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The minivan was the family status symbol of the 1990s—a smaller vehicle than a traditional van that could still fit a family of five with all their cargo for activities and road trips. Today, there are not many minivan models left. One of the last few remaining models on the market is the Toyota Sienna, and this minivan has features that set it apart from its dwindling competition, including being a hybrid.

There are a few minivan models still on the market

The new Toyota Sienna is one of the premier minivans on the market. Is this the right option for your family?
The Toyota Sienna | Toyota

The Toyota Sienna isn’t the last minivan standing, but there are few competitors in 2023. Some other minivans still in production today include the Chrysler Pacifica, the Kia Carnival, and the Honda Odyssey. Each has a number of features that are appealing to drivers. The Chrysler Pacifica, for example, has an upscale interior. It offers ease of switching between carrying passengers and cargo, and it has a base price under $40,000.

The Kia Carnival provides a wealth of features for its price of just under $35,000. It has a distinctive style, a new infotainment system, and standard driver assistance. However, the Carnival’s controls and tech need too much attention and may distract from driving.

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most popular minivans still on the market, and with the most modern safety and tech features, it is appealing to those looking in the minivan market. However, the Odyssey has a few issues that could steer buyers away, including no power-folding third-row seats and a sensitive forward collision warning system that has frustrated many drivers.

The key advantages to owning a Toyota Sienna over other minivan models

The 2023 Toyota Sienna has a few advantages over the competition. Its 245-hp front-wheel-drive powertrain that gets 36 MPG combined provides an efficient drive with plenty of space for passengers and cargo. According to Toyota, the Sienna has many interior, exterior, and tech optional features and multiple trims to get exactly what you want from your driving experience, including an additional passenger, in-vehicle vacuum system, and refrigerator.

One of the biggest advantages of the Sienna over its competitors is that it’s the only minivan model that comes as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. This is an advantage over the rest of the minivan market, considering many minivans aren’t great on gas mileage compared to other types of vehicles with similar interior and storage space.

The Toyota Sienna does have some disadvantages for drivers

No vehicle is perfect, and even the Sienna has its disadvantages. Some of the biggest drawbacks to driving the Toyota Sienna include its slow acceleration, particularly when the minivan is full of cargo or passengers. The acceleration issue isn’t noticeable on short drives but evident when merging onto a highway. The Sienna also has an uneven braking system that doesn’t lead to a smooth ride. The Sienna also has a road noise issue, especially when the driver pushes for more power from the continuously variable automatic transmission.

When switching between passengers and cargo, the disadvantage of the Sienna is that the second-row seats are not removable. However, at under $40,000 for a seven-passenger PHEV, the Toyota Sienna still provides advantages to drivers over the competition, making it a popular model for families to consider when they are in the market for a new vehicle.


Only 1 Minivan Comes as a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)