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Sharing only a name with the Venza crossover that was discontinued after the 2015 model year, the all-new 2021 Venza is positioned between the RAV4 and Highlander. All models are AWD hybrids with a combined EPA rating of 40 MPG. Unfortunately, Toyota didn't learn from Honda's mistake - the new Venza lacks a volume knob! I can't wait to see how this is received. :)

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The all-new 2021 Sienna is also all-hybrid now with AWD available on all trims. The combined EPA rating is 33 MPG. The Odyssey still doesn't offer AWD and is rated at 22 MPG. Like the Odyssey, the Sienna now includes a vacuum cleaner. Unlike the Odyssey, it also has a built-in refrigerator and kick-to-open sliding doors.

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Kick to open, taken from Ford or Chevy, and possibly a "COVID" responce
 

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I had been waiting for the information about the new Sienna to appear since they were bringing the hybrid. I have mixed feelings on the exterior styling of it though. The front grille treatment is just ugly in the photos, not sure how it actually looks in person though. What is it with Toyota and these gaping Gillette razor style plastic grilles? I like the side profile of the van though.

The other thing interesting with the Sienna is the hybrid is still rated to tow 3500lb.

I thought the new HIghlander was ugly in photos but in person it is meh, I still wouldn't buy a Highlander though.

Where art thou hybrid van Honda?
 

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Not that fond of the Venza dash, but the Sienna has the edge over the Odyssey with the AWD and 33 mpg. Thank you for sharing. The Venza won't get many sales.

Too many SUV variants slotted between the main money makers in the manufacturers lineup.
 

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Ford or Chevy don't even make minivans anymore, let alone anything with kick-to-open sliding doors.

As for the new Venza...why? It's based on the Rav4 platform, and is 5.7 inches longer but has 2 cu. ft. less cargo space? So it's going to be heavier, with the same hybrid powertrain from the Rav4, so it will undoubtedly be slower. And it lacks a volume knob? Named after a forgotten, discontinued vehicle with lackluster sales?

Somebody at Toyota needs to be shown the door.
 

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Ford or Chevy don't even make minivans anymore, let alone anything with kick-to-open sliding doors.

As for the new Venza...why? It's based on the Rav4 platform, and is 5.7 inches longer but has 2 cu. ft. less cargo space? So it's going to be heavier, with the same hybrid powertrain from the Rav4, so it will undoubtedly be slower. And it lacks a volume knob? Named after a forgotten, discontinued vehicle with lackluster sales?

Somebody at Toyota needs to be shown the door.
Fully agree on the Venza, but Kick to Open Tailgates in various SUV's have been around for quite some time, Ford, Chevy. Not a big jump to move it to the sliding doors, was the point I was making
 

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Somebody at Toyota needs to be shown the door.
You could say that about all manufacturers, because all they make are more variants of the same design. Honda is guilty, as is Hyundai, etc.

The Venza will be upscale like a Lexus.


When my extended family (10-12 people) goes on vacation, I will opt for a minivan every time, because they are easy to enter/exit. No climbing in and out of an SUV for me, 8 times a day while on vacation.

 

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Not that fond of the Venza dash, but the Sienna has the edge over the Odyssey with the AWD and 33 mpg. Thank you for sharing. The Venza won't get many sales.

Too many SUV variants slotted between the main money makers in the manufacturers lineup.
The New Sienna loses to the Pacifica for versatility though, the second row is permanently attached in all trims in the new version. The seats are still at least removable in the Pacifica hybrid...but you could just bring a trailer with the Sienna!

I am guessing Toyota figures that no one really removes the seats in SUVs so why does the van have to do it (and they don't want to mess up the seat airbags)? The interior of the Sienna looks like they are not actually after the typical minivan buyer though (more SUVish?).

If I were buying today, the Pacifica hybrid would win over this new Sienna for me (compared among hybrids).

For the record, I have a 19' Odyssey, lol.
 

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I agree with the thoughts that the Venza is just strange...but...

I think Toyota is trying to capture the would-be Avalon buyer. I would think an Avalon buyer is typically after a more "conservatively" styled vehicle (vs the RAV series) but isn't a brand snob so does not care to move over to Lexus. That is a tiny market, but hey why not if it cost basically "nothing"?

My anecdotal evidence of this is a horribly unscientific sample of one older gentleman who considered a Venza before he ultimately got an Avalon, yet still talked positively about the Venza.
 

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Honda seems to be taking their time in getting the hybrid powertrain out to the Ody, Pilot and RL. Let's hope that it is because they are going to do it right, with at least 3500lb towing.
 

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Venza has same wheelbase as RAV4 and less cargo room but is more upscale for sure. I don't like those tablet like designs that just sit there which aren't framed by a dash.Wish a V6 would be offered but those Toyota Hybrid powertrains get so many more mpg's with not much loss in performance and they are proven. Hard to argue with Toyota's logic here but gas is cheap. IMO there should always be a hedge. I suppose that anyone considering an upper trim RAV4 Hybrid could take a look at this one. I think the Sienna looks kind of cool for a minivan. I have a feeling that the N/A V6 is going to be doomed in Toyotas. I love the V6 in my Accord and it's stealthiness. Other than an Camry XLE (which I doubt I can fit in) I don't see anything out there unless you move to a Lexus or Acura or Avalon.

