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GUTTED by the decision that 2nd row is non-removable.

Ugh. Was really looking forward to Gen4. Now I'll have to keep my Gen2 running a while longer until I find a new direction.
Yep. I feel the same way. I thought maybe I could possibly get over not removing them, but no remove AND no fold! The reason I love minivans so much is because of their flexibility. It's not just that they can carry people comfortably. I'm going to run the wheels off my 2007.

-Mike

-Mike

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Why? Its mechanical twin, the Highlander does.
Because Toyota is moving more and more towards "electrification". I think they would consider adding a gas-only engine to an all-hybrid vehicle a step backwards. Assuming the engine bay has room (and with that nose, I'd be surprised if it didn't!), there's nothing mechanically preventing it. I just think it's a marketing/management decision, not necessarily anything preventing it from an engineering perspective.

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Guessing that Sienna has gone all-hybrid for CAFE reasons, not to mention ease of manufacturing with a single powertrain. Toyota sells more than double the number of Highlanders vs Siennas, so the engine choice went there.

The CVT is likely the power-split device seen in the Prius and other Toyota hybrids, rather than the belt used in say the Corolla. Optional spare tire - yes please, our Sienna is attracted to nails and has gotten 3 flats.

Bridge console? I don't crawl out often, but it's handy to do without reclining the driver's seat. Perhaps they'll switch to a Prius-style stub for the mid-cycle refresh.

I'm curious to see if the 8th seat is any wider than it was in the 3rd gen, since we use the van for hauling family. Guessing here that the wired-up 2nd row seats will flatten forwards but, no pictures. We're in no rush to replace our almost 16 year old van, but it's not going to last forever. I don't see any dealbreakers for the 4th gen Sienna, it's going to be a matter of when, not if.
 

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Because Toyota is moving more and more towards "electrification". I think they would consider adding a gas-only engine to an all-hybrid vehicle a step backwards. Assuming the engine bay has room (and with that nose, I'd be surprised if it didn't!), there's nothing mechanically preventing it. I just think it's a marketing/management decision, not necessarily anything preventing it from an engineering perspective.

-Mike

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Do you guys remember the 4 cylinder option for the Sienna? No one bought it, even though it got better gas mileage. Toyota quickly dropped it. Never-mind now that the the hybrid adds an exponentially higher level of complexity to a family car. Make it an option at least.
 

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GUTTED by the decision that 2nd row is non-removable.
Agreed. I'm hoping the 2nd row seats aren't actually that hard to remove, but they have to be marketed as are non-removable to avoid the liability of someone forgetting to plug the wiring harness back in when they reinstall the seats and then the airbags not working. I don't know a minivan owner who HASN'T taken out all the seats at some point to haul stuff. If they truly can't be removed, I'll buy a different vehicle.
 

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Not being able to fold the second row seats may be a deal breaker to me, I hope this is not true. have to actually see this in person. Heck I do this all the time to haul cargo. How did they come up with 162 cu ft cargo capacity if the second rows, only slides a bit forward but cannot be folded flat. Not being able to fold the seats flat was one of the shortfalls of the 2018 Honda Odyssey but now rectified in the 2021 model refresh. How could Toyota engineer designers dropped the ball on this?
 

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I thought one of the design principles for a full-size minivan is transporting 4x8 sheet goods. Another should be ease of access of any seat to another...

This is what happens when you have a whole generation of car designers who think their craft is akin to the fashion industry instead of a close partnership with engineering. I never really understood the whole "form over function" problem until seeing what has happened with the auto industry over the past 15 years - when it goes all wrong.

Marketing, too. If you have a popular product (SUV's) and niche product (Minivans), is it always a forgone conclusion that the niche buyer actually wants something more like the popular buyer? I like minivans BECAUSE they are different.
 

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Do you guys remember the 4 cylinder option for the Sienna? No one bought it, even though it got better gas mileage. Toyota quickly dropped it. Never-mind now that the the hybrid adds an exponentially higher level of complexity to a family car. Make it an option at least.
We've owned a TCH for 12 + years. The stuff that broke has had nothing to do with HSD (typical water pump seal issues, dash degradation, stereo speaker degradation). Even at its current age and mileage, the car is much smoother and more responsive than the 17 SIenna. I'm mourning the ugly stick beat-down the new van has gotten (those rear fenders - really? The ramora nose? Ugh!)
The HSD setup has been one of Toyota's best efforts - with smooth, responsive power and excellent fuel consumption, particularly in the crawl-and-go family taxi / school pickup duty. The current gen 8 speed tranny isn't the worst one out there, but HSD spanks it. After close to 20 years, I would consider the Toyota HSD as well-proven technology, no more (and in some ways less) complex then the contemporary ICE-only vehicle.
 

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I'm good with everything but the non-removable middle seats. I will wait to see if that is actually true as Goldfish4 mentioned above.
 

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New 2021 Sienna article by Motortrend. The article says they think a Prime (PHEV) version is in the works. Motortrend confirms with Toyota engineers that new Sienna was engineered with PHEV ability in mind.
Hopefully the wait won't be too long.

 

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New 2021 Sienna article by Motortrend. The article says they think a Prime (PHEV) version is in the works. Motortrend confirms with Toyota engineers that new Sienna was engineered with PHEV ability in mind.
Hopefully the wait won't be too long.

That's great to hear! Maybe by the time we are ready to buy it will have a PHEV option with removable seats. A guy can dream!

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I bought a 2018 Limited, due in large part to the ottoman foot rests. I love using them while watching a movie, it has to be a more luxurious experience than riding in a Rolls-Royce.
It’s my first minivan, and I’ve been surprised how often I remove the middle row seats to haul large items. The Kia minivan middle row seats cannot be removed, which is why I didn’t even cross shop it versus the Sienna. I believe Toyota has made a massive mistake with the new Sienna by making the middle row seats non-removable.

I was strongly considering upgrading to the new version, but will now wait for the PHEV and hope the engineers get their act together, read these comments and design middle row seats that can be removed.
 

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Not being able to fold the second row seats may be a deal breaker to me, I hope this is not true. have to actually see this in person. Heck I do this all the time to haul cargo. How did they come up with 162 cu ft cargo capacity if the second rows, only slides a bit forward but cannot be folded flat. Not being able to fold the seats flat was one of the shortfalls of the 2018 Honda Odyssey but now rectified in the 2021 model refresh. How could Toyota engineer designers dropped the ball on this?
I saw a picture somewhere where the seats were folded down.
 

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I'm in especially if they ground clearance is near 7". I don't care about the seats not being removable (they fold) and they've given it the highlander engine. I like the mileage so don't need anything else. I'm don't need a refrig or vacume in my vehicle though. Now pricing?????
 

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I don't care about the seats not being removable (they fold)
I hope you're right. Where is the pic/article/link that you saw a folded seat? There is a pic I saw that looked like a folded seat at first but it turned out to be the ottoman seat.


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New 2021 Sienna article by Motortrend. The article says they think a Prime (PHEV) version is in the works. Motortrend confirms with Toyota engineers that new Sienna was engineered with PHEV ability in mind.
Hopefully the wait won't be too long.

There seems to be conflicting information out there about whether or not there will be a Prime PHEV version of the new Sienna in the future. This article mentions that Toyota executives say it's unlikely.


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