Let’s state the obvious: Minivans aren’t that popular anymore. They don’t get much attention from critics, and you won’t see many (or any) commercials or social media posts. Yet minivans persevere. And the Toyota Sienna is one of them.
Toyota has decided to try something new to make the Sienna more relevant. On some levels, it’s a brilliant move. On others, it’s risky. So what has the automaker come up with, and will it save the Sienna from obsolescence?
The Toyota Sienna is one of the last remaining minivans
The 2021 Toyota Sienna comes in five trim levels ranging in price from $34,360 to $49,900. Each offers a wide array of amenitites popular with consumers.
One area where the Sienna shines is its gas mileage. It gets 36 mpg, far better than the competition.
Front-wheel drive comes standard, but for those looking for all-wheel drive, it’s available. The Sienna can sit up to eight people, making it the perfect vehicle for road trips with family and friends.
There’s also a wide variety of advanced safety features, thanks to Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. The suite includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist with lane centering, automatic high-beams, road sign assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
For those looking to hit the road in their Sienna, the Platinum trim offers a refrigerator, vacuum, and 10-inch head-up display. While van life isn’t all that some dream of, it definitely has its charms.
If you’re curious about the tech, a 9.0-inch touchscreen comes standard. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration also come standard. The Platinum model adds a 360-degree camera system and a 10-inch touchscreen.
The Toyota Sienna’s big weakness
There’s a lot to love about the Toyota Sienna if you’re looking for a minivan. It boasts plenty of room, comfortable seating, and a variety of configurations. But its biggest weakness, MotorTrend says, is its weak engine.
Granted, it’s because the Sienna is strictly a hybrid. Though this is a great move for Toyota because it shows the automaker is focused on looking out for the environment, the weak 2.5L hybrid inline-four might turn some consumers away. And let’s face it — there aren’t nearly as many minivans on the road as there were 10 years ago.
There’s a fair argument to be made that those seeking out a minivan aren’t interested in winning races. They’re probably concerned with making sure their family arrives safely. That being said, drivers still want to feel like they’re moving forward when they press the gas pedal.
It’s not dead last
The 2021 Toyota Sienna came in second-to-last on MotorTrend’s list of best minivans. That might sound bad until you realize there are only four minivans on the list.
With that in mind, it’s sort of hard to judge the Sienna. Is it the best? No, it isn’t. But it isn’t the worst either. Still, given the lack of minivans on the list, failing to rank first isn’t as terrible as it would be if there were 12 vehicles and the Sienna placed 11th.