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They controlled it to make it fair for the FWD model who's output is 243hp - my guess.
Yeah I'm sorry about taking this thread but I thought its interesting to note it since the OP did ask about differences between AWD and FWD.
I am glad you brought this up. My apologies if I sounded otherwise.

For what I care, even if Toyota doesn't claim it, I think this is a HUGE plus point. Let's say Toyota/Some might think it doesn't ADD to 243HP or show up on Dyno. However, it might still kick in and give extra boost to make sure it reaches 243HP in some difficult circumstances where FWD might fall short.
 

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Let's say Toyota/Some might think it doesn't ADD to 243HP or show up on Dyno. However, it might still kick in and give extra boost to make sure it reaches 243HP in some difficult circumstances where FWD might fall short.
Yes, this is the other point I was also trying to make.
Even if the net power is 243hp, the AWD has a better way of putting that to the wheels (its kind of obvious when said).

I randomly looked up the torque for the 2021 Sienna and found this.

EngineElectric (front, center)
Power180 hp (134 kW)
Torque199 lb·ft (270 N·m)
EngineElectric (rear, center)
Power54 hp (40 kW)
Torque89 lb·ft (121 N·m)


I didn't capture the full page but the two torque are one from the engine and another from the rear motor.
When the van starts off, the 4 wheel power distribution indicator shows all 4 wheels going off the start and then hands it off to front wheels only.

I didn't test drive a FWD model but how does it work when it only has 199 lb-ft?
From my seat of the pants test, my 2010 Honda Pilot with 250 lb-ft of torque had a much tougher time spooling up power to peak torque than the Sienna.
The Sienna is heavier. But the green light take offs are so much better.
 

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Yes, this is the other point I was also trying to make.
Even if the net power is 243hp, the AWD has a better way of putting that to the wheels (its kind of obvious when said).

I randomly looked up the torque for the 2021 Sienna and found this.

EngineElectric (front, center)
Power180 hp (134 kW)
Torque199 lb·ft (270 N·m)
EngineElectric (rear, center)
Power54 hp (40 kW)
Torque89 lb·ft (121 N·m)


I didn't capture the full page but the two torque are one from the engine and another from the rear motor.
When the van starts off, the 4 wheel power distribution indicator shows all 4 wheels going off the start and then hands it off to front wheels only.

I didn't test drive a FWD model but how does it work when it only has 199 lb-ft?
From my seat of the pants test, my 2010 Honda Pilot with 250 lb-ft of torque had a much tougher time spooling up power to peak torque than the Sienna.
The Sienna is heavier. But the green light take offs are so much better.
Yup. This helps strengthen the case for extra $560 for AWD Platinum.

On different, but similar subject, the Uphill struggles are more than obvious. I am about to post my experience on other thread about it.
 

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Yup. This helps strengthen the case for extra $560 for AWD Platinum.

On different, but similar subject, the Uphill struggles are more than obvious. I am about to post my experience on other thread about it.
There is something that this discussion misses about AWD. When you are at highway speeds, electric is off and the only thing that pulls the car is just v4 gas. I believe this was something people complained. While test driving I didn't go above 70, but I guess if you are at 80-85 this may likely matter. Do folks have some thoughts on this?
 

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There is something that this discussion misses about AWD. When you are at highway speeds, electric is off and the only thing that pulls the car is just v4 gas. I believe this was something people complained. While test driving I didn't go above 70, but I guess if you are at 80-85 this may likely matter. Do folks have some thoughts on this?
I am not sure this so but I haven't explicitly looked to confirm one way or the other. I do recall seeing on hybrid monitor that electric and ICE both turning wheels at various speeds. The AWD monitor has also shown rear electric motor kick in to action at various speeds.
 

