2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid Crossover

The Toyota Venza Hybrid is a new urban crossover that focuses on technology, intuitive performance, and design

An exterior view of the 2021 Toyota Venza

The all-wheel-drive Toyota Venza has starting prices of $33,745 to $41,075. (Toyota)

Table of Contents

Overview
Pricing
Warranties
Safety Features
Interior
Performance
Ride and Handling
Why buy the Toyota Venza?
Specifications

BY MARK MAYNARD

On several levels, the new Toyota Venza hybrid is next-level transportation. Its advanced technologies are formidable but presented as a buffet to pick and choose, not to force-feed the user. It has user functionality for the electronically sophisticated or a first-time user.

Venza is a very targeted vehicle in the popular sweet spot of midsize, five-seat crossover SUVs. Venza is more of an urban crossover that focuses on technology, intuitive performance and sophisticated design, Toyota says. The two-row Venza is positioned between the RAV4 and Highlander, which are considered more adventurous crossovers.

The Toyota Venza has an electrochromic

The electrochromic glass roof can switch views from transparent to frosted. (Toyota)

Brought-back nameplate

The nameplate was brought back from a prior Toyota Venza that was sold in the U.S. from 2008-2015. The new 2021 Venza for North America shares a foundation with the Japanese-market Harrier crossover SUV. But the Venza is most comparable to the RAV4 Hybrid, with which it shares the majority of hybrid hardware.

Projector LED headlights on the Venza Limited.

Projector LED headlights on the Venza Limited. (Toyota)

2021 Toyota Venza Overview

For the U.S. the Venza is a hybrid-only model with standard on-demand all-wheel drive. The electronically smart system uses a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. The driver does nothing to engage the system, it’s all done through a multitude of sensors.

The gasoline-electric powertrain is comprised of a 2.5-liter direct-injection four-cylinder gas engine, three electric motors, and a lithium-ion battery pack.

Venza might be compared to such five-seat competition as the Ford Edge or Nissan Murano. But as an all-wheel-drive hybrid, it is in a class of its own. And with its high-quality interior materials, it is more of a premium choice than the Ford or Nissan.

Compared to the RAV4 hybrid, the Venza is 5.7 inches longer with a 1.3-inch lower roofline. And it is heavier by 133 pounds, which cuts about 1 mpg from fuel-economy ratings.

2021 Toyota Venza Pricing

Venza is sold in three all-wheel-drive trim levels. Starting prices range from $33,745 for the entry LE to $37,275 for the XLE and $41,075 for the Limited. Pricing includes the $1,175 freight charge from Aichi, Japan.

Today’s Limited tester was $43,200 with the Star Gaze panoramic roof ($1,400) and Advance Technology package ($725). The tech package includes a head-up windshield display with speed and hybrid-system indicators.

The expansive electrochromic Star Gaze roof is a unique luxury feature in this mainstream segment. The driver can switch the glass from a transparent view to frosted. Back seat passengers will appreciate the softer light and reduced glare of direct sunlight. But is a pricey courtesy that I’d like better for $400.

The Limited is well equipped with such features as smart-key locking and push-button ignition, Softex-trimmed upholstery, a rearview camera with guidance lines, and a bird’s-eye view with perimeter scan. There’s even a rear camera lens washer.

Interior features include heated and ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel, digital rearview camera mirror, nine-speaker JBL premium audio, and a 12.3-inch touch screen and touch-capacitive controls. The dynamic navigation system features an enhanced 2D landmark display that shows lane guidance and freeway exit displays.

Connectivity features include Bluetooth phone and music, Apple CarPlay (with Siri), Android Auto (with Google Assistant), and Amazon Alexa.

Find lease and purchase pricing incentives here.

