The Toyota Sienna hybrid is coming to America
Aiming to redefine the segment, the fourth-generation Toyota Sienna reimagines the minivan to support various life stages and activities. With a standard hybrid powertrain across all trims and an array of new tech and amenities, the 2021 Toyota Sienna raises the bar for style, safety, comfort, versatility, and fuel efficiency in its segment.
Designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA, the all-hybrid 2021 Sienna, influenced by the bold and robust character of SUVs, hosts many premium features: kick-open and closed sliding side doors and rear gate, four-zone climate control system, heated second-row super-long slide captain’s chairs with ottomans, power tilt and telescoping steering column with a heated steering wheel, a digital rear-view mirror, 10-in. color head-up display and 12-speaker JBLPremium Audio system.
The 2021 Toyota Sienna is also ready for life’s outdoor adventures with its all-wheel-drive option – and is well-positioned for Yakima accessories, such as a rooftop carrier, crossbars, bike rack, and more. The Sienna will also offer an available tow hitch and factory optional 1,500-watt inverter with a 120V AC outlet to power camping equipment.
What’s more, all versions of the 2021 Sienna are rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. That’s enough to pull a well-equipped compact travel trailer or carry your bikes for that weekend getaway.
Sienna: All-New from the Foundation Up
The fourth-generation Sienna, designed by the combined effort of CALTY’s Newport Beach, CA, and Ann Arbor, MI studios, delivers a combination of room, comfort, convenience, fuel efficiency, and versatility. Starting with an all-new minivan structure based on the TNGA-K Platform, the goal was to optimize everything great about minivan function while wrapping it into a bold, sexy, and provocative design, expanding its definition of what a next-generation minivan should be.
“This is an all-new vehicle from the ground up, including a new chassis platform as well as a new electrical platform,” said Chief Engineer Monte Kaehr. “The development of the fourth generation Sienna was a huge undertaking, but we always worked towards one single mission—to make the best van yet.”
This bold and innovative approach enabled the design team to create strong and robust proportions with a shoulder-themed body design and muscular wheel flares that express athleticism. The body surface is boldly sculpted, a fresh departure from the typical, boxy minivan driving on the roads today.
The front design was inspired by the iconic Shinkansen Japanese Bullet Train to appear sleek, speedy, and confident. The headlights are mounted high and stretched around to the sides as if the wind is shaping them. The bold lower grille contrast slim, high-tech LED fog lights pushed to the corners, enhancing the wide and stable stance.
The rear cabin features a speedy pillar that is dynamically angled forward. The taillight flows seamlessly from the sculpted body to the rear, using thin LED lighting bands to create a sophisticated impression. There is an integrated black taillight that improves aerodynamic performance. The crisp, deeply sculpted tailgate with an integrated spoiler is made possible by a molded resin process.
The ultra-sporty XSE model is sportier than ever before seen in minivans. With dark 20” split five-spoke wheels and aggressive front and rear bumpers that are unique to XSE, this model looks like it was born on a racetrack.
Toyota called the third-generation Sienna a “swagger wagon,” but the 2021 model takes it to a whole new level.
Learning from today’s minivan customers that they do not want to feel like they are driving a bus, the design team took the emotional desire for having a more personalized driving experience.
The key terms used to redefine the minivan experience were Confidence, Refinement, and Smart innovation. A modern instrument panel was created of bold, horizontal layers to express a complete and spacious interior, with a large center touch display, handy storage capability, and the innovative Bridge Console, which is the key to allocating personalized driver and front passenger space.
The Bridge Console is an innovative solution that is a departure from standard minivan layouts. The bridge is ergonomically positioned high between the driver and passenger for ease of use and elegantly connects the instrument panel to the center armrest. This unique feature enables the driver to have a more stress-free and comfortable driving experience. The shifter and necessary functions are all within easy reach, along with cup holders, an available wireless charger, and ample storage bins for smaller items. Beneath the bridge is a large open area for convenient storage of larger personal items such as a purse or bag.
To further celebrate the interior spaciousness, the available Super Long Slide second-row captain chairs slide 25 inches, providing outstanding legroom and flexibility to maximize comfort, especially when used with the available ottoman feature. Even large adults can relax comfortably. With all the features, the best seats of any row in the segment!
The Sienna LE and some XLE models come equipped in eight-seat configurations with a stowable middle seat. Some XLE models and the XSE, Limited, and Platinum are seven-seat models featuring the Super Long Slide second-row captain’s chairs with the Limited and Platinum FWD models equipped with ottomans.
