Skip to main content

Rumors Swirl About 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid and Fans Weigh In

We asked Toyota and Sienna fans for their feedback on growing buzz about a potential 2021 Sienna Hybrid. Their responses may surprise you.

Toyota currently dominates the market in hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle sales. They have no plans to rest on this current success, though. The giant automaker plans to dramatically increase these sales numbers by the year 2025.

“In the next few years we’re trying to increase the number of vehicles that we have with an alternate, electrified power plant to 25% (of total vehicle sales). Right now it’s about 9%. And give every vehicle we offer an electrified power plant option.” stated Tom Kretschmann, Product Subject Matter Expert with the Toyota Product & Sales Engagement team.

Watch new update on Hybrid Toyota Sienna 2021 and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news reports.

If this is true then we can expect a wave of redesigned hybrid/alternative fuel vehicles (the sleek 2021 Mirai), new Toyota models that do not currently exist (2021 RAV4 Prime) and new hybrid alternatives in models that do not currently have them.

This gets me thinking about current Toyota vehicles. Imagine the multiple teams of engineers and planners who are probably working feverishly as I write, designing our hybrids of the (near) future. I would love to see a 4Runner Hybrid. Who wouldn’t benefit from having the opportunity to pick a hybrid Tacoma?

So how about a Sienna Hybrid? Now that would be cool.

Rumor mill is hot for 2021 Sienna Hybrid

There are normally only a few possibilities about rumors. For one, they end up being true. Where there is smoke there is soon fire, after all. Rumors could also end up being one hundred percent false. Of course, the other outcome is that each rumor will end up being partially true to varying degrees.

Where does this leave Toyota Sienna then? Here is the rumored story that has made its way through social media and publication circles in recent weeks. Toyota is planning to launch a 2021 Sienna that could be completely hybrid. No gasoline-only options at all.

2020 Toyota Sienna XLE gray interior dashboard

I normally like to stay away from reports that have not been confirmed yet. I prefer to wait a bit and see what materializes. However, this is an interesting one and it also fits into one of my automotive world passions – hybrids.

Current 2020 Sienna specs

This year’s 2020 Toyota Sienna features a 3.5-liter V6 engine matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower is 296 with 263 lb.-ft. torque. A majority of Sienna trim levels are front-wheel drive, but there are all-wheel drive choices as well. This is a major selling point for Sienna against the competition, as it becomes incredibly appealing to people living in colder and snowier climates.

What might a 2021 Sienna Hybrid look like?

I expect a Sienna Hybrid that will be similar to the newly redesigned 2020 Highlander Hybrid. Gasoline-only Highlanders, just like the Sienna, utilize a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The 2020 Highlander Hybrid has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that works in combination with two electric motors. This synergy produces a net system output of 243 horsepower.

It is difficult to say what will happen with gas mileage on the new 2021 Sienna. Current estimates range from 19 city / 27 highway / 22 combined for front-wheel drive to 18 city / 24 highway / 20 combined for all-wheel drive.

I do feel it would be astounding if Toyota offered buyers a Sienna that could get 30 miles per gallon and a long driving range on one tank of gasoline. Think of how many more road trips families could take if gasoline was not as much of a deterrent. Road trip baby.

VIDEO BLOG: See why Toyota Sienna is the ultimate family road trip vehicle in my video review.

Here is what you had to say about a potential 2021 Sienna Hybrid

I took this topic to the streets (well, to the internet at least). I polled my Torque News readers, my “Toyotajeff in Raleigh” YouTube viewers and members of the online forum “Toyota Sienna Owners Club.” The questions posed were “would you buy a Sienna Hybrid?” and “what must it have for you to be interested?”

Jennifer had an interesting take. “Great gas mileage so I can take more trips and enough power to drive through the mountains.”

“Lifetime battery warranty. Maybe at least 10 years.” Added Anthony.

Eric came in with these thoughts. "Full electric range of at least 50 miles. Same price as gas model since Toyota doesn't have the tax credit anymore. 400 mile range. AWD."

What did Barb have to say? “I need to know the battery will last a long time. It should not be too expensive to replace. Low maintenance cost over time.”

Rocky said, “It needs to be a true hybrid, not like the Chrysler plug in hybrid with eMPG which doesn’t mean much.”
“Regular transmission instead of a cvt to help long term reliability.” Said forum member Parker.

