Full 2007 Toyota Sienna Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 Toyota Sienna benefits from a major power upgrade, as a new 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 replaces last year's 3.3-liter engine. This makes the Sienna the most powerful minivan on the market. In other news, all '07 Siennas with CD changers are satellite radio-ready (Sirius), and the standard tire-pressure monitoring system now has sensors for each tire (resulting in more accurate readings). The available 17-inch alloy wheels have a new finish.
Since its last redesign in 2004, the Toyota Sienna has been a top pick in the minivan class. Whether you're a new parent, an empty nester or somewhere in between, it will almost certainly meet your needs. As you'd expect of a Toyota minivan, it rides smoothly, returns respectable gas mileage and has excellent safety ratings. It's also one of the roomiest minivans on the market, and in addition to offering comfortable seating in all three rows, it's one of the few models with a bench seat option in the second row -- a boon for large families in need of eight-passenger capacity. The Sienna is also notable for its extensive list of convenience features, offering items like a telescoping steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and rear sunshades that can't be had on other vans. And it's the only 2007 minivan with an all-wheel-drive option.
In the past, high pricing and a tepid driving experience were typically regarded as the major weaknesses of the current-generation van. Toyota has partially improved the driving experience this year by installing a new 3.5-liter V6. Rated for 266 horsepower, the 2007 Sienna's new V6 offers a 50-hp increase over last year's engine, along with considerably more torque. Besides feeling more energetic in traffic, the Sienna should get about the same fuel economy as before. There's no increase in consumption on front-wheel-drive models, and AWD Siennas actually see a slight improvement in their city mileage. Although quick, the Toyota Sienna still isn't the van to get if you like to drive. Sporty handling dynamics might seem like more of a luxury than a necessity in a minivan, but several competitors have succeeded at working them into the mix, and the Sienna, while competent, feels soft and flabby in comparison.
That said, the 2007 Toyota Sienna remains one of the most refined minivans out there, and its high-quality materials and construction are evident from the moment you step inside. If this is the van you decide to park in your garage, you won't get any objections from our staff. However, we do think you would be wise to try the Honda Odyssey, which is the better all-around minivan, and the Hyundai Entourage/Kia Sedona twins, which offer solid qualifications in most areas and bargain pricing.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Toyota Sienna minivan comes in four trim levels -- CE, LE, XLE and XLE Limited. The CE and LE are available in seven- and eight-passenger configurations; the other Siennas max out at seven seats. The CE is front-wheel-drive only, while the LE, XLE and XLE Limited are eligible for all-wheel drive as well.
The base Sienna CE includes 16-inch steel wheels; dual sliding rear doors with power-down windows; separate front and rear air-conditioners; a six-speaker CD stereo with an MP3 player input jack; a telescoping steering wheel; power mirrors and locks; keyless entry and towing preparation. The LE adds privacy glass, a roof rack, heated mirrors, driver-seat lumbar adjustment, a cabin air filter, an in-dash CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control and upgraded instrumentation. The Sienna XLE features alloy wheels, power-sliding doors, a power liftgate, auto headlamps, tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood-grain interior trim, a trip computer and a removable center console. For the top-of-the-line XLE Limited trim level, Toyota adds 17-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, a moonroof, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather/wood steering wheel, an upgraded 10-speaker JBL sound system, rear window shades and a windshield wiper de-icer. All-wheel-drive Siennas automatically receive 17-inch wheels, run-flat tires and the wiper de-icer.
Options on the Toyota Sienna are grouped in numbered packages, and you'll need to study them carefully to ensure the one you pick has all the features you want. Notable items include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a navigation system (with a backup camera and Bluetooth), a power-folding third-row seat and a pair of 115-volt power outlets.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2007 Toyota Sienna is powered by a superb 3.5-liter V6 engine with 266 hp coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission. This refined combination results in strong performance as well as above-average gas mileage, with EPA figures of 20 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway for front-drive models and 18/23 for all-wheel-drive vans.
Antilock brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard across the line. Most 2007 Toyota Siennas have front disc/rear drum brakes, but four-wheel discs are standard on the XLE Limited and AWD models, along with stability and traction control -- these items are optional on all other Siennas. Standard airbag protection includes seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and side curtain airbags that cover all three rows. The XLE Limited comes with front and rear parking sensors, but oddly, this valuable safety item isn't available as a factory option on any other Sienna. A rearview camera is included if you order the navigation system on the XLE or XLE Limited.
Like the other leading minivans, the Toyota Sienna boasts impressive safety ratings. In NHTSA crash testing, the Sienna earned four out of five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and five stars for the front passenger. It earned five stars across the board for side-impact crash protection. The IIHS gave Toyota's van a "Good" rating (its highest) for its performance in frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Sienna's interior is swathed in high-quality fabric on lower trim levels and leather and faux wood on high-end models. Most controls are simple to use, storage space is abundant and the seats are plush. Seven-passenger vans allow owners to push the second-row captain's chairs together to create a bench seat. The eight-passenger version uses a 40/20/40-split bench in the second row, enabling you to pull the middle seat 13 inches closer to the front seats for easier access. The Sienna provides 149 cubic feet of cargo capacity -- second only to the Chrysler minivans.
Although the Sienna's automatic transmission is tuned more for fuel economy than performance and thus tends to shift conservatively, there's no denying the potency of the new V6 when you stomp on the gas pedal. Acceleration is more than ample in most situations, and the engine delivers its power in a highly refined manner. Ride quality is smooth and comfortable, but the 2007 Toyota Sienna offers little inspiration in the handling department. It feels secure enough when going around corners, but with minimal steering feedback and considerable body roll, it's not a minivan you'll relish driving. Braking distances are on par with the rest of the minivan class, but pedal feel is a little vague.