Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Toyota Sienna Seems Expensive Until You Remember It’s a Hybrid

Toyota trotted out its out-dated Sienna minivan to compete with behemoths like the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey for years. So, one might tend to bat an eye when noticing the relatively high price of the 2021 Toyota Sienna. However, this minivan is an all-new beast as it enters the 2021 model year.

According to multiple outlets, including Car and Driver, the redesigned 2021 Toyota Sienna has a starting MSRP of $35,635. That’s significantly higher than the last year’s model, as well as the Honda Odyssey’s $31,790 base price. However, many buyers will find the Sienna’s price increase well worth it due to the upgrades Toyota gave it.

Toyota’s minivan, expected to arrive at dealerships in November, will now only sold as a hybrid model. This eco-conscious change allows families to chauffeur their little ones around town without spending too much at the pump. As a bonus, the 2021 Toyota Sienna is more affordable than the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which has a starting MSRP of $39,995.

Will the perception of the Toyota Sienna change now that it is the cheapest hybrid minivan on the market? We can only speculate, but it’s offerings show some promise.

The family-focused, eco-conscious minivan

A white 2021 Toyota Sienna on display in a desert terrain
The 2021 Toyota Sienna on display | Photo via Toyota

As a minivan, the 2021 Toyota Sienna has naturally flown under the radar. However, it’s gaining recognition in the industry due to its innovation. In fact, the 2021 Sienna already won an award, albeit one you wouldn’t expect.

Toyota’s decision to ditch gas-powered powertrains altogether in its minivan is undoubtedly bold. This move was likely a significant contributor to Toyota raising the Sienna’s price, a category where it once held an advantage. However, buyers may flock to the minivan as it offers long-term savings.

The 2021 Sienna’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine works in tandem with two electric motors. This powerplant delivers a combined 245 hp, and it earns an EPA-estimated 36 MPG city/highway combined.

These numbers stack up well against the Pacifica Hybrid, which produces 260 hp but only gets an EPA-estimated 30 MPG combined.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Toyota Sienna holds a decisive advantage over in another category – seating. The Sienna accommodates up to eight passengers while the Pacifica only seats seven.

The 2021 Toyota Sienna has features the family will love

When traveling with your entire crew, you’re going to need to keep everyone entertained. The 2021 Toyota Sienna is well-equipped to do so. It comes standard with a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. You’ll be able to stream music through its six speakers or use the touchscreen display to access some of your mobile apps.

Those willing to spend a little extra on entertainment have a world of upgrades available to them. The 2021 Sienna offers available tech, such as a 12-speaker sound system and an HD rear entertainment system. Meanwhile, if things get too rowdy, front-seat passengers can use the minivan’s PA system to speak to passengers in the back rows.

Drivers will also want to ensure the safety of their passengers. Toyota is a leader in this category, as it implements a host of driver-assistance technologies in its vehicles. The 2021 Sienna comes standard with road sign assist, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and a pre-collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.

Are hybrid minivans the future?

RELATED: The 2021 Honda Odyssey Can’t Beat the Toyota Sienna and the Chrysler Pacifica

The hybrid minivan segment may be relatively new, but it’s likely to be a bloodbath between the Sienna and Pacifica. Chrysler used to be the only game in town, as it offers a gas-powered and a hybrid mini. However, Toyota’s gutsy move to exclusively sell a hybrid undoubtedly opened eyes in the industry.

Only time will tell if this gamble will pay off. Nevertheless, the Toyota Sienna is now a much stronger competitor to the Pacifica and the Odyssey than it was just a year ago.