The redesigned Sienna minivan is arguably one of the most sensible vehicles to ever hit the planet. It can seat up to eight passengers, sips precious little fuel, rides comfortably, is available with all-wheel-drive, and has an extremely functional interior. The driving experience is unlikely to raise anyone’s pulse, but in terms of sheer logic, few vehicles do it better than the Sienna.
Starting with the 2021 model year, the Sienna comes exclusively as a hybrid, with a combined 245 horsepower between the electric drive and the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. Its fuel economy easily trumps all other minivans, at 36 mpg overall in our testing, and the Sienna can glide along on electric power at very low speeds. However, when more power is needed the gas engine gets noisy. This lack of powertrain refinement is a letdown compared to most other minivans (including the previous Sienna), which utilize V6 engines and have a more effortless power delivery.
The ride is comfortable, the suspension system showing a keen ability to shrug off bumps and broken pavement, a characteristic that’s bound to keep occupants happy. The handling is on par with other minivans, and it feels reasonably responsive at normal speeds. Pick up the pace, though, and the overly light steering feels rubbery and body roll becomes evident quickly. The Sienna is definitely not the type of car you drive for the sake of driving. Even with those dynamic faults, the Sienna still proved predictable and secure during our track testing. Unfortunately, stopping distances were long, and when we originally tested it, the brake pedal was either not responsive enough or too grabby. Toyota has issued a Technical Service Bulletin to fix that for existing customers and corrected the flaw in new production. It is markedly improved now.