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I'm looking to make my first minivan purchase for my growing family. Really only interested in Toyota for its reliability and practicality, and there's a lot to like about their Hybrid System and it's reputation for the past 10+ years. My concern is the murmurs coming from some about this Sienna and it lacking the power necessary for a 7 passenger vehicle. Not everyone agrees, so I'd love to hear from those of you who own and have spent some weeks driving it. Do you feel like it's underpowered? Does this pose a safety concern? Clearly it won't match the power of a V6, so I'm not wanting to make that comparison. I'm more asking from an objective driving experience, does the vehicle do what a vehicle should do. I'm not under the impression that minivans full of kids should be buzzing around, passing on 2 lane roads, flooring it onto a highway. I don't drive that way regardless, but I also don't drive a large vehicle full of people. That extra weight is the factor I'm not used to and would appreciate your thoughts.

I'd love to hear any positive or negative feedback from any 2021 Sienna owners. Thanks!
 

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I'm looking to make my first minivan purchase for my growing family. Really only interested in Toyota for its reliability and practicality, and there's a lot to like about their Hybrid System and it's reputation for the past 10+ years. My concern is the murmurs coming from some about this Sienna and it lacking the power necessary for a 7 passenger vehicle. Not everyone agrees, so I'd love to hear from those of you who own and have spent some weeks driving it. Do you feel like it's underpowered? Does this pose a safety concern? Clearly it won't match the power of a V6, so I'm not wanting to make that comparison. I'm more asking from an objective driving experience, does the vehicle do what a vehicle should do. I'm not under the impression that minivans full of kids should be buzzing around, passing on 2 lane roads, flooring it onto a highway. I don't drive that way regardless, but I also don't drive a large vehicle full of people. That extra weight is the factor I'm not used to and would appreciate your thoughts.

I'd love to hear any positive or negative feedback from any 2021 Sienna owners. Thanks!
The Sienna power is essentially the same as the V6 in my 2008 Honda Odyssey which does not lack power.
Sienna: 245 HP, 263 lb-ft torque, 4700 lb curb weright.
2008 Odyssey: 244 HP, 240 lb-ft torque, 4473 lb curb weight
So the only difference is about 225 lb in curb weight and the Sienna has more torque..
 

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I have a 21 xse AWD and it feels much faster than the 2014 Subaru Forester it replaced. On highway speeds to pass there is a slight delay for the power but everywhere else is good since electric power is instant. Not lacking at all. No sportscar but no lack either. 2 adults with 2 kids and a large dog.
 

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There are lots of reviews of the 2021 Sienna out there conducted by people unfamiliar with hybrids and whom like to zero in on differences in comparison to competitors to hype or demote the vehicle. Chief is that all the competition have V6 engines, so misunderstandings and innuendo on the I4 drive train and the CVT transmission are criticized unnecessarily. The other is hybrids don't necessarily have a relationship of engine speed increase to vehicle speed and acceleration - reviewers often call this drone. Think of an aircraft vs a traditional car, a jet spools up quickly and stays at constant speed, and it gets going fast to flight. A traditional car starts accelerating, but engine speed more closely tracks increase in speed in-between shifts of the transmission. Hybrids act more like the jet until they accelerate to the desired speed.

Test drive the system, watch you speedo, and how quickly it climbs during your "normal" driving circumstances, but try to disassociate the engine speed with perceived acceleration. It's not a sports car, but it gets a relatively large/heavy vehicle up to routine speeds competently and smoothly. Then drive it with the cruise control on, at normal highway speeds, and see that it has no problems with hills, cabin noise is good, and mileage is better!

At the end of the day, 245HP on a 4,700# vehicle is very reasonable power to weight ratio and not under-powered, also keep in mind that the electric motors allow more torque a lower speeds than the conventional V6 counterparts. Keep in mind most 40' RVs, Tour buses, and tractor trailer rigs have 400-600HP with weights ranging from 40-80K pounds and move just fine, but are not acceleration demons.
 

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It’s has plenty of power needed for its purpose and expected driving style. Especially excellent at low speed stop and go from the instant electric torque.

