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Yep. I won't be buying a gen4 unless/until that is resolved. There's a whole thread on it already...

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Just saw that the mid row seats in the 2021 Sienna wont be removable due to the airbags being in the seats?
Not great for campers wanting to do a van build.
Oh Boy.
Even the gen 3 bothers me how the floor doesn't get completely flat. While I don't remove the seats regularly, when I do, flat is better.

Was thinking of getting a gen 4in a few years, once the kinks in the hybrid are all worked out. I never want to buy the first years of a new vehicle.
 

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Even the gen 3 bothers me how the floor doesn't get completely flat. While I don't remove the seats regularly, when I do, flat is better.

Was thinking of getting a gen 4in a few years, once the kinks in the hybrid are all worked out. I never want to buy the first years of a new vehicle.
Me neither , about buying first in a new Gen. So I have this great plan of going on many road trips since I am newly retired. I want to level the floor from the mid seats to just behind front seats in my 06. But at the moment I am occupied refurbishing a few vacuum tube amplifiers that I have had on the back burner for quite a while.
 

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I'll need to send you the chassis out of one of my old Philco radios and you can replace the dried out caps for me! Fortunately, my Edison and Victor windup phonographs don't require such nonsense maintenance, so we still have music in the house no matter how bad things get!
 
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Moved to Gen-4 section of the forum.
 

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Anybody saw anything on whether they will offer the AWD as an 8-seater? I would love to have a AWD, but not at expense of the middle seat in the second row like the current gen. I'd be fine with a 2-3-2 configuration. For the current generation it seemed they didn't want to compete with their SUV's rather than a technical issue
 

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Anybody saw anything on whether they will offer the AWD as an 8-seater? I would love to have a AWD, but not at expense of the middle seat in the second row like the current gen. I'd be fine with a 2-3-2 configuration. For the current generation it seemed they didn't want to compete with their SUV's rather than a technical issue
"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."

That is from the press release. The 2020 Sienna it was a technical issue, the driveshaft for the mechanical AWD system connecting the front and rear ran right through the middle where the middle seat would be, and also was the reason for no spare tire cause there was no place to mount it under the vehicle cause the driveshaft was in the way on the AWD models. Since the 2021 model is an eAWD system that doesn't have a driveshaft, I don't see why the 8 seat + AWD wouldn't be on offer. It appears the 8-seat will be only available on the LE and XLE. I'm looking to get an LE AWD with 8 seats myself.
 

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I never understood that. The drive shaft is under the floor. The seat would attach to the floor, very close to inner connections of the two outer seats. So I never understood why that was an issue.

I don't know if that press release says that some XSE's come as 7 seater or if the XSE only comes as a 7 seater. Darn. currently have an SE and love the handling. If I can only get leather if I get a 7 seater, I'll happily switch to an Odyssey. I can't imagine
 

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"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."

That is from the press release. The 2020 Sienna it was a technical issue, the driveshaft for the mechanical AWD system connecting the front and rear ran right through the middle where the middle seat would be, and also was the reason for no spare tire cause there was no place to mount it under the vehicle cause the driveshaft was in the way on the AWD models. Since the 2021 model is an eAWD system that doesn't have a driveshaft, I don't see why the 8 seat + AWD wouldn't be on offer. It appears the 8-seat will be only available on the LE and XLE. I'm looking to get an LE AWD with 8 seats myself.
The driveshaft to the rear wheels had nothing to do with why 8-seat AWD generation 3 Sienna were not sold in North America. Numerous 8-seat AWD gen 3 Sienna were exported to Europe - I posted a photo of one on this forum. The suspect reason that the 8-seat AWD gen 3 Sienna was not sold in North America was that the gross weight would have exceed the maximum allowed for its vehicle classification. Europe doesn't have the same vehicle classification system which may be why the Sienna sold in Europe has a substantially higher towing capacity - 4409 lbs. vs. 3500 lbs. for North America.

