2021 Toyota Sienna Real-World Test: What's it Like on a 3,000-Mile Road Trip?

2021 Toyota Sienna Real-World Test: What's it Like on a 3,000-Mile Road Trip?

What's it Like on a 3,000-Mile Road Trip?

To see what it's like to live with a 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid, we've put one in our long-term fleet, which means we're running it for a full year and 20,000 miles. As the year progresses, our staffers fill up the logbook with comments on everything from road trips to reliability. Here's the latest news on our long-term Sienna.

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid: 3,000-Mile Road Trip from California to Montana and Back

We set off on a 10-day, 3,000-mile road trip from California to Montana and back. Our goal was to visit Glacier National Park near the Canadian border. We learned a lot about the Toyota Sienna along the way. Here are some of the key takeaways.

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

Fuel Economy

After driving the Sienna over 8,000 miles, we achieved the EPA-combined estimate of 35 mpg just twice. Once was in April, on the downhill stretch of my return trip from Death Valley. The other was during our first leg of this Montana trip, before speed limits went to 80 mph and elevations increased. Based on our experience, I'm going to say the realistic return is 32 mpg on the highway. This still kicks the butt of most competitors. It's just not as good as the EPA says

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

Comfort

We covered over 900 miles on one stretch, taking us from Idaho Falls, ID all the way home to Southern California. More importantly, it was 14 hours in the saddle with just a few short rest stop breaks. The antsy kids in the second row led the charge on trip-related complaint topics. But the cushioning that supported our haunches was never one of them. Thanks largely to its adjustability, I'd go as far as calling the driver seat fantastic. And the ride quality was agreeable, both on paved and dirt roads.

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

Off-Road Performance

I've now driven this Sienna over 100 miles on dirt roads. It has no problem on the maintained stuff, getting slightly skittish if you quicken the pace enough. But that sort of driving is rare because the minivan has such limited ground clearance.

While in Montana, I spent most of my time in the dirt straddling erosion, lest an unseen road-rut ruin our day. Two or three such ruts snuck up on me along the road to Bowman Lake, which gets considerably more rough after passing the Polebridge Mercantile Store. The sharp impacts quickly reminded me what the Sienna was not. Still, the van proved plenty capable so long as I didn't get too eager. And the views at Bowman took my breath away, so all was forgiven once we got there.

The only time AWD kicked-in noticeably was a few days later, on a long, single-lane uphill section of loose gravel. I'd actually just missed the turnoff to Morrell Falls Trailhead, which is where we were headed. The van didn't miss a step. I had the IP display already switched over to watch the front-to-rear power distribution or I may not have even noticed it was happening. Atop the hill I found a turnout, zoomed-in on the native navigation screen and found the road I missed there on the map. I suppose the nav system deserves some credit, too, for its accuracy. It at least saved me from further, "Daddy took the wrong turn," in-van ridicule.

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

Memories

I feel a small sense of accomplishment when I look back at the filth covering my car after a long road trip. This one was no different. We drove the Sienna in the snow, the rain and the dirt. We might've brushed a roadside shrub or two. And sadly, many a bug met its demise across that brick-shaped front-end. Still, a little elbow grease, and two car washes, were enough to restore the van to as-new condition. Until the next trip.

Read more about What's New with our 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid.

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna

2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid: Real-World Fuel Economy

EPA estimates for the hybrid Sienna are 35 mpg combined. The last Sienna we tested got over 40 mpg. We look forward to good things.

Average lifetime mpg: 31.9
EPA mpg rating: 35 combined ( 35 city / 36 highway )
Best fill mpg: 37.6
Best range (miles): 524.1
Current odometer: 7,933

Read more real-world fuel economy updates about our 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid.

Edmunds says

We're on the road all the time in our 2021 Sienna Hybrid, which means the logbook is brimming with our latest unvarnished opinions. Come along for the ride at our 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid long-term test page.


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