I know it’s not a good indicator but I have driven 140 miles on our XSE AWD, the fuel gauge hasn’t moved below the F line yet.

The brakes definitely can be better though. Feels like I’m towing an invisible small trailer when braking
 

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The following graph shows that this engine has an amazing Brake Thermal Efficiency of 39% in the range of 1700 to 3200 rpm. Toyota has designed the control system in conjunction with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) so that the engine with normally operate as near as possible to this rpm range to obtain maximum efficiency and mpg. Whereas the rpm of a non-hybrid engine will gradually increase during acceleration, the hybrid engine immediately goes to a higher rpm and the CVT changes the gear ratio as vehicle speed increases. Going immediately to this higher engine rpm is the reason for the so-called "drone". It does not mean that the engine is struggling.

49121
 

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It’s a full second to 60mph slower than my 2007.

-Mike
Only if you drive it wide open throttle 😀, this van is a cruiser for our family. Maybe because I’m living in Los Angeles, but even freeway on ramps don’t require flooring it.

Definitely don’t drive it like I do my IS-F or S2000
 

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We almost just bought one but ended up buying a used '18 XLE.

Test drove the new XLE for a day. It definitely gets you where you need to be.... but I will say that it sounds as if the 4 cyl is really running hard when you need to accelerate going onto the freeway, etc. It doesn't feel powerful in the least bit.... particularly compared with the older model or the Odysseys.

Still really liked the car but found a deal that worked for us on the '18. The interior features and the driver's assistance tech is much nicer on the new model, as you'd expect. And city driving at lower speeds is plenty peppy.
 

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Its underpowered compared to last years Sienna especially. But on its own, its OK, it just sounds underpowered because Toyota didn't do enough to isolate the engine noise like they did with its near twin, the Highlander Hybrid. Who knows why, cost cutting? Weight? They should at least put acoustic glass on the windshield and front windows.
 

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Here's a video where they actually measured 0-60 using GPS device (it's called Draggy and is very accurate up to 0.1sec). So 2 people in the van and 6% uphill incline to really tax the powertrain and see if its up to the task. So they got 11.4sec - which is slower than Toyota Prius 9.7sec - which is probably in top 3 slowest cars currently available for sale in US. Now if you add to equation another peculiar fact that Toyota doesn't like to advertise - very limited max payload, I don't remember the exact number, but its written on a drivers door sill sticker - something like 950lbs max. Which is much lower than 3rd gen. or lets say similar other vans (Pacifica Hybrid has x1.5 more payload ability, gas model has x2 more max payload). So that shows that 4-cyl. hybrid powertrain has its limitations. That is also confirmed indirectly by the fact that it indeed has to rev up high to provide adequate dynamics. Highlander Hybrid that has exactly same powertrain is also a bit buzzy under load, but not as much as in Sienna - which is perfectly understandable as Sienna is about 300lbs more than highlander Hybrid. Now imagine that same scenario like in video - you are on a family trip going uphill with 7 or 8 people and baggage, maybe even roof box on top, full tank of gas etc. My guess is 0-60 will be even worse, something like 14-16sec? I don't know what it will be, but this is why folks raise concerns about it.
That been said, I personally think that power is adequate. My reasoning is that in that situation (which is worst case probably I should say) with full car of people on a trip going uphill - who really needs to race it to beat 0-60? No one. All that will happen is you'll floor it to climb up safely (extra added 8 sec to 0-60 won't matter in that case, in that kind of climbing and driving) and as soon as road becomes less uphill - you'll be again cruising casually like nothing happened. Besides situations like that (full van of people, steep uphill etc) happen very rarely and even when they do - they are brief and don't require fastest 0-60 out of any car. So my point is that short answer is: no, it's not underpowered. I think it has a good balance of power and fuel efficiency and for a van its more important to have good mpg than fast 0-60 imho. Just my opinion man.


that uphill climb 0-60 starts at about 9:40 mark in video.
 