Maybe there's a similar gross weight limitation in the gen 4 Sienna or maybe is just about marketing. No idea.
 

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I would love to see that picture of that European AWD 8 seater Sienna. Could you repost the link please? Did you mean Canada by any chance?

I also heard that weight reason (as well as the driveshaft issue). But GVW includes "driver, passengers and cargo", so why not just reduce the max amount of weight you can carry in "driver, passengers and cargo" for those trims a bit? I imagine the two bucket seats combined weigh as much as the bench anyways. There are higher minima for people space and weight in the US vs Europe. That's why e.g. the Mazda 5 existed as a 7 seater in Europe but only a 6 seater in the US. the middle seat was not wide enough. But I'd have a hard time imagining that to be an issue for the Sienna.

Especially since the AWD system is leveraging the hybrid infrastructure, and all 2021 Sienna's are hybrids, you would assume that there is little extra weight between the AWD and FWD, so if GVW is an issue for AWD it should be an issue for FWD. I also don't understand why not all Sienna's are not offered as AWD. I need to pay $5k extra for the software that does AWD? or is the architecture different for FWD?

I still think it's a marketing/sales reason; they prefer to sell you an SUV. I understood Honda points you to the Pilot if you want an AWD 8-seater Odyssey. At the very minimum it’s just not an engineering requirement. If there was a big enough commercial reason for it, they could solve it.

For now I am solving this with a second set of rims with Blizzaks.
 

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The driveshaft to the rear wheels had nothing to do with why 8-seat AWD generation 3 Sienna were not sold in North America. Numerous 8-seat AWD gen 3 Sienna were exported to Europe - I posted a photo of one on this forum. The suspect reason that the 8-seat AWD gen 3 Sienna was not sold in North America was that the gross weight would have exceed the maximum allowed for its vehicle classification. Europe doesn't have the same vehicle classification system which may be why the Sienna sold in Europe has a substantially higher towing capacity - 4409 lbs. vs. 3500 lbs. for North America.

Maybe there's a similar gross weight limitation in the gen 4 Sienna or maybe is just about marketing. No idea.
ah thank you. Not sure where I heard my explanation from. That is interesting about gross weight classification. I had to look this up. It appears a class I light duty vehicle is <6,000 lb GVWR and the 2020 Sienna is rated at 5,995 lb. Seems like your explanation makes sense. The 2020 Mercedes Metris passenger appears to be a class II at 6,614 GVWR. The spare tire due to driveshaft I believe stands true.

Hopefully the eAWD and other lightening materials used like plastic third row frame will lower the weight to allow 8 passenger + AWD.
 

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I never understood that. The drive shaft is under the floor. The seat would attach to the floor, very close to inner connections of the two outer seats. So I never understood why that was an issue.

I don't know if that press release says that some XSE's come as 7 seater or if the XSE only comes as a 7 seater. Darn. currently have an SE and love the handling. If I can only get leather if I get a 7 seater, I'll happily switch to an Odyssey. I can't imagine
Unfortunately it doesn't appear the XSE will come as an 8 seater at least that is how I read the press release. The XLE trim on the 3rd Gen Sienna has leather so it appears that the 2021 4th Gen XLE would be an option to get leather + 8 seats.
 

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I would love to see that picture of that European AWD 8 seater Sienna. Could you repost the link please? Did you mean Canada by any chance?

I also heard that weight reason (as well as the driveshaft issue). But GVW includes "driver, passengers and cargo", so why not just reduce the max amount of weight you can carry in "driver, passengers and cargo" for those trims a bit? I imagine the two bucket seats combined weigh as much as the bench anyways. There are higher minima for people space and weight in the US vs Europe. That's why e.g. the Mazda 5 existed as a 7 seater in Europe but only a 6 seater in the US. the middle seat was not wide enough. But I'd have a hard time imagining that to be an issue for the Sienna.