“Must have as much or more power than gas version.” Mentioned Jonah.

Time for your thoughts on Toyota Sienna

Only time will tell if these hybrid rumors come to fruition or not. I have a hunch we will get notice of this in the coming months – either confirming or dispelling what we have been hearing.

As I mentioned, hybrids are a passion project of mine. I feel they provide a low cost of ownership over time through low maintenance expense and terrific fuel efficiency.

YOU MAY ENJOY: Watch as I interview Tom Kretschmann of Toyota about the company's future hybrid plans. Please subscribe to Torque News YouTube channel for the latest Toyota and automotive news.

Just look at the incredible success the RAV4 Hybrid has been enjoying for the last couple years and you can see the potential for any new or upcoming Toyota hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle.

I have a few questions for you, my readers. This would help me a lot for future stories as well. Have you bought a hybrid in the past and what has your experience been? More and more hybrids will become available in the next five years than ever before. Do you think you are comfortable enough with hybrids to consider one for your next purchase? If not, what factors have you concerned or hesitant to consider one?

Thanks for reading everyone. Please bookmark Torque News Toyota for daily updates and news.

See you next story when I give key reasons to choose a 2020 Tacoma TRD Sport.

Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. Please subscribe to Jeff’s “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel for Toyota news, reviews and how-to videos. Follow Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Find him on Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories.

All of Jeff's reports can be found on Torque News Toyota. Check back again and search for more Toyota news coverage.


Rocketman (not verified)    January 16, 2020 - 8:36PM

The last I read, Uber was working with Toyota to put their autonomous driving tech into Sienna minivans. A hybrid or even plug in hybrid option makes a lot of sense. I'm ready to get a redesigned Sienna with some form of electrification.

Another idea that is interesting is the TJ Cruiser hybrid that has appeared at certain auto shows. I love my sliding rear doors.

alamedaDad (not verified)    January 17, 2020 - 3:18PM

Both of our current cars are hybrids, a 2013 Jetta and a 2018 Rav4....the Jetta was my wife's, then she wanted something "bigger" for her commute, so she drives the Rav4 now and I've inherited the Jetta. We're pleased with both and have adapted to the performance to be expected from hybrid ownership. Since the Jetta is "turbo" the higher torque provides it with that "burst of energy" that helps for freeway entrances and lane changing, and the Rav4 is more than adequate for the type of driving we both do. I was very reluctant to climb on the hybrid bandwagon in the beginning, but finally give in, "as long as it WASN'T a Prius"....and now, we couldn't be happier with ownership...!!! The Highlander Hybrid in one I'd look into, for sure....the desire for more power is no longer a "must have", and the priority of improved MPG is what I'm looking for...although neither of ours currently come close to the advertised "max" MPG, we are very happy with their performance, based on our driving habits. And, for reference, the 2018 Rav4 Hybrid replaced my 2004 Sienna XLE....I loved and miss the utility of driving that around and would definitely consider a 2021 if it were available and I pass on the Highlander...."wait and see"...!!!

DONTNIX (not verified)    January 17, 2020 - 5:20PM

Pacifica owner waiting to see what Toyota Offers in 2021 Sienna. I pickup grand kids. The more power equipment and safety the better. Hybrid is great if reliable. Warranties are not long enough. I have spent 2000 in repairs on Pacifica since 2017 and 55000 miles. Having said, I like the car its a great drive. Wish others would follow Hyundai and Kia warranty. Hybrid will require extensive electrical to my garage but would save me a lot of gas on daily chores. Pluses and negatives.

DONTNIX (not verified)    January 17, 2020 - 5:21PM

Pacifica owner waiting to see what Toyota Offers in 2021 Sienna. I pickup grand kids. The more power equipment and safety the better. Hybrid is great if reliable. Warranties are not long enough. I have spent 2000 in repairs on Pacifica since 2017 and 55000 miles. Having said, I like the car its a great drive. Wish others would follow Hyundai and Kia warranty. Hybrid will require extensive electrical to my garage but would save me a lot of gas on daily chores. Pluses and negatives.

