Toyota Launches All-New 2021
Sienna to Suit a Variety of Lifestyles
May 18, 2020
BY Matthew Meek
- Designed, Engineered and Assembled in the U.S.A.
- Bold Design with New Versatility
- Standard Hybrid Powertrain with Class-Leading Manufacturer-Estimated 33 Combined MPG
- Available All-Wheel Drive
Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with Automatic Emergency Braking
- Standard Blind Spot Monitor on All Grades
- New Platinum Luxury Model
- Available Onboard Vacuum and Refrigerator
- Equipped for all facets of life with a tow rating up to 3,500 pounds
PLANO, Texas (May 18, 2020) – Aiming to redefine the segment, the fourth generation Toyota Sienna reimagines the minivan to support a wider array of life stages and activities. With a standard hybrid powertrain now 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 U.S., 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, onboard vacuum and refrigerator, a segment-first power tilt and telescoping steering column with heated steering wheel, a digital rear-view mirror, 10-in. color head-up display and 12-speaker JBL® Premium 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, cross bars, bike rack and more. The Sienna will also offer an available tow hitch and factory optional 1,500-watt inverter with 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 simply carry your bikes for that weekend getaway.
Sienna: All-New from the Foundation Up
The fourth-gen 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 that other types of vehicles can’t match. Starting with an all new minivan structure based on the TNGA-K Platform, the goal was to optimize everything that is great about minivan function, while wrapping it all into a bold, sexy, and provocative design, expanding the 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 they are being shaped by the wind. The bold lower grille is contrasted by slim, high tech LED fog lights that are pushed to the corners, enhancing the wide and stable stance.
In the spirit of optimizing interior roominess while avoiding a boxy design, 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 bands of LED lighting to create a signature impression. There is an integrated black taillight canard that not only looks cool, but also 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 amps up the excitement, sportiness and driving experience to a level never before seen in minivans. With dark 20” split 5 spoke wheels and aggressive front and rear bumpers that are unique to XSE, this model looks like it was born on a race track.
Bold Design Meets Spacious Interior
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 this to heart and thought carefully about how to combine the practical attributes of a minivan with 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. With this in mind, a modern instrument panel was created of bold, horizontal layers to express a wide and spacious interior, with a large center touch display, handy storage capability, and the innovative Bridge Console, which is the key to allocating personalized space to the driver and front passenger.
The Bridge Console is an innovative solution that is a departure from common 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, 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 unprecedented 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 two captain chairs, a long slide second row seat and a stowable middle seat. Some XLE models, as well as 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 first-class comfort throughout the interior to make this the most sophisticated, versatile and enjoyable Sienna ever.
In addition to exemplary 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/Lowlight 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 is designed to provide automatic braking capability should the driver not react in time in certain emergency situations. The PCS system is not only designed to detect 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 is equipped with 10 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 a features like a rear passenger seatbelt reminder and electric parking brake (EPB) – as well as a new feature called Rear Seat Reminder. Designed with family safety in mind, 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 geometry of TNGA-K Platform 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 a multitude of measures that bring library quiet to the cabin. In particular, Toyota engineers focused on reducing noises in the frequencies where 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.
Of course, with all the onboard connectivity Sienna offers (seven USB ports, available WiFi, optional JBL 1,200-watt amp/12-speaker Premium Audio and 1080p HD rear entertainment system), conversation is just one of the things made better by the quieter cabin.
If interior noise level should rise, say, due to a minor altercation between certain young passengers, 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.
In short, the Sienna offers all of the luxuries of a large SUV, but with room for a family, (7) USB ports and up to 18 cup holders.
Seeing the Invisible
The Sienna has always offered a high, broad view of the road that instills a feeling of confidence behind the wheel. 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.
Over the years, the Sienna has augmented its excellent outward visibility and sightlines with technology to see more of what’s behind and around the vehicle. The 2021 model delivers the latest generation of that tech:
- The standard backup camera features projected path, while higher grade models have a wide-angle monitor to show even more of what is behind the vehicle.
- Every driver could use a little magic now and then, and the Sienna has it with an available digital rear-view mirror. It functions as a standard mirror most of the time. But if rear-seat passengers or some cargo block the view to the rear, 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 conveniently operate garage doors and other compatible devices.
- 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 via voice recognition and steering wheel switch. The display projects vital information at eye level, such as speed, navigation directions and TSS 2.0 functions.
Hybrid Done Right
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 243 total horsepower and a manufacturer-estimated 33 combined MPG fuel economy, the latter setting a benchmark for the segment, all while operating seamlessly and transparently.
The Sienna driver will feel 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, and there is no need to ever 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.
Many Sienna owners have been repeat customers; a 2021 might be their second, third or fourth Sienna over the years. They’ll appreciate that, like all past models, the new version is strictly gas-and-go, but now with fewer stops for gas thanks to the hybrid system’s efficiency.
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 unlocks boost from the hybrid system for improved 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, including the HV battery, for 10 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 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. Then, through optimum accelerator pedal release timing guidance, 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 for an exceptionally attractive price.
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.
Torque distribution then varies with conditions, from 100:0 in constant-speed driving to 20:80 on slippery surfaces. Torque distribution is indicated on the Multi-information Display.
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. touch-screen, 6 speakers, AM/FM, Android Auto TM , Apple CarPlay® and Amazon Alexa compatibility; 7 USB ports; hands-free phone capability, advanced voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology, and SiriusXM® with 3-month All Access trial. Toyota Connected Services include Safety Connect® with 1-year trial and Wi-Fi Connect capability.
- Toyota Audio Plus (standard for XLE, optional for LE): adds to the above: AM/FM/HD radio, 8 speakers, Siri® Eyes Free and Safety Connect® with 3-year trial, and Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon (up to 2GB within a 6-month trial).
- Toyota Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation (standard on XSE): 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 have no packages but do 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 lavish 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.