2013 Toyota Sienna To Drop Four-Cylinder Model

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2013 Toyota Sienna SE

2013 Toyota Sienna SE

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Normally, a manufacturer announcing that it will drop a four cylinder model in favor of a six-cylinder variant would lead to wailing and gnashing of teeth, to those of a green disposition.

With the 2013 Toyota Sienna minivan however, it's no big deal losing the unpopular 2.7-liter four-cylinder, as the 3.5-liter V-6 already made the same 21 mpg combined.

Few buyers are likely to care then, particularly as the V-6 was also a better highway car, at 25 mpg, 1 mpg better than the four-banger. And with 266 horsepower, it's always had the advantage when it comes to hauling people and their luggage.

With the four-cylinder gone, buyers can still enjoy the option of all-wheel drive, the new easy-clean fabric seats, three-zone climate control and other features. The Sienna range kicks off at $26,450.

Still, there'd be even more to shout about if Toyota introduced a truly fuel-efficient model to the Sienna range, to fill a glaring efficiency hole in the minivan market.

Both small-car buyers and wagon buyers now have Prius models to cut their gas bills, so why not an even larger model? It's not like there are no engines to choose from, with 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter six-cylinder hybrid drivetrains in the Toyota and Lexus ranges.

Still, if Toyota can drop its smallest engine without dropping gas mileage, then we can't complain too much...


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Comments (4)
  1. There are hybrids in just about every segment of the auto markets (coupe, sedan, trucks, suv, hatchback) except for Minivans...

    I guess the work horse and family hauler aren't usually concerned about MPG. Safety, Space, Value and power are usually what a minivan buyers care the most...

  2. Good point, Xiaolong. I think MPG is the lowest on buyers' minds when shopping for a minivan. All that space and flat-floor plan, you'd think, would be ideal for hybrid (or EV) batteries!

    Oh, wait... Tesla's Model X.... ;-)

  3. Paul,

    Agreed, Not to mention the stop and go (errand running trips), idling (waiting for kids) and potential power accesory need, hybrid would have made perfect sense.

    I think the biggest issue is cost. Adding sufficient power and battery to the minivan can potentially add up $5K to $10k in price. This market segment is very competitive and "value driven". If they can do it in a car based SUV, then they can do it in a minivan. All it takes is one auto maker to do it.

    I would think that Toyota would have done one by now. I sure hope Ford or GM would use this as an excuse to get back into the minivan market. A larger C-Max/Fusion based minivan would be a good idea. A Volt based minivan would be hot too (they did have a concept).

  4. Funny I was just in one yesterday and said to the shuttle driver that Toyota should put the hybrid In this. Better aerodynamic's than a SUV but can still seat 7. plus the auto sliding side doors are awesome in tight parking.

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