2020 Toyota Sienna vs. 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Sienna Limited Premium FWD’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Traverse doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sienna are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The Sienna has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Traverse doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Sienna and the Traverse 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, 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 Toyota Sienna is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:

Sienna

Traverse

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

201

216

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

77 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

35.2%

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 Toyota Sienna is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:

Sienna

Traverse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

49

69

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

144 G’s

161 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

34 G’s

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

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sienna its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 162 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Traverse has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Sienna’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sienna for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Traverse.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sienna’s reliability 58 points higher than the Traverse.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sienna third among minivans in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Traverse isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked fourth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The Sienna’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 41 more horsepower (296 vs. 255) than the Traverse RS’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Sienna uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Traverse RS requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Sienna’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Traverse:

Sienna

Traverse

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

The Sienna stops much shorter than the Traverse:

Sienna

Traverse

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Sienna L/LE/XLE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Traverse’s standard 65 series tires. The Sienna SE’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Traverse LT Leather/RS/Premier/High Country’s 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Sienna can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Traverse doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Sienna has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Traverse’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the Sienna AWD’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Traverse’s (37.4 feet vs. 39 feet). The Sienna’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Traverse’s (37.5 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Sienna SE is 4 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Sienna easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Sienna has .5 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 9.2 inches more rear hip room, 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room, .1 inches more third row headroom, 2.8 inches more third row legroom, 1.8 inches more third row hip room and 3.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the Traverse.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sienna’s middle and third row seats recline. The Traverse’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Sienna’s cargo area provides more volume than the Traverse.

Sienna

Traverse

Behind Third Seat

39.1 cubic feet

23 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

n/a

57.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

87.1 cubic feet

n/a

Second Seat Folded

117.8 cubic feet

98.2 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

150 cubic feet

98.2 cubic feet

The Sienna has a standard Split & Stow 3rd Row third row seat, which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Traverse doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Sienna. The Traverse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The Sienna’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Traverse’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Sienna’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Traverse’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

The Sienna Limited Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Sienna has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Traverse doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sienna owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Sienna with a number “5” insurance rate while the Traverse is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sienna is less expensive to operate than the Traverse because it costs $91 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Sienna than the Traverse, including $24 less for a water pump, $125 less for front brake pads, $15 less for fuel injection and $34 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Sienna will be $346 to $3875 less than for the Chevrolet Traverse.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Sienna, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Traverse isn't recommended.

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

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