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Redesigned 2021 Toyota Sienna goes hybrid-only, gets bullet train-inspired design

The redesigned Toyota Sienna features looks inspired by the Bullet Train.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota unveiled its all-new 2021 Sienna today at its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. The fourth-generation minivan has been reworked by Toyota's designers, engineers, and product planners from the ground up with a goal of redefining the segment.

Playing to the crowd of family haulers that expect more versatility, technology, safety, and fuel economy, the new model ups the ante on all and even colors outside of the lines, with attributes that take it in the direction of people-pleasing SUVs and weekend getaway-mobiles.

2021 Toyota Sienna The Sienna's front end incorporates design found on the Toyota Avalon and Camry.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Available all-wheel-drive; an optional onboard vacuum and refrigerator; and Yakima accessories, such as a rooftop carrier, cross bars, and bike rack, among other items; plus a tow rating of up to 3,500 pounds--enough to tug a compact camping trailer--help it even play in the space of the ever-broadening group of overlanding vehicles. A factory optional 1,500-watt inverter with 120-volt AC outlet can power camping equipment.

Exterior

Designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S, Toyota used a virtual reveal to show off the minivan's bolder looks and the updated hybrid powertrain that comes standard on all trims levels. The bones for the newest-gen model come from Toyota's TNGA-K Platform, also used in the Camry, which provides improved driving dynamics.

Toyota will sell the 2021 Sienna in LE, XLE, XSE, Limited and Platinum trims.

Seeking to broaden the characterization of minivans, a top objective of the design team was to was to optimize the best of minivan function and, at the same time, infuse a tincture of provocative styling, by adding strong overall proportions, accented by a shoulder-themed body lines and widened fender flares.

2021 Toyota Sienna The rear of the model is dynamic and shows some family resemblance.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Sienna's freshened face was inspired by the iconic Shinkansen (bullet train), bringing the impression of sleekness and speed. Its high-mounted headlights stretch to the sides and appear windswept, while the massive lower grille gets slim, high tech LED fog lights pinned to the corners.

At the rear are thin bands of LED lighting, an integrated black taillight canard for style and improved aerodynamic performance, and a deeply-sculpted tailgate with an integrated spoiler. The 2021 Toyota Sienna XSE trim adds dark 20-inch split five-spoke wheels and a more aggressive bumper treatment.

The sporty XSE and lavish Platinum grades fill their wheel wells with standard 20-inch aluminum clad wheels with P235/50R20 tires for FWD – the first-ever 20-inch wheels on a Sienna. The Limited FWD grade comes standard with 18-inch wheels.

Powertrain

Every Sienna in the Toyota lineup will get its power from a 243-horsepower hybrid powertrain that matches a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Like the 2020 Highlander, the engine in the 2021 Sienna is paired with an electronically controlled CVT with sequential shift mode.

The Japanese automaker claims the minivan gets a class-leading, manufacturer-estimated 33 mpg.

2021 Toyota Sienna Toyota has decided to only sell hybrid versions of the Sienna for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Drivers can choose from EV, Normal, Eco, and Sport drive models. The model is capable of performing some functions on all-electric power utilizing EV mode.

This powertrain is different than the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV. That van requires owners to plug it into a wall socket in order to charge the battery. Otherwise, it runs purely as a hybrid model.

The Sienna's 7-inch multi-informational display in front of the driver on the instrument panel includes an indicator that illustrates the vehicle's regeneration status and provides scoring functionality.

As they did with the 2020 Highlander, Sienna is being offered with both a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is standard. The new electronic on-demand system utilizes a separate independent electric motor to instantaneously power the rear wheels, when additional traction is needed and at all vehicle speeds. It sends 80 percent of torque to the rear wheels to aid in front traction and helps in cornering maneuvers, by reducing understeer. Power distribution from front to rear varies with conditions-- from 100:0 in constant-speed driving to 20:80 on slippery surfaces.

Of note, the Sienna's 8-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty covers all hybrid-related components, including the battery.

Safety

The 2021 Sienna comes standard with second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), a comprehensive active safety system. Click here to learn more about the system. Additional safety-centric features including electronic vehicle stability control with traction control, brake assist, anti-lock brakes, and Smart Stop Technology.

2021 Toyota Sienna Sienna models wear blue and black Toyota badging, denoting their hybrid powertrain.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The standard backup camera shows a projected path for reversing, while higher grade models have a wide-angle monitor to show more. A bird's eye view camera with perimeter scan allows for a 360-degree view. A curb view is also available.

Interior

Designers used "confidence, refinement, and smart innovation" as themes for the Sienna's modernized cabin, which has a high seat position and up to 18 cupholders. The instrument panel has been crafted with stout, horizontal layers. The large infotainment touch screen, smart storage, and a console that connects the elements in the center of the vehicle provides personalized space for driver and front passenger. Similar to the Chrysler Pacifica, an open area allows storage of larger items, such as a purse or bag.

The base Sienna LE and some XLE models come equipped in an eight-seat configuration with two captain chairs, a long slide second row seat and a stowable middle seat. Some XLE minivans, as well as the XSE, Limited, and Platinum are seven-seat models featuring the Super Long Slide second-row captain's chairs with the Limited and Platinum FWD models sporting ottomans. The available Super Long Slide second-row captain chairs slide 25 inches, giving impressive legroom.

