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Toyota will let the current Sienna die a quiet death

Roadshow logo Roadshow 1/29/2019 Andrew Krok
a car parked in a parking lot: What, you mean the "Swagger Wagon" ad campaign isn't still paying off?© CNET

What, you mean the "Swagger Wagon" ad campaign isn't still paying off?

The current Toyota Sienna has soldiered on since 2018 with a slight visual and technological refresh, and not much else. There's a new one on the way, but until then, don't expect much.

Toyota will, basically, leave the Sienna to languish until a new generation is introduced, Automotive News reports, citing an interview with Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America.

Usually, a vehicle facing slowing sales will be bolstered artificially, with dealers offering incentives out the wazoo in an attempt to woo would-be buyers with a value proposition. But that's not going to happen with the Sienna. "When it gets late in its life cycle, you've got to decide -- typically, we will prop up a vehicle late in its life cycle with incentives," Lentz told Automotive News. "But you've got to look at the segment that you're in. And in some cases, that doesn't make good business sense to do, and I think that's what's happening with Sienna."

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According to AN's report, a new Sienna is expected for the 2021 model year, which would place its debut some time in late 2019 or early 2020. It will ride on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which underpins a number of new Toyotas, including the Camry and RAV4. The current model is built in Indiana alongside the Highlander, which is still on the rise sales-wise, so it makes sense why Toyota wouldn't want to burden its line with additional examples of a poorer-selling vehicle.

Looking at sales data from GoodCarBadCar through December 2018, the antediluvian Dodge Grand Caravan was the best-selling minivan last year, largely due to fleet sales, which makes sense, considering fleet buyers want what's cheap and available, not what's good. Of the vans that are actually worth buying, the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey were the only two with six-figure sales numbers, followed closely by the Sienna. The Sienna outsold the last-place Kia Sedona by a factor of about five.

The 2019 Toyota Sienna offers huge space and lots of safety

a car parked on the side of a road: This is the second refresh for the current-generation Sienna. (These pics show the 2018 Sienna; the model didn't change much for 2019 and new pics weren't available at the time of publishing.)

This is the second refresh for the current-generation Sienna. (These pics show the 2018 Sienna; the model didn't change much for 2019 and new pics weren't available at the time of publishing.)
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