The capacitive touch screen in the Venza

The capacitive-touch controls for heat-fan-temp are logically grouped,  but it takes eyes from the road to make adjustments. (Toyota)

2021 Toyota Venza Warranties

Standard warranty coverage for Venza is 3 years or 36,000 miles bumper to bumper. It includes 2 years or 25,000 miles of factory scheduled maintenance with 24-hour roadside assistance. The powertrain is covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Hybrid warranty coverage includes 10 years or 150,000 miles for the battery and 8 years or 100,000 miles for the hybrid system.

2021 Toyota Venza Performance

Venza’s gasoline-electric powertrain combines a 2.5-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine with three electric motors. Two motors are at the front wheels and one at the rear for AWD.

The gas engine has 176 horsepower, which rises to an overall total of 219-hp with the 88-kW (118-hp) permanent-magnet synchronous motors. A rear 40 kW (54 hp) motor powers the AWD. The lithium-ion battery pack totals 252 volts among 70 cells at 3.6-volts per cell for 650 volts maximum.

The continuously variable transmission (eCVT) has a sequential shift mode and selectable driving modes of normal, eco, and sport. An EV mode allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances. There’s also a “downshift” feature to boost regenerative braking.

The regen-braking and EV modes will be engaging to some, but I did not feel the need.

The fuel economy ratings seem achievable at 40 mpg city, 37 highway, and 39 mpg combined, on 87 octane fuel. (That compares to the RAV’s 41/38/40 mpg.)

Setting cruise control at 68 mph, I quickly worked up to 38.4 mpg combined on highway runs. My around-town mileage was consistent at 32-35 mpg in my test week of 232 miles. When finished, the computer indicated 312 miles to empty. With the 14.5-gallon tank, a long-distance commuter could expect well over 500 miles to a fill-up.

The hybrid engine system in the Venza

Total system power is 219-hp with the gas engine and electric motors. (Toyota) 

Reading the road

Among Venza’s advanced technologies is the driver-selectable Predictive Efficient Drive. It uses the navigation system to analyze driving habits and memorize road and traffic conditions to help optimize hybrid battery charging. The PED system learns repeating routes and can predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. Through so-called “optimum accelerator pedal release timing guidance” the system can help reduce fuel and battery consumption.

PED can also help optimize battery charging and discharge ahead of hills or traffic congestion. When approaching a downhill section, for example, the system is designed to apply more engine braking to boost the charge going to the hybrid battery.

Venza’s driver-assist systems

The standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 allows Level 2 semi-autonomous driving. The system integrates all-speed dynamic radar cruise control and lane change assist, front cross-traffic alert, and pedestrian alert.

Always keep both hands on the wheel while using the semi-autonomous features.

The system capably keeps the car centered in the lane, but like most systems, it will randomly shut off. That might be due to variable light and road-surface conditions. This type of safety system will be beneficial for those drivers who have daily commutes in heavy traffic. The sensors are an extra six eyes on the road to watch for less-attentive drivers.

The safety system includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and intelligent high beams.

2021 Toyota Venza Safety features

Venza’s safety designs earn top stars from two testing agencies. The National Highway Safety Administration ranked it five stars overall, with five as the top rating. In frontal collisions, the Venza earned four stars for driver-side protection and five stars for the front passenger. It aced the overall side crash category with five stars each in side barrier and pole tests, front and rear seats. And four stars for rollover risk.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave it a Top Safety Pick for the XLE and Limited models with the LED projector headlights and high-beam assist.

Contributing to its high rankings is Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) active safety systems. Other standard safety features on all trim levels are eight air bags, stability and traction controls, brake-force distribution, brake assist, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

Ride and Handling

The Venza might be considered a citified version of the RAV4 Hybrid, but I found it to be very different. The exterior styling is urban-attractive with the look of an electrified vehicle.

It is very quiet rolling over most highway surfaces even with the 19-inch Bridgestone Ecopia tires. These “green” tires have a fairly hard treadwear rating of 600, but that also translates to warranty coverage of 70,000 miles.