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The discussion on the AWD/FWD is interesting since Toyota does not change any specs with respect to net system power for the drive-line differences. From the perspective of the potential actual torque curve generated at various RPMs of the ICE, it would seem that the AWD model has the potential to generate higher torque (earlier) at lower speeds as the ICE builds output. But this could be limited in some fashion by the computer control equipment? As others alluded to perhaps G-force graphs, 0-60 times, etc. for AWD vs. FWD, would prove out if there is benefit or if it's mitigated by the computer drive-line management?

I know a couple of years back I was evaluating a possible lease/purchase of a Volvo hybrid, and they were always boastful of posting the gross HP and Torque of the ICE and electric motors - which was impressive at like 600 HP - but the net system power was much lower. On the AWD Sienna the ICE I think is tuned at about 180 HP, the 2 front MGs are 180, and the rear MG is 54 for a total of 414 gross HP, but net system is 245.
 

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There is something that this discussion misses about AWD. When you are at highway speeds, electric is off and the only thing that pulls the car is just v4 gas. I believe this was something people complained. While test driving I didn't go above 70, but I guess if you are at 80-85 this may likely matter. Do folks have some thoughts on this?
In my experience this happens when the Sienna has to pull hard such as going uphill, it relies on the ICE (internal combustion engine), after the rear electrics taper off at 15mph.
However if I were to run a steady flat highway speeds of 70-80mph, it uses hybrid mode where both ICE and electric motor take the front wheels.
Notice that at 80, the "tach" meter on the left is just right off the electric range where it hands it off to the ICE.
 

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The discussion on the AWD/FWD is interesting since Toyota does not change any specs with respect to net system power for the drive-line differences. From the perspective of the potential actual torque curve generated at various RPMs of the ICE, it would seem that the AWD model has the potential to generate higher torque (earlier) at lower speeds as the ICE builds output. But this could be limited in some fashion by the computer control equipment? As others alluded to perhaps G-force graphs, 0-60 times, etc. for AWD vs. FWD, would prove out if there is benefit or if it's mitigated by the computer drive-line management?
I know a couple of years back I was evaluating a possible lease/purchase of a Volvo hybrid, and they were always boastful of posting the gross HP and Torque of the ICE and electric motors - which was impressive at like 600 HP - but the net system power was much lower. On the AWD Sienna the ICE I think is tuned at about 180 HP, the 2 front MGs are 180, and the rear MG is 54 for a total of 414 gross HP, but net system is 245.
Its my guess that Toyota has some similar output difference like your example between the FWD and AWD but they just say 243hp "net", to save argument.
 

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I can't speak for the new hybrid. I had a 2009 AWD and now have 2017 FWD and can say categorically between these two that unless you live in a high snow/ice area or are doing a lot of dirt/mud driving, get the FWD. You just don't need the AWD otherwise and you give up a lot with it. Now with the hybrid, there may be some other advantages for AWD including the electric motors added torque, balance and such. But you will still be giving up some features including spare tire options, more expensive run flats and such so you will have to see what the trade-offs are. But my first advice still stands - do you live in conditions where AWD is really something that makes sense?
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
My tiny opinion is to stay with FWD. Depending what year you buy, a lot of the AWD have run flat tires. I personally don't like run flat tires. They don't last long, they can be expensive, they ride rougher and you don't get a spare tire. The FWD does well in snow and rain. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
Hello!

I live in the mountains of Colorado where we regularly receive more than 300 inches of snow each winter. I purchased a 2020 Sienna AWD in July and have been driving through my first winter with it after driving exclusively Subarus.

I have to tell you... this thing is a BEAST in the snow. I drive several miles of mountain roads every morning to drop my kiddos off at school and have always felt extremely confident on the roads. We did install a set of Nokia’s Hakkepelita studded snow tires on it as well because of all the ice we get and I’m telling you... if you end up in a ditch while driving this vehicle, you probably shouldn’t be driving. I have easily driven in through 8 inches of fresh snow, ice, slush... you name it. I have never gotten stuck. Buy the AWD.
 

