For few consecutive years minivan market is shrinking significantly and this is mainly because of the availability of SUV’s, CUV’s and large sedans that often bring much better features, improved handling, decent amount of space, great price and what is even more important lower fuel consumption.
One of the questions that we could hear for long time is why there are no hybrid minivans. There are no reasons why hybrid technology shouldn’t be introduced into this market and allow these vehicles to offer lower fuel consumption. Rumors suggest that the redesigned and changed 2016 Toyota Sienna Hybrid will be offered but have in mind that at this point these are only rumors and that this might not happen.
Rumors About 2016 Toyota Sienna Hybrid
This would not be the first minivan with hybrid powertrain and one of the vehicles with which this minivan could share a lot is the Toyota Estima Hybrid that is delivered to the Japanese market. With introduction of Sienna Hybrid this market segment could be important again. We know that Sienna is quite popular but still does not manage to offer sale results that are good enough for Toyota.
The Estima comes to the market with combination of 2.4 liter inline four cylinder engine and two electric motors. First one comes to the front and pumps out 13 kW while the second one is at the back and offers 18 kW. Total power of the system is 190 hp and that should be enough for Sienna hybrid but have in mind that U.S. market is slightly different than any other and that buyers always look for more power so this might be a problem.
It is pretty hard to say what setup the 2016 Toyota Sienna Hybrid would offer but the Estima returns about 47 mpg on a Japanese test cycle. These tests always offer results in favor of hybrid powertrains so we would be getting lower mpg after the EPA tests. Even with significant reduction to 35 or even more possible 40 mpg this vehicle would be significantly better than any other model in this market segment. Main competitor to this model could be the Mazda 5 that comes as a non-hybrid model and returns 22/28/24 mpg in city/highway/combined drive cycle.
2016 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Changes
We are sure that if the 2016 Toyota Sienna Hybrid is delivered to the market we would be getting slightly more power than the Estima offers. Also it would be heavier vehicle which would further affect fuel consumption but to compensate this we would be most likely getting more powerful electric units and Lithium Ion battery pack of higher capacity. With these improvements it would be possible to attract a lot more attention and additional number of buyers but again these are only assumptions that are based on rumors.
One of the problems with this hybrid could be the fact that it could be offered with a quite high price tag. At the Japanese market the Estima comes with price tag of about $50,000 and we do expect that in the similar range the 2016 Toyota Sienna Hybrid could be offered. When we say that the minivan owners are among the most cost conscious shoppers that are looking to buy cheap but to get a lot that we can see the problem here.