One of the Most Reliable Toyota Models Is Hiding in Plain Sight

Toyota is the King of reliability. This one aspect of its vehicles has dominated the company’s reputation for decades. Reliability is what Toyota does. This reputation led to the massive popularity of Toyota pickup trucks like the Tundra and Tacoma. However, one of the most reliable Toyota models has seen declining yearly sales since 2015. What gives? Why is no one buying the Toyota Sienna? 

A red 2023 Toyota Sienna is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

The Toyota Sienna is one of the most reliable Toyota models

I know, minivans aren’t cool, or whatever. I don’t understand why they aren’t, but the people have spoken, and the minivan is uncool. Fine. However, people buy uncool cars, like, all the time. How many people do you know with a Nissan Altima

My point is, if we are cool with buying uncool cars, which we are, then why aren’t people cool with buying minivans; they are spacious, filled with comfort features, powerful, and achingly practical. Chief among these powerful, fuel-efficient vehicles is the Toyota Sienna. 

Consumer Reports ranked it as not only one of the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicles but also one of the most reliable. Imagine, if you will, the size and reliability of the Tundra but with a lovely interior and a smooth ride. 

Based on the previous 10 years of Siennas, Consumer Reports predicts another strong model. Not only is every Sienna after 2021 a hybrid donning an average of 36 mpg combined, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, paired with the electric motor, makes 245 hp. If that wasn’t cool enough, it offers an AWD model with a lift to add more ground clearance. A minivan with added ground clearance is something we haven’t seen since the wild and primitive ’80s. 

How much does the 2023 Toyota Sienna cost? 

the rear end of a red 2023 Toyota Sienna
The 2023 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

The Sienna’s only real (objective) downside is the price. Given the price landscape of today’s car market, it’s not all that bad, but still, starting at $35k and running up to $50k+ for all the fun bells and whistles is a bit steep, especially considering it’s for a model that only fewer than 7k people bought so far this year, according to GoodCarBadCar

What would it take for you to buy a minivan?

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I often toss and turn, wondering what special combinations of words I have to write to help people see the possibilities and the objective coolness (“coolness” probably isn’t the special word) that today’s minivans offer. The 2023 Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey isn’t your mom’s minivan from the ’90s. These things are powerful, reliable, huge, (sometimes) AWD, lifted adventure machines that can have nicer interiors than a Mercedes (Chrysler Pacifica), and yet we aren’t buying them. 

Minivans risk going the way of manual transmissions; people stopped buying them, and now we complain about them being gone. If we aren’t careful, we might one day lose minivans too. And I, for one, don’t want to live in that world.