2024 Toyota Sienna Ticks Minivan Boxes Nicely

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Back in 2021, Toyota introduced this new Sienna design as the fourth generation for the beloved minivan. The 2024 model continues that top shelf excellence, especially in fuel economy.

That high fuel economy and, until recently, being the only minivan offered with all-wheel drive, have been the Sienna’s best selling points thus far. It’s roomy, it’s got easy-access sliding doors, and it’s full of safety technologies and equipment. Those are the things every minivan shopper is really looking for. But there are a couple of things that could use improvement in the Sienna as well. A lack of removable or into-floor folding middle row seats, for example, and some drivability things we don’t like are key points that might make the choice for some buyers to choose another option. But its price may be the biggest clincher.

In our minds, these issues are oversights in design on Toyota’s behalf, but not deal breakers for most who are thinking that a minivan will suit their needs. The hybrid powertrain that is standard in the 2024 Sienna is, for example, the most efficient option you can buy for all driving conditions. Chrysler’s plug-in hybrid Pacifica model is both more expensive and less efficient for highway road trips. And we aren’t sure what the actual fuel economy for the upcoming Kia Carnival hybrid will be, but the targets announced aren’t equal or better than the Sienna’s already-known real-world results.

So our downsides to the 2024 Toyota Sienna should be taken with a grain of salt. If they aren’t extremely important things for you, they probably aren’t a reason to choose another option.

That said, we’ve already mentioned the lack of removable rear seating. This makes loading long objects into the van more difficult than it should be. Given that most probably almost never haul anything bigger than a 50-inch flat screen TV, though, it’s not an issue that will come up often. If you really need to haul some sheets of plywood, they’ll fit in there too. You just need to have someone help you make it happen.

The other downsides to the Toyota Sienna are because of its efficient hybrid powertrain. The four-cylinder engine and electric motors that power the Sienna at 245 horsepower aren’t aimed towards power output. They’re aimed at fuel economy. So sluggish starts and sometimes weak acceleration (especially with a lot of passengers) is the norm. There are absolutely no checkered flags happening in the Toyota Sienna’s drive quality. Maneuverability is good, though, and the Sienna is nothing if not predictable in its lack of enthusiasm.

The 2024 Toyota Sienna is EPA rated at 36 mpg on the highway in its front-wheel drive model and 35 mpg on the highway in its all-wheel drive option. At high altitude (over 6,000 feet) in the AWD model, we averaged 31 mpg on our 41-mile highway loop. That’s less than advertised, but still very impressive. For reference, the Kia Carnival we reviewed was EPA rated at 26 mpg and achieved about 22 mpg in highway tests. That’s about what the other two minivans still on the market also achieve.

Our only real issue that might be a deal breaker for some buyers is in the Sienna’s pricing. Toyota starts the Sienna at $39,000 plus delivery. Most buyers are going to be over $45,000 by the time options and delivery are added. The equipment-equivalent Kia is about five thousand cheaper than that. And has a better warranty. In our opinion, that’s where Toyota could improve the Sienna the most.

As it is, though, we still consider the Toyota Sienna a best choice in the minivan market. It’s got everything a minivan buyer would really want plus high fuel economy as a default. There’s a bit of a premium to get those MPG returns, but it’s probably worth it for a lot of potential buyers.

This review originally published on DriveModeShow.com.

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