The Toyota Sienna is a minivan that seats up to eight people, meets all the needs of a busy family, and handles plenty of spilled Cheerios. As the needs and appeal of minivan owners have evolved, it’s become a sleeker vehicle that can just as well fill up for a night out with parents or a stag weekend.
The Sienna stands out as a hybrid combining 36 mpg and is available with all-wheel drive.
MORE: Read our review of the 2022 Toyota Sienna
The new Toyota Sienna
The fourth generation Toyota Sienna is a hybrid minivan capable of around 36 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is optional across the LE, XLE, XSE, Limited and Platinum lineup.
The redesigned minivan looks less like a minivan from the outside, and if the rear were cut off, it could pass for a crossover SUV. But the square end is what makes it so good for carrying up to eight passengers and all their gear. The Sienna has a pair of power sliding doors and a third-row seat stows under the floor when not needed. It doesn’t offer a similar second-row storage feature like the Chrysler Pacifica, but the second row slides all the way forward and tilts to help make the most of the otherwise flat floor.
The streamlined cabin includes a 9.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, a clean horizontal design that evokes space and generous storage areas. The focal point of the interior design is a new “bridge console” which brings two levels of storage and utility to the space in front of the center console; and a full-width dash shelf helps provide space for smaller items.
It’s powered by a 243-horsepower combined hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine mated to two front-wheel-drive motors. A separate motor mounted on the rear axle assists the all-wheel-drive system and does away with the driveshaft tunnel that ran through the middle of previous Siennas. This makes the interior even more spacious and capable of towing 3,500 pounds. All the while, the Sienna’s ride and handling are top notch – better coordinated than an SUV, with a quiet cabin and good handling and sightlines.
Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, automatic high beams, rear seat reminder and blind spot monitors with crash alerts. rear cross traffic. Standard convenience features include power sliding doors and windows; Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility; seven USB ports; up to 18 cup holders. Options range from an integrated vacuum cleaner to a small refrigerator in the center console.
Siena won a quasi-SUV Wilderness version with standard all-wheel drive for 2022.
History of Siena
Toyota introduced the Sienna as a more conventional minivan offering in the late 90s. It replaced the egg-shaped Previa, which had a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive design that resulted in odd packaging. The Sienna appeared in 1998 with front-wheel drive and an interior layout that more closely resembled the segment leaders. This model shared the underpinnings of the Camry sedan, as does the model to date which, combined with production located in the United States, brought costs down.
Initially, the Sienna used the same powertrain as the Camry V-6, a 194-hp 3.0-liter, replaced after several years by an even smoother and smoother 210-hp version. These first-generation Siennas proved reliable, but Toyota had yet to find its place at the front of the pack; the seats were definitely a step behind the Chrysler minivans of the time, and the third row had to be raised rather than folded flat, and the interiors were quite lackluster. Many buyers intimidated by the immense size and weight of the new minivans might find these Siennas perfect. Side airbags and stability control became available in 2001, so with the more powerful engine, 2001-2003 models are also the choice of this group.
For 2004, Toyota introduced a redesigned and significantly larger Sienna. With a 230 hp (or 215 hp) V6, 3.3-liter V6 and 5-speed automatic transmission, this Sienna offered nearly the same performance as the previous model, although the 3.5 engine liters and 266 hp introduced for 2007 gave the minivan more confidence for passing and highway hauling. But this Sienna didn’t have much charisma or style, and towards the end of its life it looked quite outdated next to some rival models. Interior materials were also criticized for being a bit dull and plasticky, once again, on all but the best XLE and Limited models.
These vans were well equipped, although buyers had to upgrade to get things like power sliding doors, power folding third row seat and power tailgate. While LE models came with a bench in the second row, XLE and XLE Limited models came with two captain’s chairs. Options included front and rear parking sensors, a JBL audio system, and laser-guided cruise control. Toyota made side airbags standard for 2006.
The third-generation Sienna went on sale in the spring of 2010 for the 2011 model year. Roughly the same size (and slightly heavier) than the version that preceded it, the Sienna was powered by a V6 3.5-liter engine developing 266 horsepower, with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front or all-wheel drive. ; Toyota also offered a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower in 2011 and 2012, but discontinued it in 2013.
Until 2020, the Sienna was unique among minivans in offering optional all-wheel drive.
Toyota gave the Sienna a slight update for 2015. Changes include reworked grilles and lighting elements on some models, as well as interior tweaks. The powertrain menu remains the same, with a standard V6 and a choice of front or all-wheel drive. Toyota made some chassis improvements, including stiffening the structure and lightly massaging the body to slightly improve aerodynamics, but the changes didn’t affect EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 25 highway for front-drive models. before. The 2015 model also earned “Good” ratings from the IIHS in all tests except the new small front offset, where it earned an “Acceptable” rating. Its overall five-star rating from NHTSA continues.
For 2017, Toyota has improved the Sienna’s powertrain and efficiency with an upgraded direct-injected version of its 3.5-liter V6 (which now produces 296 hp) and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Apple CarPlay was added to the lineup for 2019 and can be retrofitted to the 2018 Sienna. No changes were made to the Sienna for 2020.