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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 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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A new Texas-themed version of the Jeep Gladiator is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep has brought the Gladiator's off-road chops to the trails of the Lone Star State. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail is another of the the traditional of special edition vehicles for Texans who occupy the nation's largest truck market. It's the first time Jeep has offered a unique-to-Texas truck.

The new model builds on the Gladiator Sport S trim adding 17-inch Mid-Gloss Back Aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch mud-terrain tires, four-wheel drive, standard side steps, and the Trailer Tow Group. The Gladiator Texas Trail has a unique hood and decals that feature the year 1836 in the graphic as a nod to the year of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It also wears a black hardtop, black leather seats embossed with the Texas Trail graphic and comes equipped with the Technology Group and Convenience Group packages.

2021 Jeep Gl The vehicle is ready to be fully accessorized to the buyer's wishes.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021 Jeep Gl

The Texas-themed model features the buyer's choice of Jeep's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that's rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque or the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 power plant, which achieves 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep has badged each of the models with Trail Rated status. To achieve this status, Jeep vehicles must pass extreme off-road capability challenges.

The Gladiator Texas Trail is available in 10 colors: black, white, Snazzberry, Granite Crystal, Sarge, Nacho, Hydro Blue, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Sting-Gray. Jeep recently introduced a Snazzberry-colored Wrangler.

Each Gladiator comes with the Jeep Wave customer service program, which includes three years of maintenance, 24/7 phone/online support, trip interruption/first-day loaner coverage, and VIP access to Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail has a starting MSRP of $40,435 (plus $1,495 destination) and is currently available at Texas dealers.

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