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Anyone else pass on all hybrid Sienna lineup?

5185 Views 76 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  Dimitrij
Not being produced with a conventionally powered (only) options removed the new Sienna from our list. Just wondering if anyone else did the same.

No sour grapes, Toyota can do whatever it wants. As can I.
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The consensus that I've read seems to be that people love the hybrid Sienna for the gas mileage. There's some gripes related to interior build quality, noise, and some issues like faulty kick sensors draining the 12 V battery, but none of these are related to being a hybrid.

I test drove a 2022 RAV4 hybrid last year, loved it. I decided to both go for a minivan for more utility, and used for cost, otherwise I 100% would have bought a RAV4 hybrid or Sienna hybrid.

Why does being a hybrid remove the Sienna from your list?
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Rideshare driver with a 2022 XLE FWD. Bought it for the fuel economy and only the fuel economy. Haven't had kick sensor issue since I don't use them. They only work when they want to anyway so I don't bother. Biggest issue besides the ones you listed with it being so cold is the lack of heat. The Sienna build heats the same any other car does, but the engine isn't on as much so the coolant temp bleeds off very quickly in cold weather. Last night it was in high 20s and I didn't even break 35MPG. The engine had to be on more to keep the heat at 71, and the battery is less efficient as well.
My last couple tanks have averaged just under 21 MPG, so "not breaking 35" because the engine was on more for heat sounds really good to me still. ;)
Wikipedia says a 3rd gen with the 2GR-FE engine, which would have been the one in the drag race, has 266 HP. Toyota says the 2023 Hybrid Sienna has 246 net system HP. The engine is only somewhere around 186, but assuming your battery isn't empty, when you floor for acceleration like in the above video, you get 246 HP, not 186 HP.

Wikipedia also says the 1st gen Sienna was ~200 HP, second gen was 230 HP from 2004-2006, and then the 266 HP from 2007-2016 (covering 2nd and 3rd gens), jumping up to 296 HP in the end of the 3rd gen from 2017-2020.

I don't think my 2014 is underpowered, and specs (and video) show for brief acceleration the Hybrid is gonna be about the same. Maybe Toyota took a step back in the "horsepower wars" that seem to affect all cars these days, but it's still got just a little less power than the longest running engine (the 2GR-FE) that was used for 9 years, and more power than Siennas had before that.

Also, I will keep saying: Within a couple years, Toyota will have a plug-in Sienna hybrid, the Sienna Prime, that will have over 300 combined HP. This is based on the fact that the RAV4 ICE is 203 HP, the RAV4 hybrid is 219 combined HP, and the RAV4 Prime is 302 combined HP. The ICE engine between the RAV4 hybrid and prime (plug-in hybrid) didn't change, but the larger battery let them use bigger motors and put out way more HP for short periods.

My gut feeling is that people passing on the hybrid Sienna because it's a hybrid haven't actually ridden in a hybrid. Like many, I poo-poo'd the Prius...then I actual rode in a coworker's Prius and I was like "wow, this this is nice, and it has a surprising amount of power!" Then I watched Weber Automotive's video on the Toyota hybrid transmission and I was like "holy &*@# this hybrid transmission is so simple and WAY less moving parts than a normal transmission!"

If you are passing on a hybrid BECAUSE it's a hybrid, please, go actually test drive one. Or if you have any idea how normal transmissions work and just how many moving parts and fiddly bits they have, watch this video and prepare to have your mind blown how mechanically simple the Toyota hybrid transmission is:
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No power steering pump, fluid.
That’s not exclusive to hybrids. My 2014 Sienna has electronic power steering too. As did my 2020 Silverado.
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Where is the savings?
1) 4/5k premium for hybrid from traditional van
2) battery deteriorating over time
3) battery cost after 7/10 years @5k
4) total cost at end will be 10k more vs savings of 12k
Well, $12,000 - $10,000 = $2000. So right there? ;)

Also, the premium is an assumption. Remember, it costs companies money to offer multiple options. So what are the potential savings because the van does NOT exist as a hybrid? Could those not counter the normally seen price increase of a hybrid over non-hybrid? Closest comparison is probably the RAV4. The traditional RAV4 starting price advertised by Toyota is $2800 less than the hybrid starting price. This is going to be very similar to the Sienna, assuming a regular model even existed, because the RAV4 has a 1.6 kWh battery and the Sienna has a 1.8 kWh battery. The Sienna may have slightly bigger motors, but if it was even $4k I'd be shocked. Personally, I'm thinking there's quite substantial savings due to offering it ONLY as a hybrid.

I won't go over the battery life itself, but I do take issue with your cost analysis itself, regardless of life or cost. Assuming again it costs $5k, you can't consider the entire $5k in your example. Why? You have to depreciate it, like any asset. First off, you aren't likely to keep it 10 years, the battery dies, you replace it, and sell it immediately. Like everything about any vehicle, the health of the battery will affect the sale price. If you sell it with a failed battery, the price will reflect that. Likewise, if you sell it with a BRAND NEW battery, the price will reflect that your favor.

The best thing here, IMO, is to depreciate it linearly over the lifetime. IF the battery lasts 10 years, and costs $5k, then you should calculate the cost over the 10 years, and it would be $500 per year. Own the van 3 years? $1500 for the battery. Own it 17 years? $8500 for the battery.

In other news, I plan on saving with a hybrid too. I'm gonna make my bicycle a hybrid, by adding electric pedal assist. If I can replace my entire work commute with it, where I average ~18 MPG, then at $3/gallon, I will save $75 in gas a month. In 14 months I'll have paid for the $1000 motor and battery in gas savings*. Add in the health benefits of regular exercise, reduced wear and tear on my van, and we've got a no brainer!

*what about the electric cost for the bike? Well, that will be maybe 0.5 kWh a day, at most, or up to $1.30 a month, which is hardly worth this footnote.
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Constantly velocity transmissions belong in cheap Chinese scooters.
Please actually watch the video I linked. The Toyota hybrid drive system is NOT the sliding belt CVT.
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