most reliable power train--even more so than their conventional ones.
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  9. Dorean Clarke

    Dorean Clarke Active Member

    Yes, I agreed! I wish they will add more features!
    BillLin likes this.

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