Braking is absolute with vented 12-inch front discs and 11.1-inch solid rear. It will take time for the driver to adjust to brake-pedal pressure. Stepping on the pedal can feel like an on-off switch as it passes through the inch or so of regen-gap to the actual grip of braking.

At 3,913 pounds, the Limited can feel weighty on lumpy road surfaces as the independent suspension works to control the heaves of imbalance. The ride quality is robust and secure, yet soft and comfortable. It’s more about easy driving than getting happy on a twisty road, but I’m sure that’s OK for this buyer.

2021 Toyota Venza Interior

Because Venza is an “electrified” platform, it needs some underfloor capacity for battery storage. The result is a high-riding vehicle but without tall interior space, which feels low and wide.

Aerodynamics are maximized by its sleek exterior design and sloping roof. Front headroom for some might be a bit low at 38.1 inches with the Star Gaze roof, or 38.6 inches without. The front legroom of 40.9 inches is competitive but potentially limiting to the big-and-tall set.

The Limited’s interior is well dressed in soft-touch materials. There is neat stitching and the plastics throughout have a quality appearance top to bottom.

A door panel in the Venza shows quality materials and assembly

The Limited’s interior is well dressed. (Toyota)

All models have an eight-way power driver seat (with seat cushion tilt). The front passenger has just four-way adjustment, but it should really be six-way, with height adjustment.

The power driver’s seat smartly includes an auto slide-away function, which automatically moves to the rearmost position. It will be a valued asset to drivers of all sizes. The rake of the windshield and roofline creates the potential for a duck-and-enter sequence.

There is a command-center design to the driver area, but it’s not all that efficient for small-item storage. The shift console is largely consumed by the shifter, but a row of shift buttons would allow more space for a place to lay a phone.

There is a charging e-bin just ahead of the shifter with a pair of USBs, an audio aux-in, and a wireless charging pad. But space might be slim for those with big hands.

The capacitive-touch controls for heat-fan-temp are logically grouped on a tier just above the shifter, but it takes eyes from the road to stab at raising the temp or adjusting the fan speed. Lower-trim models have a simpler pair of large dials for temp control and a tier of hard buttons for fan speed and vent flow.

Digital mirror

The Limited also has a digital rearview mirror, which is intended to improve visibility behind the vehicle. It can be handy when passengers’ heads or stacked cargo gets in the way of rearward views. But because I wear glasses, my eyes struggle to focus quickly enough when I glance at the mirror, so I just flip it to manual mode.

Driver sightlines are generally open. There is a small corner glass at the windshield pillars for a snip of cornering view. Over-the-shoulder views are slightly crimped by the tapering rear side glass and the front seat’s broad upper shoulder bolsters also complicate peripheral views. But the wide bird’s-eye view camera system gives an around-view and a perimeter scan for fully functional parking.

The turning circle is tighter than many midsize sedans, at 37.4 feet with 19-inch tires or 36.1 ft. with 18s.

Back seats and cargo area

The rear headroom isn’t bad at 36.9 inches or 38.1 without the pano roof. But it would help rear entry if the doors were engineered to open a few degrees wider or for easier access when buckling a child into a car seat.

Legroom of 37.8 inches is more than generous, but with long-legs in front the space seems almost cramped. A lowish exhaust tunnel benefits (occasional) three-across seating. But all passengers will enjoy the big pano roof and its light-switching mode.

The lithium-ion battery pack is small enough to be installed under the rear seats, so it does not take up any cargo or passenger space.

Cargo space is tight for a midsize SUV at 28.7 cubic feet behind the back seat. The roofline is low at 28 inches from floor to ceiling and the lift-up to the floor is tall at 32 ½ inches. The entry opening is wide at 39 inches. Fold the 60/40 back seat for 6 feet of long-item length.

There is some deep basement storage (where the standard tonneau cover can be stored) and there is an actual alloy wheel for the temporary spare.

The back seat in the Toyota Venza

Back seat legroom of 38.3 inches is generous unless someone tall is seated ahead.

Why buy the Toyota Venza?

