The 2021 Toyota Sienna Won a Weird Award You Didn’t Know Exists

There are so many different types of auto awards. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track. In fact, there are official and unofficial awards. Additionally, we see awards that are given internally from carmakers to their own models, plus external and highly coveted awards like the World Car of the Year award or MotorTrend’s Car of the Year. This award is a little under the radar. The 2021 Toyota Sienna van wins this weird award, but you probably never even knew it exists.

According to the video below, the Toyota Sienna from 2007 to 2020 model years offers an easily storable rear row. However, bring the row back to an erect position after it’s been stowed is another story. Apparently, it can take quite some effort to bring it back to the proper position for seating.

The 2021 Toyota Sienna

The 2021 Toyota Sienna van is the first of a new generation of Sienna. Unveiled earlier this year, we have learned that this van offers hybrid technology, AWD, and a tech-rich interior with plenty of safety features like automatic cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and emergency braking. The all-new Toyota Sienna will come in four trims, according to US News and World Report.

a gray 2021 Toyota Sienna van in the desert
2021 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

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The trims offered will be LE, LE Plus, XLE Plus, and XSE Plus. No matter which trim you end up with, however, they should all qualify for this unique award. It has to do with the way in which the rear seat folds.

The lightweight folding rear seats

In the video, a Toyota representative does a demo the fold rear seat in each generation. The previous Toyota Sienna takes a considerable amount of weight to put back into the proper position. In fact, the older models require 24.05 kilograms of force to put back upright. The all-new 2021 Toyota Sienna van on the other hand requires only 8.45 kilograms of force, as we see 53 seconds into the video.

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Like the previous generation, the 2021 Sienna features a rear row that stows away with one easy motion. But now, the effort it takes to put them back into position is considerably less than before. The 16 standard cupholders aren’t the only measure of convenience in the Toyota Sienna. Even with the 2021 Toyota Sienna van offering loads of extra luxuries, convenience remains this model’s calling card. That’s why fixing the problem of righting the rear seats was a priority for the Toyota team.

The weird award for easily folding rear bench seats

The video is titled “The All-New 2021 Sienna Wins Lightweight folding 3rd-Row Seat Award.” It’s a weird award that no one even knew exists. But hey, now we do. Thanks to the 2021 Toyota Sienna, there’s a new rear folding seat award. It’s pretty unofficial, but also very noteworthy. Convenience features are a big deal when it comes to the minivan class. Unfortunately, the captain seats don’t stow easily.

The sleek interior of the all new Toyota Sienna boasts awesome new features
2021 Toyota Sienna Interior | Toyota

Cool extra convenience features do, however, include a refrigerated box and a built in vacuum. The infotainment system will have compatibility for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and a 3 month satellite radio trial. Plus, there’s an available HD rear entertainment system to keep the kids––or adult passengers––entertained on long drives. Overall, the new generation of Toyota Sienna offers plenty of family-friendly features. Easy folding rear bench seats probably won’t be the only one that wins an award.