2021 Toyota Sienna The interior of the 2021 Sienna leaves all 2020 Sienna attributes behind (and that's a good thing).Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Cloth upholstery is standard. Mid-grade models get SoftTex seats while high-end Siennas come equipped with leather upholstery.

Features

The 2021 Sienna comes with a long list of standard and available features including:

  • Sienna LE (standard) - 9-inch infotainment touch screen, six-speaker sound system, AM/FM radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, seven USB ports, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth, satellite radio, Toyota Connected Services, Wi-Fi capability
  • Sienna LE (available), Siena XLE (standard) - 9-inch infotainment touch screen, eight-speaker sound system, AM/FM/HD radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, seven USB ports, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth, satellite radio, Toyota Connected Services, Wi-Fi capability, Safety Connect (free three-year trial), Siri Eyes Free
  • Sienna XSE (standard) - 9-inch infotainment touch screen, eight-speaker sound system, AM/FM/HD radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, seven USB ports, hands-free phone capability, voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth, satellite radio, Toyota Connected Services, Wi-Fi capability, Safety Connect (free three-year trial), Siri Eyes Free, navigation
  • Sienna XLE and Sienna XSE (available) - JBL audio system that includes a 12-speaker sound system, 1,200-watt amplification, and Clari-Fi digital restoration technology

Buyers can option their models with a variety of packages including the LE Plus, XLE Plus, and XSE Plus packages. Sienna Limited and Platinum minivans have no packages to choose from, but are available with the buyer's choices of two add-ons: a digital rearview mirror and a 1080p rear seat entertainment center with an 11.6-inch display, HDMI input, remote control, and two wireless headphones. The rear entertainment center is also an option o XLE and XSE models.

2021 Toyota Sienna A new center console design seeks to maximize storage space and provide a compartmentalized front row.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The top-tier Sienna Platinum has a long list of amenities and premium features including kick-open and closed sliding side doors and rear gate, quad-zone climate control, heated second-row super-long slide captain's chairs with ottomans, a segment-first power tilt/telescoping steering column with heated steering wheel, refrigerator, a digital rear-view mirror, 10-inch color head-up display, and 12-speaker JBL Premium Audio system. A vacuum is standard on Limited and Platinum trim levels.

Also on the list of improvements was the objective to bring "library quiet" to the interior, and to improve conversational hearing. Aiding that effort s the Driver Easy Speak system, which transmits the driver's voice through the audio system to the rear speakers. Honda has installed a similar feature in the Odyssey.

Pricing

The 2020 Toyota Sienna starts at $31,640. Expect the 2021 model to be priced slightly higher thanks to a host of new technology and fresh design. The current model tops out just over $45,000 but with the addition of a new top-tier trim level, expect the highest-cost 2021 Sienna to go for near $50,000.

On Sale

The 2021 Toyota Sienna will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pricing is expected to be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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New luxury full-size SUV

All-new 2022 Lexus LX 600 will be here soon

The new LX will go on sale in early 2022.

Lexus

The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX are among the most revered off-road vehicles of all time. Even so, Toyota is cutting the Land Cruiser in the U.S. after the 2021 model year due to slow sales. We will see its twin, however, as the 2022 Lexus LX was just announced. The full-size SUV will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022 and will bring all two new trims, more intuitive tech, and updated but familiar exterior styling.

2022 Lexus LX The new LX gets a twin-turbo V6 instead of a big V8, and its new platform shaves weight while improving rigidity.Lexus

The 2022 Lexus LX 600 comes in five trims: Standard, Premium, Luxury, F Sport, and Ultra Luxury. The new Ultra Luxury trim cuts the number of seats to four by replacing the rear bench with a pair of plush reclining captain's chairs. A rear entertainment system and large rear center console complete the top-level trim. Also new for 2022 is the LX F Sport, which brings Lexus' sharp appearance package to the LX for the first time. The F Sport gets exclusive 22-inch wheels, aggressive exterior styling, and sport seats with unique color schemes.

The LX is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. The body-on-frame SUV rides on an all-new GA-F platform that Lexus says is 20 percent more rigid than that of the previous model. Lexus also carved 441 pounds out of the previous LX's platform weight.

2022 Lexus LX The LX is available in five trims, including a new top Premium Luxury model. Lexus

A new Active Height Control (AHC) system and adaptive suspension provide stability and a comfortable ride while retaining the LX's off-road capabilities. AHC allows the driver to select from three ride heights depending on the situation, and a low setting is available for entering and exiting the vehicle. Three wheel sizes are available, and the F Sport trim comes with a Torsen limited-slip differential.

Lexus updated the LX's cabin for 2022 with new infotainment system and a cleaner, more upscale design. A new dual-screen infotainment system is standard. The top 12.3-inch touchscreen handles audio and infotainment duties, while the lower 7.0-inch touchscreen is used for climate controls and related settings. The LX also gets Lexus' new infotainment software, which promises to be more intuitive and simpler than previous systems. Over-the-air updates will bring new features and update existing functionality, while voice controls can command audio, navigation, phone, and other vehicle settings.

2022 Lexus LX Ultra Luxury trim reduces seating capacity to four but makes the LX's cabin seriously plush.Lexus

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