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Minivan Wars part 1: 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid


When it comes to minivans there really aren’t a lot of models to choose from. Buying one is not like buying an SUV where you can shop till you drop and still not know what you want. Toyota, Chrysler, Honda and Kia are your options, and each brand has one minivan. Publisher Tim Esterdahl and his wife, Heather, decided to drive them all, starting with the 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid, and report back in a fun series of videos we’re calling the Minivan Wars.

Hybrid is standard

The most unique thing about the 2021 Toyota Sienna is that it is only available as a hybrid. This means no matter what trim level you choose, you are going to get excellent fuel economy, great torque at take-off and be able to feel good about your purchase.

The next thing you’ll notice is that Toyota left the boxy van look behind when they completely redesigned the exterior of the 2021 Sienna. It is now sporty with strong lines and rounded corners making it look more like a grown-up Highlander SUV than a minivan.

Things to love about the 2021 Toyota Sienna

First up, the Esterdahls appreciated the rubber floor mats throughout. Anyone with kids or pets can tell you that Murphy’s Law dictates that accidents will happen in a new car. For Tim and Heather, this meant Cody would spill his milkshake. But in the Sienna, it’s no big deal because the removable rubber floor mats are easy to hose off in the driveway or at the carwash and there are no stains in the carpet to remind them of this incident every day for the next 10 years.

Heather also loved the around-view cameras and being able to change the views with the click of a button. However, she wasn’t impressed with the placement of said button or the camera quality. Still, she felt having this technology made the Sienna a safer ride and gave her confidence in situations where visibility is limited.

How does the hybrid drive?

Many times people are hesitant to buy a hybrid, thinking the engine will be weak. Maybe they’ve experienced eco-mode in another car and assume a hybrid vehicle will be good for the environment but not for the driving experience. This is a faulty assumption. Hybrids are some of the most-fun to drive because at take-off they combine the power of the gas engine with the electric motor giving you extra torque and pep right off the line. Heather was impressed with how this van drove and seems to have really enjoyed her time in it.

Watch the video and let us know what you think of the 2021 Toyota Sienna. Do you agree with Heather on the things to like and dislike?

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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