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My tiny opinion is to stay with FWD. Depending what year you buy, a lot of the AWD have run flat tires. I personally don't like run flat tires. They don't last long, they can be expensive, they ride rougher and you don't get a spare tire. The FWD does well in snow and rain. Just my 2 cents.
I have AWD and I don't have run flat tires. Are you talking about 2021 or some other year?
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
The fridge/freezing is irrelevant to your decision. As of now, the ottoman is the only thing you're losing with a rwd. Due to issues with Toyota's supplier, the Platinum trim is not offering the fridge/freezer at this time.
I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
According to Motortrend and several other reputable sources, the refrigerator/freezer and vacuum on the Platinum trim Siennas are currently unavailable. It says Toyota has a certain issue with it's supplier. You might also notice that there's no mention of these features listed in any of Toyota's updated publications. But the good news is Toyota does plan on adding these features ASAP. But if I were you living in NY/NJ, I'd just go with the AWD option. But if your heart is set on having the ottoman, refrigerator, and vacuum cleaner, you can always wait until they become available. I'm guessing it'll come just in time for the 2022 models. Or if you really like the ottoman and you want the Sienna now, you can buy the FWD Limited or Platinum and do without the fridge and vacuum.
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
I have a an AWD Sienna. Currently living in the great NW where it seldom snows here in the lowlands, but got AWD as we take occasional ski trips into the Cascades. Certainly we've driven the Sienna in snow many times and it performs great. Have well over 100K on this vehicle and have had zero issues with the drive train. It's bullet proof and would not base any decision based on reliability doubts. Great vehicle.
Would I get a 4WD Sienna again? Probably not and here's why:
1. Run flat tires. At least our Sienna didn't have room for any spare tire and has run flats. Absolutely, terrible experience with limited tire life (barely 30K) and VERY expensive to replace. Maybe all run flat's aren't awful, but the selection I have for this vehicle are all terrible. Eventually ditched the run flats and I travel with a repair kit, a pump, and AAA.
2. You're mileage will suffer. We use the Sienna as a daily driver. 99%+ of the time, it's not driving on anything slippery. You're paying the AWD mileage penalty ALL THE TIME. For us, not worth all that fuel un-savings for the privilege for those few hours on snow.

If you're going to drive alot, and snow is a very rare or never, forget AWD.
If snow is a regular occurrence, AWD is a great thing.
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
No you don’t need Awd front gets you thru the snow just fine they are heavy vehicles
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
You should be aware that at least for 2017 AWDs, only the LE model was considered light enough to be fitted with a hitch. Toyota deemed their more advanced models as being too heavy. They may have changed things in recent years but you should decide for sure what level of features are most imp to you. For me it was essential that I be able to tow my fishing boat and I specifically chose the AWD for more traction at boat ramps & difficult roads in challenging terrain. The LE package had enough whistles & bells to suit me.
 

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Yup. This helps strengthen the case for extra $560 for AWD Platinum.

On different, but similar subject, the Uphill struggles are more than obvious. I am about to post my experience on other thread about it.
At least in the 2017 AWD models if you wanted a towing pkg, you could only purchase the LE version because Toyota considered it light enough in weight. Maybe in 2021 they changed their design but you better make sure.
 

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I have never owned AWD anything in my life - is it worth it?
I understand AWD customers give up some options - i.e. foot rest in the second row and freezer- is this worth letting go of ?
Family of 4, 2 kids, one day trips couple of times a year
Live in NJ/NY area

Thank you !!
 

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I just sold my 2005 Sienna XLE limited AWD and bought a 2014 XLE limited AWD. It took a long time to find the exact van. It had to have AWD. We just had a lot of snow and I did not plow my driveway. I have no problems driving in the snow. It’s great. No fear of tires spinning.
One problem: I had a flat the other day and the AAA could not find the spare! I found out there is no spare. AWD comes with drive flat tires. The problem is the previous owner changed all the tires but did not replace them with drive flat. I will either have to buy a regular tire as a spare and keep it in the van or pay $1200 for a set of drive flat tires...
 
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