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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Like many of you, I'm considering a 2021 Sienna, specifically an LE, XLE, or XSE. As I've been lurking on this forum, clicking through the Toyota build configurator and studying my region's inventory on buyatoyota.com, I figured I would join the forum and summarize what I've learned about some configurations that appear to have limitations related to other options.

Frankly, I'm experiencing a bit of sticker shock and struggling how to explain to my wife why the sticker price on the cars I'm looking at are in the range of $43-$45k. She seems frustrated because the van starts much cheaper. Starting sticker price on the 2021 Sienna is ~$35k (really ~$36k sticker with destination).

At least in my region of the US, below is my analysis of the options. I hope others in a similar situation can share their thoughts and opinions about how to optimally configure and keep the sticker price reasonable.
  • AWD and 8 passenger is only available in LE trim. AWD/LE sticker is $38k including destination (without the LE Plus package).
  • 8 passenger and non-cloth seats (Softex, aka Leatherette) is only available in XLE FWD.
  • 8 passenger models have sliding seats but not super-long-slide seats. The 8 passenger models with the small center seat removed/stowed still qualifies as having "captain's chairs" in my opinion. Note: the middle row seat belts on a 7 passenger with the super-long-slide seats are integrated into the frame of the captain's chairs whereas the middle row outboard seat belts on an 8 passenger are housed in the frame of the car. The location of the seat belts is related to the lack of super-long-slide in the 8 passenger.
  • There are several versions of the 7 passenger middle row captain's chairs. The Limited/Platinum are real leather instead of Softex (Leatherette) on XLE/XSE. The only trims with the 7 passenger middle row ottomans are Limited/Platinum and the only way to get seats with both ottoman and heated middle row captain's chairs is Platinum. The rest of this post is for those who have eliminated the Limited/Platinum from consideration and are trying to keep the sticker closer to or less than ~$45k.
  • AWD is a $2000 upcharge on LE and XLE, but only a $760 upcharge on the XSE. This is because the XSE AWD downgrades from the XSE FWD 20" black wheels to 18" metallic wheels. Bonus: 18" tires apparently ride smoother and replacement tires will be cheaper. I read this as Toyota values the 20" wheels as a $1240 upgrade.
  • Adding the spare tire option ($75 a-la-carte or as part of a package) means you lose the place to stow the 8 passenger removable 2nd row middle seat. Only a small percentage of Siennas appear to be configured with the spare tire option anyway. So happy hunting to those of you who must have a spare.
  • Roof rails seem to be a great value at only $150 a-la-carte, but almost all inventory you will likely find with roof rails have them included/paired as part of the $2300+ LE Plus Package, the $2000+ XLE Plus Package or the $1300+ XSE package. I have seen one car (out of ~300) in my region's inventory on buyatoyota.com with this a-la-carte option. It was a blue FWD LE with roof rails as one of the only options and it sold a few days ago. Someone got a nice van at only $36k sticker including destination.
  • The $2300+ LE Plus Package ($38k/$40k FWD/AWD sticker including destination) includes black roof rails, is the only way to add a sunroof to the LE, it upgrades the stereo to the mid-tier (what comes with the XLE & XSE before option packages) and adds a wireless charging pad but does not add navigation.
  • The $2000+ XLE Plus Package ($43k/$45k FWD/AWD sticker including destination) includes black roof rails, upgrades the stereo to the top-tier JBL version with subwoofer, adds navigation, and adds a wireless charging pad. Based on the XSE Plus package pricing below, Toyota is valuing the navigation at $700. With CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation isn't worth this much to me. One conundrum is: say you want roof rails and would prefer seats that aren't cloth? The cars in stock this way are $43k sticker instead of $36k starting price.
  • The $1300+ XSE Plus Package ($44.5k/$45.2k FWD/AWD sticker including destination) adds roof rails, JBL stereo and wireless charging and is only $1300 because the navigation is included with the XSE.
  • The 1500w inverter and built in middle row entertainment system appear to be bundled together for $1700 (XLE) or $1400 (XSE) extra, but can only be added to the XLE or XSE on top of the above “Plus Package”. The sticker prices with these options are too expensive for me. My two kids use iPads anyway.
  • $45k AWD conundrum: XLE or XSE with Plus Packages (but no inverter/entertainment package). As was pointed out in another thread, you may have noticed if you want both AWD and the "Plus Package", that the XLE and XSE are basically the same price. So choose whichever exterior/interior trim you prefer. See the note below, especially if you are thinking about a white XLE or XSE.
  • My observations/opinions on exterior color choices in the LE, XLE, XSE trim levels:
    • Two premium colors: Blizzard Pearl (White) and Ruby Flare Pearl (Red) are $425 options. The Blizzard Pearl is available on the XLE. The Ruby Flare Pearl is available on the LE, XLE and XSE.
    • Note: If you want a white van, the LE and XSE are Super White (a more basic white clear coat) that you don't have to pay extra for. I actually prefer the Super White to the Blizzard Pearl. The Super White will be much easier to maintain if you like to apply touch up paint over the years. A Blizzard Pearl XLE does look really nice and glossy, at least when both new and clean. I saw a 2021 Blizzard Pearl Sienna XLE at a dealer the other night and it did look really nice.
  • My observations/opinions on interior color choices:
    • LE only comes in gray cloth
    • XLE graphite (gray) is overall a little more neutral than the chateau (beige). Heads up: before deciding on an XLE with beige/chateau I suggest you look at plenty of pictures (e.g. dealer pictures of an actual car on cars.com) of the beige XLE interior and consider the beige on the dash and all the black plastic on the seat bases that in my opinion take away from how nice a beige interior can look in other cars, e.g. a Lexus. Usually I would prefer a beige interior with a white or red car, but not my preferred choice on a 2021 Sienna for the reasons above. In my mind, the graphite/gray just blends in significantly better.
    • XSE (Dark) Gray Flannel and Black Softex is a little more neutral than (Light Gray) Moonstone and Black Softex. The Moonstone is a trendy two-tone. However the (Dark) Gray Flannel and Black Softex may be hotter in the summer.
Alright, that's about as far as I've gotten in over-analyzing the options. Hey, if I'm going to spend $43k-$45k I want to get it right. What are all of you thinking about the options and the pricing implications?
 