Especially since the AWD system is leveraging the hybrid infrastructure, and all 2021 Sienna's are hybrids, you would assume that there is little extra weight between the AWD and FWD, so if GVW is an issue for AWD it should be an issue for FWD. I also don't understand why not all Sienna's are not offered as AWD. I need to pay $5k extra for the software that does AWD? or is the architecture different for FWD?

I still think it's a marketing/sales reason; they prefer to sell you an SUV. I understood Honda points you to the Pilot if you want an AWD 8-seater Odyssey. At the very minimum it’s just not an engineering requirement. If there was a big enough commercial reason for it, they could solve it.

For now I am solving this with a second set of rims with Blizzaks.
There's not much to see in this interior shot of an 8-passenger AWD Sienna that was offered for sale on a Swiss website.

Swiss market AWD 8-pass Sienna with five 2nd row seat rails.jpg

It appears that this Sienna started out as a 7-passenger with the extra seat rail added to turn it into an 8-passenger. It isn't a "one off" since I've seen similar 8-passenger AWD Sienna offered for sale in Switzerland and other European countries. I don't know who is importing them to Europe but I'm guessing that Toyota is in on it since many have the same in-dash Toyota branded navigation head units that are designed for Europe. They might have started out as Canadian market vehicles since they all have metric instrumentation.

Here's a photo of a Sienna sold by a German Toyota dealership which sells a variety of North American market Toyota models that are not officially sold in Europe. They have similar modifications for compliance with European requirements including to exterior lighting. The light in the center of the rear bumper cover is a rear fog light and looks like one from Hella.

2019 Toyota Sienna Germany - rear quarter view; white.jpg

We happen to have a 2-row 5-passenger Prius v which was sold in Europe as the Prius+ with 3 rows and seating for 7 passengers. There's been much speculation on a Prius forum on why the 7-passenger version wasn't sold in North America. The 3rd row seat looks awfully cramped. I saw a funny video on YouTube that shows seven big guys getting out of one ... and they weren't even wearing clown costumes.
 

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Only 8 seat models according to Alex on autos will be LE FWD, LE AWD, & XLE FWD. All other trims will be 7 seaters.
 

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Can the eighth seat in the 3rd Gen actually seat an adult comfortably? From pictures it looks like it is for kids only. Same with the Odyssey’s eighth seat.
 

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Can the eighth seat in the 3rd Gen actually seat an adult comfortably? From pictures it looks like it is for kids only. Same with the Odyssey’s eighth seat.
no it can not and that is probably why it has been discontinued in the upper trims. The sienna is all about the comfort level. That is why most go for a mini van over said SUV. I have had a 3rd gen sienna and now a 2020 highlander 7 seat. By far the 7 seat is way more comfortable for the second row occupants. Yes I can fit adults in the 3rd row too ( my sons are 5’10 and still growing.)
 

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no it can not and that is probably why it has been discontinued in the upper trims. The sienna is all about the comfort level. That is why most go for a mini van over said SUV. I have had a 3rd gen sienna and now a 2020 highlander 7 seat. By far the 7 seat is way more comfortable for the second row occupants. Yes I can fit adults in the 3rd row too ( my sons are 5’10 and still growing.)
Its probably the same reason as Geezer1 stated above, “The suspect reason that the 8-seat AWD gen 3 Sienna was not sold in North America was that the gross weight would have exceed the maximum allowed for its vehicle classification.”

It could be the LE has less content and is lighter allowing it to have an 8th seat in both FWD and AWD. The XLE only in FWD further has me believe this as maybe a XLE AWD as well as higher trims exceed the GVWR.
 

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I just had to laugh!..

I received an email this morning from Toyota touting the 21 Sienna as "the ultimate multi-tool" and "Whether you need a cargo van or a stylish ride, Sienna handles it all."

Ummm, without easily removable or stowable third-row seats it could never pretend to be a cargo van!

-Mike

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