Carmakers can lead the public to fuel-saving vehicles, but the purchase rate is wildly variable. Toyota has been masterful at giving that cup of cold water rather than dumping a bucket of technology over the heads of buyers.

The Venza brings the number of 2021 Toyota hybrids to 10 – and the fuel-cell-powered Mirai makes it 11 electrified vehicles.

There is remarkable simplicity for the highly electrified Venza. Use as much or as little as you wish, while enjoying its forefront styling and upscale interior. It can be driven as “just a car” and still earn more than 35 mpg.

2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid Limited  Specifications

Body style: midsize, 5-seat crossover SUV with on-demand all-wheel drive

Engine: 189-hp, direct-injection 2.5-liter 4-cylinder; 163 lb.-ft. torque at 5,200 rpm

Electric motors: 2 88-kW 118-hp, permanent-magnet synchronous front; 40 kW rear

Hybrid battery pack: Lithium ion; 252 volts; 70 cells; 3.6-volts per cell; 650 volts maximum

Combined net power: 219-hp

Transmission: eCVT with sequential shift mode

Fuel economy: 40/37/39 mpg city/hwy/combined; 87 octane

Base price: $41,075, including $1,175 freight charge; price as tested $43,200

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2021 Toyota Sienna XSE: a toy box of possibilities

The 2021 Toyota Sienna is a complete redesign and exclusively powered as a gasoline-electric hybrid

2021 Toyota Sienna XSE exterior.

The sport-themed 2021 Toyota Sienna XSE adds dark 20-inch split five-spoke wheels, more aggressive front and rear bumpers and an interior black headliner. (Toyota)

 

BY MARK MAYNARD

You can fit just about anything in a minivan — except an ego. These three-row people movers are the most efficient modes of transportation, yet ownership has been traumatized ever since the damning label of “Soccer Mom Mobile” was applied. It nearly killed the segment. Mention of the word brings polarized responses, like “hell-no never” to “make way for the welcome wagon.”

To spackle over the crazed aversion, manufacturers have long tried to offer sporty variants, which were usually received with a shrug and “Meh.” Anybody who wanted a van, didn’t need it to be cladded-up and those who didn’t want a van would not be tempted by cosmetic enhancements.

A side view of the new Sienna minivan

Despite the Sienna’s 17-foot-length, it drives “small” with a high seating position, low step-in height and big windows. (Toyota)

So those carmakers with struggling minivans sales dumped them, including Ford and GM. Today, there are just four 2021 minivan choices: the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona (soon to be replaced by the Carnival) and today’s tester, the Toyota Sienna.

Toyota’s sculpted redesign of its 2021 Sienna makes for a more credible sporty variant in the new XSE model. Whether for minivan-hating parents or their children, the Sienna is a big toy box of possibilities, and now a greener choice.

Front seats in the Sienna minivan.

The shifter and necessary functions are all within easy reach, along with cup holders, wireless charger and yet more storage bins for smaller items. (Toyota)

Pricing for the 2021 Toyota Sienna

The first Sienna went on sale in the United States as a 1998 model and is now in its fourth generation. It has been designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S. since it debuted.

The 2021 Toyota Sienna is a complete redesign and exclusively powered as a gasoline-electric hybrid, with optional all-wheel drive and seating for seven or eight.

A view of the Sienna's rear end

Toyota applied a few styling tricks to tone down the traditional minivan styling. Among them, a “speedy” pillar at the rear cabin is dynamically angled forward. (Toyota)

It is sold in five trim levels of LE, XLE, XSE, Limited and Platinum. Starting prices range from $35,635 for the eight-seat, front-drive LE to $51,710 for the seven-seat Platinum AWD. Pricing includes the $1,175 freight charge from Princeton, Ind.

Some XLE models and the XSE, Limited and Platinum are seven-seat models and feature the super-long-slide second-row captain’s chairs, and the Limited and Platinum FWD models have ottomans.