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thanks so much for the write-up. This write-up has been the most useful piece to me than any review I have seen so far.

As far as I am concerned, honestly, I have been a little disappointed. Firstly because of the spare tire saga (I really need a spare tire) and secondly because of the sticker price shock. Like you, I also have two little ones and need a minivan as a family hauler but this much of a price tag for an XLE/XSE withwhat we’re getting in return leaves a lot to desire. And to add insult to injury, having to deal with the unprofessional/rude dealership staff makes this an agonising experience to go through in an already challenging life during covid-19.

I have gotten a little tired with having to chase an almost non-existent inventory coupled with the bad attitude of incompetent yet rude dealership staff. My brief research of checking with various dealerships is that dealerships are only getting a few units (some recieved 2, some three to four with most of them only getting LE, and XLEs with conservative color schemes) I think I will wait for the moment as its all just too much. Perhaps I might start to look again around Feb/Mar and hope that by then dealerships will have some more units on their lots.

Good luck with your hunt and thanks again for such a wonderful write up.
 

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  • XSE (Dark) Gray Flannel and Black Softex is a little more neutral than (Light Gray) Moonstone and Black Softex. The Moonstone is a trendy two-tone. However the (Dark) Gray Flannel and Black Softex may be hotter in the summer.
Good that XSE offers an alternative to an all dark interior, Moonstone would be our choice. But I wish the headliner and A & C pillars would switch to gray to match the mid-level panels, vs. remaining dark to match lower panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks so much for the write-up. This write-up has been the most useful piece to me than any review I have seen so far.

As far as I am concerned, honestly, I have been a little disappointed. Firstly because of the spare tire saga (I really need a spare tire) and secondly because of the sticker price shock. Like you, I also have two little ones and need a minivan as a family hauler but this much of a price tag for an XLE/XSE withwhat we’re getting in return leaves a lot to desire. And to add insult to injury, having to deal with the unprofessional/rude dealership staff makes this an agonising experience to go through in an already challenging life during covid-19.

I have gotten a little tired with having to chase an almost non-existent inventory coupled with the bad attitude of incompetent yet rude dealership staff. My brief research of checking with various dealerships is that dealerships are only getting a few units (some recieved 2, some three to four with most of them only getting LE, and XLEs with conservative color schemes) I think I will wait for the moment as its all just too much. Perhaps I might start to look again around Feb/Mar and hope that by then dealerships will have some more units on their lots.

Good luck with your hunt and thanks again for such a wonderful write up.
You're welcome and I'm glad you found it useful. It was helpful for me to write out everything that I've been thinking.

I think you are correct that dealerships each only got a few initial deliveries. And I like the idea of targeting to buy in Feb/Mar with hopefully more stock to chose from and before the summer buying rush.
 

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Good that XSE offers an alternative to an all dark interior, Moonstone would be our choice. But I wish the headliner and A & C pillars would switch to gray to match the mid-level panels, vs. remaining dark to match lower panels.
I agree that the headliner and pillars being dark is a bit distracting. I am not totally sure I've got this right, but that could be one of the main reasons why I like the XLE graphite color so much is that it has the lighter headliner.
 
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