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I've test driven the 2021 Sienna 3 times now, a XLE twice and recently a LE. I'm comparing the vehicle to the Subaru Tribeca that I'm currently driving. The Tribeca has a 260HP boxer engine. The Sienna does not feel underpowered at all. It's designed as a family hauler, not a sports vehicle. Has good pickup and go. Will accelerate when pushed. Definitely has engine drone under hard acceleration but if you want a higher performing vehicle then this may not be the vehicle for you. If you want something that has decent performance with amazing gas mileage then this is a great choice.
Ultimately, take it for a test drive and see for yourself.
 

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Here's a video where they actually measured 0-60 using GPS device (it's called Draggy and is very accurate up to 0.1sec). So 2 people in the van and 6% uphill incline to really tax the powertrain and see if its up to the task. So they got 11.4sec - which is slower than Toyota Prius 9.7sec - which is probably in top 3 slowest cars currently available for sale in US. Now if you add to equation another peculiar fact that Toyota doesn't like to advertise - very limited max payload, I don't remember the exact number, but its written on a drivers door sill sticker - something like 950lbs max. Which is much lower than 3rd gen. or lets say similar other vans (Pacifica Hybrid has x1.5 more payload ability, gas model has x2 more max payload). So that shows that 4-cyl. hybrid powertrain has its limitations. That is also confirmed indirectly by the fact that it indeed has to rev up high to provide adequate dynamics. Highlander Hybrid that has exactly same powertrain is also a bit buzzy under load, but not as much as in Sienna - which is perfectly understandable as Sienna is about 300lbs more than highlander Hybrid. Now imagine that same scenario like in video - you are on a family trip going uphill with 7 or 8 people and baggage, maybe even roof box on top, full tank of gas etc. My guess is 0-60 will be even worse, something like 14-16sec? I don't know what it will be, but this is why folks raise concerns about it.
That been said, I personally think that power is adequate. My reasoning is that in that situation (which is worst case probably I should say) with full car of people on a trip going uphill - who really needs to race it to beat 0-60? No one. All that will happen is you'll floor it to climb up safely (extra added 8 sec to 0-60 won't matter in that case, in that kind of climbing and driving) and as soon as road becomes less uphill - you'll be again cruising casually like nothing happened. Besides situations like that (full van of people, steep uphill etc) happen very rarely and even when they do - they are brief and don't require fastest 0-60 out of any car. So my point is that short answer is: no, it's not underpowered. I think it has a good balance of power and fuel efficiency and for a van its more important to have good mpg than fast 0-60 imho. Just my opinion man.


that uphill climb 0-60 starts at about 9:40 mark in video.
The payload on the LE awd is 1430 lbs according to Toyota.ca
 

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Keeping it in perspective, the '21 Odyssey has a payload of about 1,600#, the Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are 1,500 and 1,300 respectively, so the Sienna is squarely in the ballpark. So any of these vehicles with 7 passengers, with 4 being football player-sized adults (250#/ea) are likely at the payload capacity, and that does not include luggage, or many other combos of pax and cargo. Don't forget to throw in the tongue weight of a trailer at 350# if you're towing as well. All this is not a complaint or rant, just reality of the market segment. Many full-sized SUVs are in a similar situation with less than 2,000# payload, except for the Uber-sized 3/4 ton suburban class vehicles.
 

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I remember driving an old Ford truck, 1970's model, manual of course, 117hp on a good day with 87 fuel if you are lucky, and when you approach a medium grade hill, you accelerate, then double clutch the pedal, then throw it into 1st gear and push pedal to the metal and keep it there floored. It was climbing at about 30-35mph speed and you were hoping for engine to not stall suddenly, because there was no guarantee brakes will hold it on the hill.

That my friends was underpowered. Sienna is fine.
 

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I wonder if we can somehow insulate firewall and hood to make engine less buzzy in cabin? That will mostly alleviate majority of concerns owners have.
 

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Coming from a 15 Sienna and then an 18 Odyssey the 21 Sienna feels just fine to me. Don't feel I'm missing any get up and go from the others we've had.

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I haven’t exactly stressed mine with a real heavy load yet, but so far it has plenty of power for my needs. The only problem is the off-putting sound/loudness of the engine under moderate to heavy acceleration. You will be reminded fairly often that you’re driving a 4 banger. But, every time you hear that noise, just do what I do and think about the awesome fuel economy you’re getting for such a large/heavy vehicle.
 
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