Electronic on-demand AWD is just a $760 option.

The XSE Plus package ($1,000) adds wireless phone charging, black roof rails, 12-speaker JBL audio, 9-inch touch screen and dynamic navigation with 3-year trial and connected services.

2021 Toyota Sienna front seat features with the under-console storage area.

The broad span of the instrument panel has a step-down shelf, handy for the passenger to lay a phone. (Toyota)

Pricing incentives for APR, cash and lease.

Warranty coverage

Hybrid-related components that require repairs to correct defects in materials or workmanship are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles from original date of first use when sold as new. The hybrid battery is covered for 10-years/150,000-miles and is transferrable across ownership.

The new-vehicle warranty includes 3-years/36,000-miles bumper to bumper; 5-years/60,000-miles powertrain; and 2-years/25,000-miles ToyotaCare, free factory scheduled services and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Super long slide second-row seats.

There is nearly 3 feet of NBA legroom provided by the super-long-slide second-row captain’s chairs, which also recline. (Toyota)

Styling

Here’s how Toyota tried to take the minivan out of the styling:
• A speedy pillar at the rear cabin is dynamically angled forward;
• Thin bands of LED lighting at the taillight flow from the body to the rear to create a signature impression;
• Integrated black taillight canard looks cool but also improves aerodynamics;
• Sculpted tailgate with an integrated spoiler is made possible by a molded resin process.

The minivan's gearshift console.

The shift console is cleverly designed to integrate storage and cup holders. (Toyota)

How does the 2021 Toyota Sienna drive?

No tachometer, no wedgie-inducing front seats, no problem.

As a father now graduated from child-rearing years, I always liked testing minivans, and not just because my two charges ran to do homework in the van.

It’s the view from the inside out that mattered — not that I might be judged a “soccer dad,” though my step-daughter was a brutally effective club soccer player.

Ride quality in the XSE is slightly sport-tuned but never harsh or pitchy. There is good driver connectivity between the steering input, braking response and acceleration.

Second-row captain's chairs.

The interior storage opportunities are a vertical ecosystem of tiers, trays and cubbies. In all, there are 18 cup holders and seven USBs. (Toyota)

The front-drive XSE has 20-inch Michelin Primacy all-season tires, P235/50; AWD models get 18-inch tires, P235/60. Its exterior appearance is somewhat sportified by dark 20-inch split five-spoke wheels and aggressive front and rear bumpers.

Despite the Sienna’s 17-foot-length, it drives “small” with a high seating position, low step-in height and big windows, with privacy glass behind the front row. Driver sightlines are open across the hood and over the shoulder and the turning circle is refreshingly modest at 38.2 feet, though you’ll have to swing a little wider when steering into the parking stall.

The XSE has dark chrome wheels and all-season tires.

The appearance of the XSE is somewhat sportified by dark 20-inch split five-spoke wheels. (Toyota)

Four-wheel disc brakes work without regen-grab common to some of Toyota other hybrid models. Ventilated discs front and rear are towing capable (up to 3,500 pounds) with 12.9-inch discs front, 12.5 inches rear.

Safety

The Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) system includes a pre-collision system with daytime and low-light vehicle and pedestrian detection, plus daytime bicyclist detection. Automatic braking is activated by PCS if the driver does not react in time in certain emergency situations. The system also can detect a vehicle ahead, a bicyclist or pedestrian in low light situations.

Other standard equipment on all trim levels are 10 air bags, stability and traction controls, brake-force distribution, brake assist, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert.

Driver-assist systems

The standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 package of technologies allows Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, while keeping both hands on the wheel. Keeping the Sienna on the correct track is enhanced all-speed dynamic radar cruise control and lane change assist, lane tracing assist, front cross-traffic alert and pedestrian alert.

The system capably keeps the car centered in the lane, but like most systems it will randomly shut off, sometimes due to variable light and road-surface conditions. This tpe of safety syystem will be beneficial for those drivers who have daily commutes in heavy traffic. It is an extra six eyes on the road to watch for less attentive drivers.

