2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum AWD in “Cypress” green

Consumer Guide Automotive, New Car Review2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum AWD

Class: Minivan

Miles Driven: 1492

Fuel Used: 42.5 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 35.1 mpg

Driving mix: 15% city, 85% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 35/35/36 (mpg city/highway/combined)

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceB-
Fit and FinishB
Fuel EconomyA
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyA
Tall GuyA
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Engine Specs245-hp 2.5 liter
Engine Type4-cylinder hybrid
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive WheelsAll-wheel drive

Fuel type: Regular Gas

Base price: $50,460 (not including $1175 destination charge)

Options on test car: Rear-seat entertainment system ($1415), 1500W inverter ($300), digital rearview mirror with Homelink ($200), temporary spare tire ($75), cargo organizers ($239), cargo tote ($51), roof cross bars ($200), wireless headphones ($100), cargo net w/ pouch ($49), rear bumper applique ($69), carpet floor mats ($220), coin holder/ashtray cup ($29)

Price as tested: $54,582


Quick Hits

The great: Excellent passenger room and comfort; outstanding fuel economy for the class; pleasant ride quality

The good: Smooth hybrid powertrain; long list of comfort and convenience features

The not so good: Not quite as powerful as class rivals; second-row seats can’t be removed; prices get steep in Platinum trim

More Sienna price and availability information


John Biel

It seems that the greatest challenge facing the designers of minivans these days is to not design a minivan. A few manufacturers—though hardly as many as there used to be—still want to offer a roomy box with sliding side doors and body sills that can easily be surmounted by seven or eight passengers. They just don’t want it to look like, you know, a minivan.

The new goal is to invoke an image of sport-utility vehicles. You’ll see this from the 2022 Kia Carnival, which replaces the Sedona that has traditional minivan looks. But first came the ’21 Toyota Sienna with its raised hoodline, enlarged grille, and flaring sheetmetal around the rear wheels.

2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
The Sienna is redesigned for 2021, gaining flashier styling, a topline Platinum trim level, and new tech features.

Beyond its sartorial choices, the fourth-generation Sienna is significant in going all hybrid. All five trim levels—LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum—are now powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine and a pair of electric motors in front for 245 system horsepower. Power flow is managed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This powerteam replaces the previous 296-horse 3.5-liter V6 and 8-speed automatic. All-wheel drive—with a third motor to act on the rear wheels—is available in all trims. Indeed, the Sienna is the only minivan available with the combination of all-wheel drive and hybrid power.

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2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
The Sienna’s dashboard layout is highlighted by a generously sized infotainment touchscreen and a slim storage shelf that stretches across the lower section of the dash. The unique “Bridge Console” provides a more car-like feel; the layout locates the shift lever close to the driver, and provides an open “purse porch” storage area underneath.

Consumer Guide editors put a top-line Platinum AWD through a high-mileage test that mixed local commuting with a long two-state trip. Its $51,635 starting price, with delivery, is $560 more than a front-drive version costs. (The upcharge for all-wheel drive varies with the trim level.) An option load headed by a rear-seat entertainment system brought the full price of the test van to $54,582.

The Sienna is as new inside as it is outside. A high-bridge console opens up floor-level storage space below it. The console meets the dash at a flat tray that houses the Qi-compatible wireless-charger pad (standard in the Limited and Platinum), and it holds four cup holders, two of them covered; a large covered storage box; a conventional stand-up shift lever; and few buttons for things like driving modes. Directly above this junction sits the 9-inch infotainment touchscreen and a long bank of buttons for the separately displayed climate system. The screen is easy to work through—inputting radio presets was a snap—but repetitive-push “hot/cold” arrows govern temperature settings.

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2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
Platinum models come standard with “Super Long Slide” second-row seats, which have 25 inches of fore/aft adjustability. The third-row-seat area is large enough to accommodate average-size adults.

Platinums come with the best the Sienna has to offer. Soft surfaces are well distributed around the cabin, though our long-haul driver found the armrests to be too thinly padded for true comfort. Standard features include a power sunroof, hands-free sliding side doors and liftgate, 12-speaker sound system, turn-by-turn navigation, 4-zone climate control, head-up display, heated steering wheel, and side-window sun shades for the second and third rows. Front and middle seats are clad in leather; all are heated and the front seats are ventilated, too. However, we were less than impressed by the 18-inch wheels with a metallic cladding that only simulated the look of real aluminum rims—a disappointing bit of cost cutting at this price point. Every Sienna has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa smartphone compatibility, as well as the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning with steering assist, lane-trace assist, rear cross-traffic alert, road-sign assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control that commendably managed to peer through torrential rain to detect a vehicle ahead.

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2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
There’s 33.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third-row seats, and 75.2 cubic feet with the third row folded into the floor. The temporary spare tire (a $75 option) is nestled behind a panel on the driver’s side of the cargo area.

Seven-seat Siennas—and that includes the Platinum—use reclining second-row captain’s chairs with “Super Long Slide” tracking, 25 inches of seat travel that opens up either immense leg room or, pushed forward, maximum cargo space. In front-drive versions a built-in lounge-chair ottoman is included (though Toyota advises it shouldn’t be used while the vehicle is in motion). Mesh-pocket bottle holders on the inboard side of these seats are a nice touch because the floor-mounted cupholders at the rear of the front console might be too long of a reach for little ones when the seats are slid back.

Now comes the “but. . . .” The seat travel necessitates some elaborate floor mats and retainers that can be easily snagged by a foot or sliding seats, and the tracks are long trenches for collecting stray french fries, gummy bears, and any other yucky debris that you can imagine. Plus, the captain’s chairs are not removable, which takes a toll on ultimate cargo capacity. At a maximum 101 cubic feet, the new model gives up 49 cubic feet to its predecessor. The 60/40-split third-row seats handily fold flat into the floor with the yank of a cord and pull of a lever. When in use, the reclining leatherette rear seats have the right height and potential legroom to comfortably serve a pair of adult passengers.

First Spin: 2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
With the redesign for 2021, all Siennas now have a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas-electric hybrid powertrain in place of the previous V6 engine. The Platinum comes standard with 18-inch “metallic” wheels.

The new Sienna cedes some speed for fuel economy. Hybrid transitions are laudably smooth and there is enough power on tap to capably pass vehicles on the highway. Towing capacity remains at 3500 pounds. Drivers can operate in “Normal,” “Eco,” or “Sport” modes (don’t get excited about that last one), and an “EV” setting allows for brief periods of low-speed all-electric running. EPA estimates for all-wheelers like the test vehicle are 35 mpg for city and combined driving and 36 mpg on the highway. After 66 miles of urban commuting, 72 percent of it in city-style driving, this reviewer recorded 47.35 mpg, while our “road-warrior” tester who put on more than 1300 highway-heavy miles (without the benefit of much electric assist) was consistently in the 30s and neared 40 mpg on one fill-up. His driving range exceeded 550 miles at best. With a new multilink rear suspension, the ’21 Sienna rides smoothly, Plus, it handles easily with fine steering feel and has better brake action than some hybrids.

In conclusion, it seems that the new Toyota Sienna values passenger room and comfort and fuel economy over power and cargo capacity. Those sound more like the virtues of a minivan than an SUV no matter what it looks like.

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2021 Toyota Sienna Platinum
It’s quite pricey in Platinum trim, but the redesigned Toyota Sienna is a capable, comfortable hauler that delivers excellent fuel economy in both city and highway driving, along with plenty of comfort and convenience features.

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