Redesigned Toyota Sienna provides improved crash protection

December 22, 2020

The 2021 Toyota Sienna provides improved protection in small overlap front crashes, qualifying for the highest award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Redesigned for the 2021 model year, the minivan is now available only as a hybrid. It earns good ratings in both the driver-side and passenger-side small overlap front tests. The previous model earned an acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap test and a marginal rating in the passenger-side test.

To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in those two crashworthiness evaluations, as well as the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also needs advanced or superior ratings for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention and must offer acceptable- or good-rated headlights across all trims. Vehicles that offer good or acceptable headlights on at least one trim qualify for the lower-tier Top Safety Pick.

The 2020 Sienna fell short in the two small overlap tests because the protective structure of the vehicle crumpled into the occupant compartment. The occupant’s survival space was not maintained well in either evaluation, though the vehicle performed worse in the passenger-side test. The 2021 model did not display these structural issues, and measurements from the sensors in the dummies did not indicate a heightened risk of injury to the driver or passenger.

The standard front crash prevention system on the 2021 model earns superior and advanced ratings in the Institute’s vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests, respectively. The new Sienna avoided collisions at 12 and 25 mph in the vehicle-to-vehicle test and either avoided hitting the pedestrian dummy or slowed to a near stop in most of the vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. However, it didn’t perform as well in the 37 mph trial that simulates an adult walking in the travel lane in the same direction as the vehicle.

The 2021 Sienna is available with two types of headlights, LED reflectors or LED projectors, both of which earn a good rating.

The Sienna is the second minivan to earn either IIHS award this year, after the 2021 Honda Odyssey.

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