2021 Toyota Sienna Softex trimmed seat upholstery.

Softex-trimmed seat upholstery and heated power front seats are standard on the XSE. (Toyota)

Powertrain

The Sienna’s gasoline-electric hybrid system integrates a 176-horsepower, direct-injection 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, a front-drive 134 kW (180-hp) permanent-magnet synchronous and a 40-kW rear.

Toyota’s use of a nickel-metal hydride battery pack isn’t as technologically high-powered as a lithium-ion battery pack, but I couldn’t tell a difference, it just works. With  288-volts, the battery pack lets the Sienna roll for blocks on silent battery power at low speeds or creeping in traffic. This is the same well-tested system Toyota has used for years.

With a combined power of 245-hp, there was no lag in launch power and it will cruise comfortably at highway speeds. The electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) has a sequential shift mode, but I didn’t feel the need. The CVT kept the power easily controlled under my right foot.

Official fuel economy ratings are 36 mpg city, 36 highway and 36 mpg combined for front-drive and 35/36/35 mpg AWD, using the recommended 87 octane. In a test week of 142 miles, my average fuel economy ranged from 27.5 to 29.8 mpg, and it was still building when I had to exit the freeway.

Cabin comfort

The entire cabin of the 2021 Toyota Sienna is well-soundproofed and quiet rolling with the Michelins.

Interior storage opportunities are a vertical ecosystem of tiers, trays and cubbies. In all, there are seven USBs, six of them for charging, 18 cup holders, onboard Wi-Fi and the optional Driver Easy Speak, which is essentially a built-in PA system that carries the driver’s voice through the audio system to the rear seats — and the source of the disturbance.

The broad span of the instrument panel has a step-down shelf, handy for the passenger to lay a phone and the door panels have spacious bottle storage and a shallow tray. Toyota says the unique Bridge Console is key to allocating personalized space to the driver and front passenger. Positioned high between the driver and passenger, the bridge  connects the instrument panel to the center armrest. Beneath the bridge is a large open area to stow out of sight larger items such as a purse or bag. But the bridge takes away the once-familiar step-through for parents to slip into the back seat for child care or discipline.

The shift console is cleverly designed to integrate storage and cup holders, of which there are four. A cutout for the two smaller cup holders nearest to the driver’s elbow are made dual purpose with a tip-back lid that leaves a 6-inch-wide by 1.24-inch slot for a phone, errand list or note pad. One of the larger cup holders nearest the wireless charging pad and a charging USB also integrates a phone-size slot.

There is deep storage in the armrest console (12 inches to the bottom) with a pair of charging USBs. The space is handy for holding the pair of wireless headphones for the optional rear-seat entertainment system.

The Toyota Sienna's cargo area with folded third-row seats

Split & Stow third-row seats are cleverly engineered, but it takes a hefty tug to stow or restore the seats. (Mark Maynard)

Back seats and cargo

Kick-activated sliding doors and the back seat step-in height of 18 inches is child-reasonable. There is nearly 3 feet of NBA-class legroom provided by the super-long-slide second-row captain’s chairs, which also recline. Manual sunshades in the second row are assets as are two more charging USBs.

Power ports in the Toyota Sienna's cargo area.

The cargo area has a 1500-watt household power plug, and third row occupants have access to a pair of charging USBs. (Mark Maynard)

And there is another pair of charging USBs in the third row, which is a Split & Stow design. It takes a hefty tug to stow or restore the seats and the flat area when the seats are stowed has no covering so dog crates or other such materials might not ride flat without bolstering.

Woodland Special Edition

Adventurers will be able to embrace their nomad lifestyle this fall with the Sienna Woodland Special Edition. Pricing has not been announced but is expected to start at around $45,000, including all-wheel drive and raised suspension.

