2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2020 Toyota Sienna

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Traverse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Sienna doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Sienna doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Traverse and the Sienna have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Toyota Sienna:





5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

198 lbs.

260 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 lbs.

330/307 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Stress

128 lbs.

218 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

80 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

258/133 lbs.

604/305 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Toyota Sienna:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

204 lbs.

391 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

716 lbs.

746 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches




Hip Force

554 lbs.

586 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The Traverse’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Sienna’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Traverse’s warranty.


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Traverse has a standard 600-amp battery. The Sienna’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.


The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 14 more horsepower (310 vs. 296) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 263) than the Sienna’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Traverse is faster than the Toyota Sienna:



Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.3 sec

18.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

7.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

93 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

112 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Traverse’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sienna doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sienna (21.7 vs. 20 gallons).

The Traverse has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Sienna doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Traverse higher (6 out of 10) than the Toyota Sienna (5). This means the Traverse produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Sienna every 15,000 miles.


A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Traverse, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Sienna.

Brakes and Stopping

The Traverse stops shorter than the Sienna:



70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

156 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Traverse has larger tires than the Sienna (255/65R18 vs. 235/60R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Traverse has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sienna L/LE/XLE. The Traverse’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Sienna SE.

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Sienna only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Traverse has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Sienna doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Traverse has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Sienna has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Traverse has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Sienna doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Sienna (120.9 inches vs. 119.3 inches).

For greater off-road capability the Traverse has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sienna (7.6 vs. 6.6 inches), allowing the Traverse to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.


The front grille of the Traverse uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sienna doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Traverse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sienna doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Traverse has .3 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and .8 inches more rear legroom than the Sienna.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Traverse Premier/High Country’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Sienna doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.


Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota Sienna is limited to 3500 pounds. The Traverse offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Traverse uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Sienna uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.


The Traverse’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sienna’s parking brake has to released manually.

On a hot day the Traverse’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sienna can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Sienna doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Traverse’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Sienna’s power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Traverse’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Sienna.

Both the Traverse and the Sienna offer available heated front seats. The Traverse Premier/High Country also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Sienna.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Traverse Premier/High Country keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Sienna doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Traverse Premier/High Country has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Sienna doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $570 less than the Sienna over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the Sienna because typical repairs cost less on the Traverse than the Sienna, including $24 less for a muffler, $143 less for a starter, $90 less for a fuel pump, $23 less for front struts and $155 less for a timing belt/chain.


The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Toyota Sienna by 67% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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