There are smart solutions and the first-class comfort throughout the interior to make this the most sophisticated, versatile, and enjoyable Sienna ever.
In addition to superior collision protection provided by the TNGA-K Platform, the 2021 Sienna comes standard with second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), a comprehensive active safety system that includes:
Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
Lane Trace Assist
Automatic High Beams
Road Sign Assist
Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection provides automatic braking capability should the driver not react in specific emergencies. The PCS system detects a vehicle ahead, but it can also detect a bicyclist and even a pedestrian in low light situations.
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) is standard on all Sienna models, as well.
The 2021 Sienna comes standard with ten airbags:
Driver and front passenger airbags
Driver’s knee airbag
Passenger seat cushion airbag
Front-seat side airbags
Rear outboard seat side airbags, plus curtain side airbags for all three rows
Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
Toyota takes safety a step further with features like a rear passenger seatbelt reminder and electric parking brake (EPB) – as well as a new feature called Rear Seat Reminder. The rear occupant detection is based on door sequencing logic in which the Combi Meter MID provides a warning “Attention: Check Rear Seat for Passengers and Cargo.”
Confident Driving Performance
To give the Sienna driver confidence to compete with all the SUVs on the road, a natural and intuitive connection between the driver and the vehicle is achieved with the optimized TNGA-K Platform geometry combined with a trailing-arm multi-link rear suspension and increased body rigidity.
A Quiet Place to Make Some Noise
Like all Toyota vehicles built on the new TNGA-K Platform, the 2021 Sienna benefits from many measures that bring calm and quiet to the cabin. In particular, Toyota engineers focused on reducing noises in the frequencies where the conversation takes place.
The high-strength TNGA-K Platform resists noise intrusion and curbs vibration through the steering, floor, and vehicle structure. Extensive, strategically placed noise insulation and body sealant further keep outside noises where they belong – outside.
The onboard connectivity Sienna offers (seven USB ports, available Wi-Fi, optional JBL 1,200-watt amp/12-speaker Premium Audio, and 1080p HD rear entertainment system), the conversation is just one of the things made better by the quieter cabin.
Sienna’s unique available Driver Easy Speak is the driver’s best friend. Introduced on the third-generation Sienna, this feature is essentially a built-in PA system that carries the driver’s voice through the audio system’s rear speakers right to the source of the disturbance.
The high seating position and big windows make the Sienna an excellent sightseeing machine, while privacy glass behind the front row means passengers are not riding in a fishbowl.
The 2021 model delivers the latest generation of that tech:
The standard backup camera features a projected path, while higher-grade models have a wide-angle monitor to show even more of what is behind the vehicle. The digital rear-view mirror functions as a standard mirror most of the time. But if rear-seat passengers or some cargo block the rear’s view, the touch of a switch makes all obstructions disappear, replaced by the camera’s image from behind the vehicle. The digital mirror also integrates a HomeLink transceiver to operate garage doors and other compatible devices conveniently.
The available Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan is the next best thing to launching a camera drone to look around the vehicle but a lot easier to use. This tech provides a live, 360-degree view to help the driver to see potential obstacles. This is especially critical for seeing children or small animals that might be close to the vehicle. And, Curb View can help prevent scuffing those beautiful 20-inch wheels.
The 2021 Sienna Platinum comes standard with a 10-inch color head-up display, controlled with steering wheel switches. The display projects vital information at eye level, such as speed, navigation directions, and TSS 2.0 functions.
Finally, the hybrid is here!
The 2021 Sienna driver might not even notice the new model’s most significant engineering advance: the hybrid powertrain. That’s the point. The Toyota Hybrid System II delivers 245 total horsepower and an EPA-estimated 36 combined MPG fuel economy, the latter setting a benchmark for the segment, all while operating seamlessly and transparently.
The Sienna driver will feel the ultra-smooth acceleration and hear very little noise. What is noticeable is the kick in low-speed torque from two electric motors working in concert with the high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine.
Critically, the Sienna has no plug. There is no need ever to recharge the hybrid battery pack, and certainly no need to spend a couple of thousand dollars installing a battery charger in a garage. The Toyota Hybrid System II charges the hybrid battery automatically as the vehicle drives.