Special features include:
• 1500-watt capable power outlet (to power most household items for a day trip or an overnight camping excursion);
• Tow hitch with a 3,500-pound trailer weight;
• Roof rails with crossbars;
• Exclusive Cement exterior color;
• Black sport trimmed seats with unique stitch color;
• 18-inch wheels;
• Dark chrome-colored accents;
• Black badging;
• Navigation with 12-speaker JBL 1200-watt audio system.

Other standard Woodland Edition equipment includes super-long-slide second-row captain’s chairs, Split & Stow 3rd Row Seat, kick-activated sliding doors, heated front driver and passenger seats, sunshades in the second row and a total of seven USB ports across all three rows.

And with every sale, Toyota will make a $250 donation to the National Environmental Education Foundation. The effort will be a guaranteed minimum donation of $250,000 to support NEEF’s mission to make the environment more accessible, relatable and connected to people’s lives.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Edition.

The 2022 Woodland Edition will go on sale in the fall in the exclusive Cement paint color, with standard all-wheel drive and a raised suspension. (Toyota)

Why buy the 2021 Toyota Sienna?

With the substantial baggage most drivers drag along with them every day, a rational society might think that a minivan would be a top seller. But minivans are like green vegetables — we know should eat more of them, but for many it is the sexiness of SUV fast food that wins the sale.

The Sienna is a green and very inviting for an extended road trip. My average fuel economy of 28-plus-mpg was impressive, though I never transported a van full of people.

Its exterior styling is attractive and somewhat eye-catching on the road … for a minivan. But it is the inside where this minivan far exceeds any utility of an SUV or its fuel economy or ease of entry — and all that with a tow rating of 3,500 pounds.

2021 Toyota Sienna XSE FWD

Body style: Full-size 7- to 8-seat front- or AWD minivan
Engine: 176-hp, direct-injection 2.5-liter 4-cylinder; 176 lb.-ft. torque at 4,400 rpm
Electric motors: 134 kW (180 hp) permanent-magnet synchronous front; 40 kW rear
Hybrid battery pack: Nickel metal hydride; 288 volts; 40 cells, 7.2-volts per cell; 650 volts maximum
Combined net power: 245-hp
Transmission: eCVT with sequential shift mode
Fuel economy: 36/36/36 (FWD) 35/36/35 (AWD) city/hwy/combined; 87 octane

SPECIFICATIONS
Fuel tank: 18 gal.
Cargo space: 33.5-75.2 cu. ft. behind 2nd/3rd rows
Front head/leg room: 40.1/40.3 in.
2nd row head/leg room: 39.3/39.9 in.
3rd row head/leg room: 37.4/38.7 in.
Length/wheelbase: 204.1/120.5 in.
Curb weight: 4,675 lbs.
Turning circle: 39.2 ft. FWD (20-inch wheels); 38.3 ft. AWD (18-inch wheels)
Tow capacity: 3,500 lbs.
Coefficient of drag: 0.28

Safety features include: 10 air bags, Toyota’s Star Safety System (stability and traction controls), brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart-stop technology, blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, includes pre-collision system with daytime and low-light vehicle and pedestrian detection, plus daytime bicyclist detection; full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control; lane departure alert with steering assist; automatic high-beam headlights; lane tracing assist; and road sign assist

PRICING
Base price: $42,000, including the $1,175 freight charge. Price as tested $46,843
Options on test vehicle: Ruby Pearl metallic paint $425; Rear seat entertainment system with 2 wireless headphones $1,415; XSE Plus package $1,000; 1,500-watt power inverter $300; Rear bumper applique $69; Floor and cargo mat package $294; wheel locks $65
Where assembled: Princeton, Ind.
Warranty: 3-years/36,000-miles basic bumper to bumper; 5-years/60,000-miles powertrain; 10-years/150,000-miles hybrid battery; 8-years/100,000-miles hybrid system; 2-years/25,000-miles ToyotaCare, free factory scheduled services and 24/7 roadside assistance

Mark Maynard

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