John Hymann (not verified)    January 17, 2020 - 11:07PM

I'm hoping that the same powertrain from the upcoming Rav4 Prime will be available in the 2021 Sienna.A Phev minivan that has Awd and able to tow a small utility trailer would really be a great vehicle for us. The Pacifica Phev comes up short on not being able to tow ANYTHING and also no availabe Awd.After lots of pondering, a Phev hybrid minivan just makes sense on being an all around practical vehicle. The phev van has easy entry/exit,can haul tons of stuff even 4x8 sheets protected from weather, sliding side doors to unload or load when pulled in the garage and fantastic gas mileage and with 30 or 40 miles of all electric travel to take care of most all daily trips and gasoline for unlimited traveling what more could you ask for??

Chris (not verified)    April 5, 2020 - 11:55AM

In reply to by John Hymann (not verified)

Right on. I'm also in the fence with the Pacifica, was waiting in anticipation that 2021 will offer a phev awd variant but no. If Toyota offers this for 2021, I'll seriously preorder

Tony (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 12:41AM

Give me all electric powertrain with plug-in and optional rotary range extender.

Middlechild20 (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 5:02AM

I have family who work at the Indiana plant that makes the Sienna. I've had a Camry for over 10 years, and my loyalty lies with Toyota. When I started my family in 2016, and now have 2 kids, I have wanted a Sienna. Since I've been told the 100% hybrid model year was coming, I held out buying the gas model. I plan to drive this vehicle until my kids are graduated from high school, if not college, so the gas savings over those years means a lot to me. From what I'm told from those who work there, the 2021 models will not offer a gas only option. Take my money Toyota! I'm ready to be a minivan driving soccer mom!

David Main (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 12:24PM

If a new Toyota Sienna model was only available in chance of gasoline only...I be looking more at the Honda Odyssey. I'm old school and don't have a desire to own a hybrid. I have friends that have had a Camry hybrid and the battery went out on it. $5k later...they could drive the car. No thanks. Stay with the tried and true reliable engine and transmission.

noah (not verified)    January 20, 2020 - 6:12PM

The comment about Toyota EV tax credits is not true, they have not begun to expire yet (After 250K+ sales of electrified vehicles) though they likely will be completely exhausted by the end of 2021

RK (not verified)    February 9, 2020 - 3:29AM

We have a 2013 Prius, that has been an extremely trouble free car.

Then got a 2017 Highlander hybrid. Was a great car, especially in Bay Area traffic. Was getting 27 mpg.

Needed more room, so traded Highlander in for 2018 Sienna. It’s been good too, but I’m now getting 17/18 mpg for the same commutes.

Looking fwd to next gen Sienna. I think the 2020 Highlander kinda shows what we can expect in the 2021 Sienna. If hybrid model(s) are available, I will find it hard not to upgrade.

Steven M Horrell (not verified)    February 14, 2020 - 6:31PM

We currently have a 2013 Sienna Limited 2wd. It's been a great family car for 3 young kids and I'm not embarrassed about a mini van, it's comfortable.
We've been waiting on the hopefully larger 2021 and would like all wheel drive this time. Unfortunately if it's a hybrid or electric only I'll look at other options.

BARBARA HARGADON (not verified)    March 1, 2020 - 11:14PM

I feel Hybrids are the way togo. At present I am waiting to see a hybrid SiennA. I NOW own a 2018 Ford C_May hybrid and get about 45 MPG. I am hoping that Toyota will be able to up the milage on the Sienna and make a good elec. driving and fuel efficient Sienna,

Lannes Williamson (not verified)    March 6, 2020 - 7:31PM

We are most interested in 2021 Toyota Sienna reported to be hybrid. Our big question: will Brum Mobility be able to convert the van to be accessible for powered chairs?

Vic Locke (not verified)    March 22, 2020 - 7:21PM

I have a 2014 Prius that I bought new. It’s been a great car, very reliable and good for long drives. But I would like something with more room when it comes time to get a new vehicle. I’m not really ready to buy yet, but it’s always fun to look at options. I’ve been looking pretty closely at the Rav 4 hybrids but only because I didn’t think I would be able to get a hybrid minivan anytime soon. When I first saw these rumors about the Sienna hybrid I was happy. This could be my answer, but maybe wait for the 2022. I’m not too keen on getting the first year of a new generation of any vehicle. Especially when I plan on doing a lot more long distance drives next year. To have to take a vehicle in for service or repairs while far from home doesn’t sound fun. Especially if it’s loaded with luggage, etc.