The Sienna, though, does offer some performance-control surprises. Selectable EV, NORMAL, ECO, and SPORT driving modes let the driver tailor the van’s driving personality. NORMAL mode is ideal for everyday driving; SPORT mode improves acceleration response; ECO mode extracts maximum mileage from the fuel and battery, and EV mode allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.
The driver can use a sequential shifting feature to “downshift,” which increases the regenerative braking in steps. It’s ideal for driving in hilly areas, for example, acting as a lower gear while increasing recovered energy sent to the HV battery. As a bonus, the Sienna’s hybrid system enhances ride smoothness by finely controlling the drive torque to suppress pitch and dive under acceleration and deceleration.
The Sienna benefits from Toyota’s 20+ years of global hybrid leadership and well-documented quality, dependability, and reliability. Plus, the powertrain warranty covers all hybrid-related components., There’s even a ten year/150,000-mile HV battery warranty, including the HV battery, for ten years/150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Gearheads buy vans, too. They’ll be intrigued by the gas engine’s 41-percent thermal efficiency, one of the highest of any internal combustion automobile engines on the market (excepting other Toyota hybrid models). The gas engine employs a Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump and electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump further improve engine efficiency.
The Hybrid That Thinks About Fuel Economy
A 7-inch color Multi-information Display within the instrument panel includes a Hybrid System Indicator to show system output and regeneration status and encourage eco-driving habits. As on other Toyota hybrid models, the display suggests the optimal acceleration amount for eco-driving and provides a game-like scoring function for the driver.
Using navigation system operation (when equipped), Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) analyzes driving habits and memorized road and traffic conditions to optimize hybrid battery charging. When the driver activates PED, the system learns repeating routes and can predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. The feature can reduce energy consumption, especially when driving through hilly areas or in traffic congestion. All the owner has to do is drive. Sienna will optimize fuel economy on its own.
Electronic On-demand All Wheel Drive
Sienna has long offered optional all-wheel drive, and the 2021 model is no exception. The 2021 Sienna is the only vehicle in its segment that combines a hybrid powertrain with AWD, and the system is available on all model grades.
Sienna uses a new kind of AWD called Electronic on-demand AWD. Instead of a heavy AWD transfer case and space-robbing driveshaft to the rear wheels, this AWD system uses a separate independent electric motor to power the rear wheels the instant additional traction is needed and at all vehicle speeds.
Like the hybrid system, the Hybrid AWD system works seamlessly and transparently. During off-the-line starts, Hybrid AWD pre-emptively sends up to 80 percent of driving force to the rear wheels to help prevent front-wheel slip. The Hybrid AWD system also enhances cornering agility by helping to reduce understeer, giving the Sienna a more confident handling feel.
Sienna, the Entertainer
Got devices? The 2021 Sienna offers a smorgasbord of connectivity and entertainment, with new Toyota Audio systems offering something for everyone aboard:
Toyota Audio (standard on LE grade): includes a 9-in touchscreen, six speakers, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatible, 7 USB media ports, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial subscription. Safety Connect with 1-year trial, Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2 GB within a 3-month trial.
Toyota Audio Plus (standard for XLE, optional for LE): adds to the above: AM/FM/HD radio, eight speakers, Siri Eyes Free and Safety Connect with 3-year trial, and Wi-Fi Connect powered by AT&T (up to 2GB within a 6-month trial).
With Dynamic Navigation (standard on XSE), Toyota Premium Audio adds navigation to the Toyota Audio Plus system.
Toyota Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL Premium Audio (standard on Limited and Platinum, optional for XLE and XSE): adds 12 speakers including subwoofer and 1,200-watt amplification, plus Clari-Fi digital restoration technology to Toyota Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation.
Sienna Feature Highlights
In the Toyota tradition, the 2021 Toyota Sienna comes well equipped in the LE grade and adds more amenities and tech in the higher grades. Options are conveniently grouped in the LE Plus, XLE Plus, and XSE Plus packages.
The Limited and Platinum grades offer two factory options: Digital Rearview Mirror and 1080p HD Entertainment Center with 11.6-in. display, HDMI input, remote control, and two wireless headphones (also optional on XLE and XSE). A 1,500-watt inverter is also available for XLE grade and above.
The sporty XSE and Platinum grades fill their wheel wells with standard 20-inch aluminum-clad wheels with P235/50R20 tires for FWD – the first-ever 20-inch wheels on a Sienna. (A minivan can look snazzy without giving up room.) While the Limited FWD grade comes standard with 18-inch wheels.