Edit: Just found out it's made in Japan, it used a lithium battery not the same as the nickel something in the RAV4. I don't know yet the tradeoffs in each and cold weather operation of the two different batteries. This 2.5/battery combination is offered in just about so many Toyotas that if it catches on buyers can pick. I do like that they are staying away turbos for the masses until the Tundra comes.. That electrically frosted glass doesn't have a cover I believe and that sloped rear glass will take away for storage room. It should have better back seat room than the RAV4. This could be a type of car for the bride Iut I still think the Highlander V6 is a better fit for us. I also want to see the deal with the RAV4 prime. One thing to remember about Toyotas is they dominate longevity charts so that rules everyone else out.
 

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I will not get another Hybrid / EV until there is a standard battery connector and service stations where you can swap the low power battery for a charged battery with an amp out display - you trade the old battery - they read how much power is left and you chose a charged battery with x power on it maybe with a premium for long distance batteries.

The built in (like Tesla, Honda, Toyota) battery that is proprietary show be banned, until congress sets a standard battery connector and voltage (and make it removable). Hybrids and EV are just a rich persons toy and disposable (like my Civic Hybrid was - it was worth less than a battery replacement.)

Old Joke:
Q. How does a redneck double the value of his pickup.
A. He fill it up at the gas station.
Q. how does he double it again?
A. He leave his cell phone in it.

New Joke.
Q. How do you double the value of a Honda Hybrid.
A. You replace the battery pack.
Q. How do you double it again.
A. Divide by zero - it cannot be done unless gas goes to $8.00 a gallon.
 

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I will not get another Hybrid / EV until there is a standard battery connector and service stations where you can swap the low power battery for a charged battery with an amp out display - you trade the old battery - they read how much power is left and you chose a charged battery with x power on it maybe with a premium for long distance batteries.

The built in (like Tesla, Honda, Toyota) battery that is proprietary show be banned, until congress sets a standard battery connector and voltage (and make it removable). Hybrids and EV are just a rich persons toy and disposable (like my Civic Hybrid was - it was worth less than a battery replacement.)

Old Joke:
Q. How does a redneck double the value of his pickup.
A. He fill it up at the gas station.
Q. how does he double it again?
A. He leave his cell phone in it.

New Joke.
Q. How do you double the value of a Honda Hybrid.
A. You replace the battery pack.
Q. How do you double it again.
A. Divide by zero - it cannot be done unless gas goes to $8.00 a gallon.
There are standard connectors for EVs and Plugin Hybrids. Tesla is the only manufacturer that I am aware of that uses a fully proprietary connector (and even they have a convertor cable).

I really doubt we will see interchangeable batteries anytime soon unless energy density goes up dramatically. If manufacturers have a standard size due to energy density increases, it is likely that ICE engines will be doomed at that point anyways.

I am not sure it is fair to judge all hybrids based on the first iterations of the Civic hybrid. I don't know your story, but I did read some horror stories from the civic hybrids that I have not really seen with other hybrids. I don't know how Honda's latest gen hybrid tech will age but it looks a lot more promising than the prior Civic hybrid thus far.
 

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The New Sienna loses to the Pacifica for versatility though, the second row is permanently attached in all trims in the new version. The seats are still at least removable in the Pacifica hybrid...but you could just bring a trailer with the Sienna!

I am guessing Toyota figures that no one really removes the seats in SUVs so why does the van have to do it (and they don't want to mess up the seat airbags)? The interior of the Sienna looks like they are not actually after the typical minivan buyer though (more SUVish?).

If I were buying today, the Pacifica hybrid would win over this new Sienna for me (compared among hybrids).

For the record, I have a 19' Odyssey, lol.
We rented a Chrysler Pacifica for vacation earlier this year and it was nice. Much nicer than the Dodge Caravan we rented the year before. We did not like how the second row chairs of the Pacifica folded forward for access to the third row. It was still cumbersome to climb into the 3rd row.
 

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Hybrids don't need to swap batteries out. The battery is an integral part of the drivetrain. I don't know about Honda's hybrid systems, but Toyota hybrids last for years and hundreds of thousands of miles before the battery is kaput. I've owned both a 2010 Prius and a 2013 Avalon Limited hybrid as work cars. Not the most exciting vehicles in the world, but very dependable. The Avalon was particularly nice.

I bought them used and drove them as courier vehicles and racked up over 100,000 miles on the Prius in a little over 2 years and about 40,000 on the Avalon in about a year. No problems out of either one. The Prius was sitting at 239,000 on the odometer when I traded it in.

I don't do the courier gig anymore, so not really interested in a hybrid. But if I ever needed another courier vehicle, a Toyota hybrid would be my first pick.
 

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I can't believe a volume knob raises so many issues. I suspect you can control the volume from the steering wheel controls... you don't want to let passengers messing with your volume :) I want to know what the ground clearance is on both.
 

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I can't believe a volume knob raises so many issues. I suspect you can control the volume from the steering wheel controls... you don't want to let passengers messing with your volume :) I want to know what the ground clearance is on both.
Because when someone is knocking on the outside of your window, in a panic you won't remember how to turn down the volume.
 
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I loved my 2018 Sienna AWD but Toyota lost me when they recalled the Sienna for a faulty fuel pump that could result in an accident but had no proposed fix for the problem or a timeline for when one would be available. They told owners who experienced any symptom of this problem to park the vehicle and not drive it until repairs were made. WTF.
That’s why I now have a 2020 CR-V along side my 2019 RL Sport.
 
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