New 2021 Sienna

Tom K.

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I know not everybody shares my opinion that the Sienna AWD is the perfect ski car, but I've been waiting to see what the new version brings to the table. At 100,000 miles, our 2011 has fairly low mileage for a Toyota, but we're starting to look around a bit.

The new one is hybrid only. I'm kind of softly not a fan of that, but only softly. But -- DEAL KILLER -- the second row seats are no longer removable. What?!?! Our Sienna probably spends 5% of its time with those seats IN.


Looks like we'll keep the 2011 for awhile longer, then evaluate the new Chrysler Pacifica AWD and/or the smallest possible Ford Transit AWD with Ecoboost V6 (my desire for a useful hot rod).

I came close to pulling the trigger on a 2020 Siena AWD yesterday, but just decided I didn't want the last iteration of a vehicle that really hasn't changed much at all since 2011.
 

Philpug

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But -- DEAL KILLER -- the second row seats are no longer removable. What?!?! Our Sienna probably spends 5% of its time with those seats IN.
This is our problem with the current Suburban/Yukon, the 3rd row cannot be removed. This design takes up about 10% of interior volume plus slopes the floor to the rear gate. The upcoming generation gets the volume back but the seats are still integrated.
I came close to pulling the trigger on a 2020 Siena AWD yesterday, but just decided I didn't want the last iteration of a vehicle that really hasn't changed much at all since 2011.
Honestly, the last of a generation IMHO is usually the best, good deals and all the bugs are worked out.
 

jmeb

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Toyota just killed their market for family mini-campers by making the middle seats not removable. The current gen is already bad enough with its difficult-to-remove 2nd row tracks.

No regrets now about my purchase of a 2013 with 50k on it. Pick it up from the mechanic on Tuesday with its fresh new lift :). Then a few more hours to assemble the rear cabinet and we will be in business. With 2 week Euro wedding/honeymoon cancelled for this year -- will have lots of time to get out exploring.
 
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Philpug

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Toyota just killed their market for family mini-campers by making the middle seats not removable.
Sorry, but that is not their market.
 

jmeb

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Sorry, but that is not their market.
I never said it was a primary market -- just a market. I know at least 4 businesses within an hour drive that are doing tons of businesses outfitting Siennas and other minivans for camping.

And it's not just campers -- it's folks who use vans to as both a utility vehicle and family hauler. My sister is their target market -- with 3 kids and the only other car a small sedan. Having something she can haul the random furniture in, put the dog crates in, etc is a feature for many buyers.

There is a reason the first feature touted on the Pacifica page is the stow and go 2nd row seats. And that the Honda Odyssey page shows a 4'x8' of plywood prominently in their interior gallery.
 
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Philpug

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I never said it was a primary market -- just a market. I know at least 4 businesses within an hour drive that are doing tons of businesses outfitting Siennas and other minivans for camping.

And it's not just campers -- it's folks who use vans to as both a utility vehicle and family hauler. My sister is their target market -- with 3 kids and the only other car a small sedan. Having something she can haul the random furniture in, put the dog crates in, etc is a feature for many buyers.
Of all of the car manufacturers, Toyota is one of the smartest and they have made very few misteps over the years. Toyota's market is macro markets, not micro ones. They are not concerned wit the tens of sales they might lose to the people who outfit Siennas for camping. I would also add to that how many of these people buy a brand new one to get outfitted? Out of a hundred? Low single digits. Sure, used ones more but Toyota already sold that van, it is no longer their concern.
 

jmeb

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I edited my above post -- but fact is -- their primary competitors in the Pacifica and Odyssey both place removable middle rows (either removable or stow and go) as a key feature in all their advertisements.

You're not going to be able to haul that couch home or a big sheet of plywood in the new Sienna. While you can with its competitors.

Or put another way -- it's a feature that helps it be used in the camper market. But the feature has much broader appeal.
 
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DanoT

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Honestly, the last of a generation IMHO is usually the best, good deals and all the bugs are worked out.
^^^I agree. @Tom K. get the 2020 Sienna with the removable seats.

Part of the Sienna target market are the Aspen and Snowmass police and Pitkin County Sheriff Dept. Below is Driving On Snow Training Day at the Aspen Race track. The Sienna is used for transferring prisoners. It was discovered that the Sienna has no tow hooks so a tow strap thru the slotted wheels is what worked.

The runs in the background are at Buttermilk, I think.

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Jwrags

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I will be surprised if there is not a version of the van that has removable seats. Maybe if you have the fancy power sliding captains chairs with ottoman they will not be removable(and probably too heavy to lift out) but I would think Toyota is smarter than that.
 
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Tom K.

Tom K.

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Honestly, the last of a generation IMHO is usually the best, good deals and all the bugs are worked out.
^^^I agree. @Tom K. get the 2020 Sienna with the removable seats.

It was discovered that the Sienna has no tow hooks so a tow strap thru the slotted wheels is what worked.
Agreed. We haven't completely written off a 2020, but the dealer we were working with was definitely taking advantage of the fact that I don't currently want strangers coming by to "shop" our old van for a private sale, so they really low-balled us on trade.

One day later they are wondering if a better trade would regain our interest. I'll check in on Tuesday. Ha!

I will be surprised if there is not a version of the van that has removable seats. Maybe if you have the fancy power sliding captains chairs with ottoman they will not be removable(and probably too heavy to lift out) but I would think Toyota is smarter than that.
Integrated airbags kill the removable row for all trim levels, at least down to the lowly LE AWD we are interested in (we like cloth seats).
 

skiki

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I'm starting to shop for a new car too, and am leaning heavily towards the 2021 Sienna for the hybrid AWD combo. Agreed that the 2nd row seats are a negative. I currently have an Odyssey and although I don't remove the seats often, there have been times that I have been glad that they come out to increase cargo space. Like being able to empty out a dorm room this past March in one go, bike, mini-fridge, and spinning wheel included. I'd narrowed it down to the Sienna for AWD or another Odyssey (it's on it's last legs now, but I figure 20 years of hauling kids, full sheets of plywood, rocks, and more is a good testament). I do like the idea of hybrid and potential 33 mpg. Any idea what the max cargo volume will be for the 2021?
 
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Tom K.

Tom K.

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No such thing as non-removable. :ogbiggrin:
View attachment 103189
That being said, I would take the 2020 one. Who knows maybe with good snow tires you wouldn't need to tow it out of a little bit of snow.
A large part of my reservation about grabbing a 2020 version is that the brakes are crap. They've been improved somewhat since our 2012, but only through what I'll call band-aid solutions, not any real re-engineering.

After much haranguing, Toyota "fixed" ours. They put on new front rotors, applied "special" lube to the slider pins for the pads, and -- gasp -- cut some cooling ducts into the wheel wells. I had to pay for the new pads.

This was somewhat successful, but after another 20k miles, the rotors are warped again. And, no, they do not have pad deposits on them, they are warped.

The van weighs far more than my Volvo XC60, yet the brakes are notably smaller........even the brakes on my wife's little Honda Element are as big as the Sienna's!
 

Jwrags

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You will likely not have a brake issue with the new hybrid version. My hybrid Highlander is over 100k miles and still no need to replace the brakes. Of course, I realize your issues with the 2021.
 
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