Minivans are the unofficial mascot of the family-minded driver. It would be almost impossible to pull into a school pickup line or a little league parking lot without spotting one of these vehicles. While they have been around forever, not many automakers have sought to improve upon the tried-and-true model. However, the all-new 2021 Toyota Sienna may just be changing all that. If you were before, you definitely wouldn’t be embarrassed to drive this minivan.
Contrary to popular belief, not all minivans are the pinnacle of safety. In fact, the 2020 Toyota Sienna was remarkably underwhelming in this division, earning low safety ratings from some well-respected experts.
Now, Toyota has decided to step up its game by redesigning the Sienna for the 2021 model year. And the Japanese manufacturer has seriously beefed up the minivan’s safety acumen.
Safety is one of the first things that should be on the top of any car buyer’s list. This should be even more paramount for drivers with families. That’s why the all-new Toyota Sienna may just be the answer to your minivan needs.
What did Toyota do to ramp up safety for the redesigned Sienna, and is it worth a second look? Let’s find out.
How safe is the 2021 Toyota Sienna?
Whether you’re taking the Sienna on road trips or using it to shuttle the kids around, its smart safety systems will give you peace of mind. Previous models included a decent assortment of driver-assistance technologies, such as lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking. However, Toyota took the new Sienna to the next level.
It added blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment. 2020 Sienna drivers would have had to pay extra for these features. Plus, the 2021 Toyota Sienna comes standard with road sign recognition, which wasn’t available on the outgoing model.
Other standard driver-assistance technologies include forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
What experts are saying about the redesigned minivan
The 2021 Toyota Sienna brings more to the table than just safety features. It also provides better protection in the event of a collision.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2021 Toyota Sienna a Top Safety Pick +. That’s a huge step up from previous model years, as the IIHS didn’t recognize the 2020 Sienna with any distinctions.
The Sienna saw improvements in several significant categories. Its headlights, LATCH system, and driver-side small overlap front crash-test ratings improved from “adequate” to “good.” Additionally, its passenger-side small overlap front crash-test rating skyrocketed from “marginal” to “good.”
Toyota’s safety upgrades help put the 2021 Sienna amongst the safest minivans on the market. The Honda Odyssey is the only other 2021 minivan to earn Top Safety Pick + at the time of this writing.
Is the all-new Sienna the right choice for your family?
If you’re looking for the safest minivan on the market, your choices likely boil down to the Sienna and the Odyssey. Shoppers might be surprised to learn that the redesigned 2021 Toyota Sienna holds a slight advantage.
The IIHS deemed that the Sienna’s headlamps better illuminate the road ahead than that of the Odyssey. Plus, the 2021 Toyota Sienna offers the benefit of a standard hybrid powertrain.