First Drive: 2021 Toyota Sienna Proves a Compelling, Efficient SUV Alternative

Redesigned minivan brings new tech, added convenience, and comes exclusively as a hybrid

2021 Toyota Sienna Consumer Reports

You might say that the 2021 Toyota Sienna is all-in on hybridization. That's because there's no longer a gas-only version available. The front- and all-wheel-drive versions of Toyota’s popular family mover come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and an electronic continuously variable transmission. This combination promises impressive fuel-economy numbers, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates, and it may be one way that the Sienna truly distinguishes itself as a minivan in an increasingly SUV world.

Update: Since this first drive was originally published in October, 2020, we finished testing the Toyota Sienna.

Read the complete Sienna road test.

MINIVAN ROAD TESTS

With families opting for SUVs, Toyota has seen sales of the Sienna take a nosedive the past few years. Competitors, the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey, also have seen fewer sales. By moving to partial electric power and delivering gains in fuel economy, Toyota aims to keep buyers happy, and the company might even siphon minivan fans from other brands. Available AWD also distinguishes the Sienna and helps make the case for it as an SUV alternative.

We rented a Sienna XLE from Toyota before it went on sale so that we could present our early impressions.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, you'll see our first impressions of the Sienna below. If you haven’t signed up to become a member, click below to access this full article and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

We have put a Sienna through more than 50 tests at the CR Auto Test Center, including those that evaluate acceleration, braking, fuel economy, handling, car-seat fit, and controls. CR members now have access to the full road-test results.

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What we rented: Toyota Sienna XLE
Powertrain: 245-hp, 2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder; continuously variable transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
MSRP: $41,750
Options: $2,000 XLE Plus Package (wireless charging, premium audio, navigation, 9-inch infotainment system), $150 roof rail
Destination fee: $1,175
Total cost: $45,075

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