2008 Toyota Sienna Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Sienna Minivan

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Toyota Sienna Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 266 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Toyota Sienna

  • Roomy, comfortable and well-built, the 2008 Toyota Sienna minivan is an easy choice, especially if you have a big family.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and powerful V6, comfortable ride, an abundance of convenience features, choice of seven- or eight-passenger seating, available all-wheel drive, tight build quality.

  • Cons

    Expensive option packages, uninspired handling even for a minivan.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Toyota Sienna sees no significant changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (12 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bad rear a/c line, low

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Bought Toyota Sienna 2008. Today is July 6, 2012. About ~4.25 year and 39000 miles, and facing following problems already: 1) Rear A/C line leaks. Dealer said it was due to rust after leak test. Then I request to see myself and saw oily residue on rear passenger side tire area. No rust at all. Dealer said, originally, line will have to be replaced. Then I think he had a slip of tounge and said leaky o-ring. Whatever it is. The cost to repair is $900. I went ahead with the repair since dealer (Elmhurst Toyota, IL -chicago area) scared me that it could damage the compressor if oil keep leaking. 2) both sides vent window molding falling $85 each to repair 3) original tires lasted only 30k.




Would buy again

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Our first van was totaled with no injury to occupant. We haul grandkids all over and love the Sienna. The automatic sliding door malfunctioned after vehicle was out of warranty - replacement part too expensive - disappointed about that. However, overall it is a great van.




Sooo much better than honda

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I bought the Sienna in June of 08. The Sienna is quiet, has a smooth ride and is very comfortable!!! The 8th seat is a must!! I am thrilled with my purchase! With 30k miles so far I have had no problems




Knock, knock, knocking on...

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We enjoy the styling and features of this van and it handling. The safety features were a big selling point as well: vehicle stability control, traction control and side curtain air bags. All the glory of the safety ratings and features fade away with the knocking we hear from the engine on cold start up during acceleration between 1500 and 2000rpm. This noisy diesel sound diminishes after the vehicle is completely warms. The dealer said there was nothing wrong with the engine just normal lifter noise to be expected with a vehicle of this mileage. EXCUSE ME!!! Well folks there you have it 47,000 miles is the new high mileage bench mark for Toyota.




Great van for a growing

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We are expecting our third child soon and needed a larger vehicle. We chose the Sienna primarily because it is the only van to offer eight useful seats -- the 8th seat offered by the Odyssey is too small to be useful. We also like how the center seat can be moved forward for easy access to our expected baby. Add Toyota's powerful V6 (with a timing chain versus a belt) and better real life gas millage and the Sienna was for us. We have been enjoying our van, including a trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. It was great being able to bring along the kid's bikes by just putting them in the back of the van (no need for a bike rack). The van was a gift for my wife and so far she loves it!




A great value for such

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I've had my 08 LE 8-passenger for 1.5 months now. I'm almost done with the first 1K mile break-in (currently ~ 900 miles) and so far the experience is great. The van drives like a luxurious car, so roomy and comfortable that my toddler keeps asking to get on the van. We got our LE with option 1. We have driven over the mountain (from SJ to Santa Cruz, CA) a few times and the van has enough power to climb up with ease. On the highway, we were surprised that it's so smooth and quiet. Combining hwy and city driving, we have averaged ~ 22 mpg over 900-mile.



Full 2008 Toyota Sienna Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Toyota Sienna sees no significant changes.

Introduction

Ever since its last makeover four years ago, the Toyota Sienna has been a top choice in the minivan segment for consumers and automotive critics alike. Things got even better last year, when Toyota updated the minivan with a new, 266-horsepower V6 that improved performance while remaining as fuel-efficient as the previous (and less powerful) engine. For 2008, the Toyota Sienna stands pat, and that sits just fine with us.

As you might expect from a Toyota product, the Sienna has a comfortable ride, earns respectable gas mileage and has top-notch safety ratings. It's also one of the roomiest minivans available and one of the few that offers eight-passenger capacity and all-wheel drive. Inside, the Sienna can be fitted with luxury features not typically seen on a minivan, such as a telescoping steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and rear sunshades. If Lexus made a minivan, we imagine it would be a lot like the Sienna.

Although it's got plenty of power, the Sienna still isn't the best choice for those looking for at least some driving involvement due to its softly tuned suspension and numb steering. Granted, most people buying a minivan are more concerned with getting all the kids to school and sports activities than tearing it up on a twisting road. However, those who'd like a more carlike experience behind the wheel of their family shuttle would be better served by the Honda Odyssey, which is as close to a sporty sedan as a minivan gets.

Besides the Honda, there are a few other minivans you might want to consider. The redesigned Dodge and Chrysler minivans offer a number of segment-exclusive features this year, and the less expensive Hyundai Entourage/Kia Sedona twins provide better value than the Sienna. But overall, the 2008 Toyota Sienna remains one of the best choices out there, especially if price isn't a huge concern.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Sienna minivan comes in four trim levels -- CE, LE, XLE and XLE Limited. The CE and LE come in seven- and eight-passenger configurations while the upper trims are seven-passenger only. All but the CE offer a choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive; the CE just comes as a front-driver.

The base Sienna CE includes 16-inch steel wheels, dual sliding rear doors with power-down windows, front and rear air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, a telescoping steering wheel and full power accessories. The LE adds privacy and solar energy-absorbing glass, a roof rack, heated mirrors, a CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a folding front passenger seat, cruise control and upgraded instrumentation.

The Sienna XLE features alloy wheels, power-sliding rear doors, a power liftgate, automatic 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. The plush XLE Limited adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, 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 into packages that vary based on buying region, and they can get rather pricey. You'll need to study them carefully to ensure the one you pick has just what you want. Notable items include xenon headlights, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a navigation system (with a back-up camera and Bluetooth), a power-folding third-row seat and a pair of 115-volt power outlets.

Powertrains and Performance

A superb 3.5-liter V6 engine with 266 hp matched to a five-speed automatic transmission is featured on every 2008 Sienna. This refined combination provides brisk performance (we timed an AWD version of the XLE from zero to 60 mph in just 8.0 seconds) as well as respectable gas mileage. The revised 2008 EPA figures come in at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for front-drive models, while the AWD versions rate 16 and 21, respectively.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control and a full complement of airbags (including front-seat side and full-length side curtain) are standard on all Siennas. The XLE Limited also comes with front and rear park assist, while rear park assist is available on LE and XLE trims. If you opt for the navigation system, you'll also get a handy rearview camera.

In government crash testing, the 2008 Toyota Sienna earned four stars (out of five) for driver protection in frontal impacts and five stars for the front passenger. It also received five stars across the board for side-impact crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Toyota's minivan a "Good" rating (its highest) for its performance in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sienna's spacious cabin is handsomely fitted with high-quality fabric on lower trim levels, and leather and faux wood on the higher-end models. The various controls are simple to use, storage space is plentiful and the seats are plush. Seven-passenger vans allow the second-row captain's chairs to be pushed together to create a bench seat. The eight-passenger version uses a 40/20/40-split bench in the second row whose center section slides 13 inches closer to the front seats for easier access to the little one seated there. The Sienna provides a cavernous 149 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Although the 2008 Toyota Sienna's automatic transmission is calibrated more for fuel economy than performance and thus tends to shift conservatively, there's no denying the potency of the new V6 when you step into it. Acceleration is spirited in most situations, and the engine delivers its power in a quiet, refined manner. Ride quality is smooth and comfortable, but the 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 too soft to inspire confidence.

Talk About The 2008 Sienna

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs