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My interpretation of the 4x8 plywood thing is that it it will fit more or less standing on edge (slightly tilted) between the middle row seats but that it will fit front to back without a strange angle. No idea if that is with or without the center console or with or without the fridge/vacuum. That is just how I read the same things everyone else is reading.

And, no, I doubt anyone outside of Toyota (if that) has physically tried to put a 4x8 sheet of plywood in a 2021 Sienna.

-Mike

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I'll be buying this van for hauling my kids, i have an open trailer I can put plywood or furniture in, or my truck, so this isn't a deal-breaker to me. Nice to have, sure.
 

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I have to agree with rocky5000100 since I also have a pickup and trailers to handle any building projects or large objects I need to move. Wife and I are considering a new Sienna to replace our Yukon XL Denali and removable 2nd row seats are a non-issue for us..
 

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They will be removable. But how much work to get it done? Maybe just few bolts and unplug a wiring harness? We'll see...
Sadly, the side impact air bags are built into the middle seats!! Seriously--how short sighted of Toyota. I own large dogs and we were waiting for the updated safety features and hybrid version of the Sienna--such a disappointment.
 

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Sadly, the side impact air bags are built into the middle seats!! Seriously--how short sighted of Toyota. I own large dogs and we were waiting for the updated safety features and hybrid version of the Sienna--such a disappointment.
Just wondering. What is the tie between large dogs and removable second row seats? Couldn't you just fold the second row seats forward and the third seat down? How do you secure the dogs when traveling?
 

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The reasoning behind the non-removable seats is that the second row seats now include Thorax Side Impact Air Bags built into the seat. Toyota doesn't want people removing seats with airbags in them. I'm guessing this is to future proof side impact scores. Still a bummer not being able to remove. I'm betting if doing a Van Conversion you could still remove them by undoing bolts and wiring harness like someone else mentioned. I believe I read the Hybrid battery is under the first row so I don't see why you couldn't remove the seats permanently.
The issue for me is that I want second row seats sometimes and sometimes I don’t. That’s never been a problem in my previous Siennas.
 

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Then it's not "User removable". Just like new laptop have non-removable batteries. Sure you can take apart the laptop and remove the battery. But that is the nature of "non removable".

A minivan without removable 2nd row seats would be a no-sale for me. Just like a minivan without fold flat 3rd row would be a no-sale as well.
agree..if i can't remove the 2nd row it's a no sale
 

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This is Toyota's answer to how you can transport a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Would you feel comfortable transporting it this way?

Screen Shot 2020-10-24 at 5.13.40 AM.png
 

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That'd be fine in a pinch to me. If I'm buying more than that, i'd be busting out my trailer instead. Easier to load a trailer than remove seats IMO.
 

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I can rent a pickup from my local big-box hardware/lumber store for $19 for the first 75 minutes. If I had something that big to bring home, I would just do that. For $19, it's worth avoiding the hassle of having to remove and reinstall the second row seats (even in the current generation Sienna) and the chance that the interior panels get scratched.

I recently brought home a number of 10' gutter downspout sections. They slid very nicely between the second row seats and rested nicely on the center console.
 
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I had been driving my 2004 XLE Limited AWD for 13 years, with probably 10 out of those 13 years with the left 2nd row seat removed from the vehicle. It gives me comfortable 6 ppl (5+driver) mover with unmatched ease of 3rd row access and a huge and long cargo space with even floor with a simple fold down of the larger part of the third row. And removing the 2nd row seat was a simple handle pull.

In my new 2017 XLE AWD, I can still remove the 2nd row seat, but now I have that stupid carriage sticking out of the floor. Agreed, it can also be removed, but this already involves tools etc. OK, if I prefer my Sienna in a more or less permanent 6-seater configuration with even floor cargo space, I can still do it, albeit with a bit more effort.

But having 2nd row seats "non-removable by design" is too much to my taste. Agreed, with proper tools and perceverance you can unbolt/unplug whatever you want from your car, but...

Is it a deal breaker? Well, there may be more important dealbreakers, we'll have to see. Hybrid as the only available powerplant is much more of a concern/doubt for me...
 

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This is Toyota's answer to how you can transport a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Would you feel comfortable transporting it this way?

View attachment 47621
I wouldn't be comfortable with that unless it was a very short trip. Instead, I would use the roof rack and some tie downs.
 

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In a new The Fast Lane Car video, they measure behind the second row seats. It was 73”. Possible for most people to sleep while car camping, but a lot of lost space. They also did a drag race with the honda odyssey and the Sienna lost.
 

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GTRV is able to install popup in 2020 or earlier model Sienna. Yet they are not confirming to do the same on 2021 model. Otherwise, it could be a pretty sweet little camper van without removing the 2nd row seats. By removing the 3rd row seats, it should have enough cargo space to install a kitchen pod. Also the spot which used for fold down 3rd row seat space can be used storage space.
 

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Honestly this might affect YOU, but the grand majority of minivan buyers will never even attempt to remove the 2nd row and thus will never see this as an issue.

Do you really think even 5% of minivan buyers care about this much less a large enough percentage where this will actually affect Toyotas sales on this model?
Enough people are interested in vanquished second row seats that Chrysler has spent tremendous engineering effort to create and refine the stow-and-go system. Quite a few people look past Chrysler quality and buy their vans just because of that system. The Pacifica Hybrid gets a lot of negative press because the second row seats aren't removable.

Yes, the majority of people buy a van to haul people, but I believe a good number also buy vans not because they have seven people to haul but because they can also use it for infrequent hauling instead of a pickup. For most residential duties, a van is way more useful than a pickup. The Home Depot lumber cart is a few inches higher than the load floor, so 4x8 sheets slide in with ease. Pickups these days require objects to be lifted considerable higher than necessary, and the bed is still too short to hold them inside. For most anything other than dirty items, a big empty box is more useful than a dinky little bed high off the ground. And you can almost forget reaching over the side of the pickup bed to get the the middle of the bed, whereas with a van you open the sliders and have easy access to the middle of the 'bed'.

I think to a lot of people it is assumed the second row seats of a van are always removable, and I would think there are going to be some unhappy customers when they find out the seats aren't meant to come out.
 

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In a recent Cars.com article it states Toyota spokesperson said the reason for non removable seats was to incorporate the long-slide seats by having airbags in the seats. I thought it was for future crash scores originally. I agree with the article it’s just dumb that the LE for example without the super long-slide seats is still stuck with non-removable seats.

https://www.cars.com/articles/2021-toyota-sienna-review-a-strange-brew-428846/
 

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This is a dealbreaker for me. I use the van to haul all the time, and much less (now that kids are older) as a people hauler. Guess I'll be keeping the '08 Siennaxle running as long as possible, unless/until a solution suitable for the home mechanic emerges. Offering an option of shorter travel seats would seem to be one possibility; no reason to saddle everyone with a 'feature' useful mainly for realtors and executive haulers. My kids are 6'4" and the standard '08 second row seat travel was fine.
 

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Someone who works for Toyota posted in another group that the 2nd row seats can be removed by unscrewing a few bolts and disconnecting a wire harness. So, it will be possible and hopefully simple.
I really hope so. Why are all these posters that are discounting our concerns even reading this thread? GET A LIFE of your own.
 
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