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 Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Expensive, but worth it.

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I purchased the 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited from Carmax with 112,000 miles on it. I've owned it now for three weeks. I'm fairly impressed. Overall gas mileage is a tick under 20 mpg. I'm a single guy with no kids and I drive a minivan, but I'm ok with that. This one is pretty nice and it holds a lot of stuff when I need it to. Superbly flexible and comfortable accommodations for any number of people. It's an expensive car compared to the competition, but hopefully with the Toyota reputation, it'll last a long time.

Excellent car for a mother

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I have had the Sienna for 2 1/2 years now. It has never had to go in the shop for anything except maintenance. It has been very reliable. This is my second sienna. My first one was rear ended by teenager while I was stopped waiting to turn left. Nobody was injured except for the car. Having 4 kids, the ability to move the second row seats next to each other is a big plus. The second row seat that is mobile has a seat belt attached to it instead of the wall. Since I have the second row seats next to each other there is a nice walkway to the back. My only complaint with the Sienna is that the tires that come with it do not last. Overall, I am very pleased.

Sliding door problems

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Overall, the van is good value, very comfortable and drives smooth. Had 3 problems so far - The laser guided cruise control is located in the bumper. Must have hit a snowbank and it is out of calibration (want $800 to re-calibrate).Who would put such a sensitive instrument in the bumper is beyond me. Continuous problems with sliding doors. Has refused to latch intermittently from year 2. Dealer did not do anything, since it worked at the shop. 10 miles past the warranty, one door permanently refused to latch - luckily had purchased extended warranty. The second door failed a month later - with a child sitting in the seat!! I am not certain that i would buy a Toyota again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my van!

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I don't even have any small kids. I have a son playing football 650 miles from home and have driven this van in all kinds of conditions. I haven't had a major problem at all in 40K miles. We got it so loaded up that my friend calls it a "living room on wheels". My dealer is a gem! I developed a little rattle and they took care of it 1-2-3 can gave me a loaner for the day. The car tailgates like a champ. The automatic tailgate is a great convenience when my arms are full. It's the most reliable car (my first Toyota) that I've ever had.

So far, an excellent vehicle

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

We just completed a 2000 mile trip from VA to FL and the van now has almost 7000 miles. The ride and comfort were excellent. The vehicle tends to exhibit a delayed response from the trans at some points. Not sure what that is all about. Still not sure what mileage we got on the road but the city mileage is as advertised. Lots of room in the van and it is much quieter than our 2001 Grand Caravan. Acceleration is also excellent. The laser cruise is accurate but you need to plan your lane changes to accommodate how it operates. Not at all happy that the navigation is not operable when vehicle moves even by passenger. Almost a waste!!! Other than that, we are very pleased with our first Toyota.

Great van light on features

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

I recently purchased the 2008 Sienna Limited. I traded in my 2001 Honda Odyssey after 2 transmissions! So I wanted to try Toyota and I love it. It is like riding in a luxury car, smooth ride, quiet engine, leather, wood trim, 360 watt stereo and plenty of room. It's new, but I'm only averaging 16 MPG on the highway, so hopefully it will break in and get better. One complaint that I have is when you pay over $33k for a limited you expect a DVD and navigation system, Honda gives you that for the same price as the Toyota! However I drove the new Honda and it was sluggish, and would never trust that brand again. I guess a good engine is better then a good DVD and navigation system!


Full 2008 Toyota Sienna Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Toyota Sienna sees no significant changes.


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.


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

2008 Toyota Sienna Discussions See all Started By

Here is a FYI for the group. My 2006 Sienna developed a problem with the power 3rd row seats where they will come up out of the seat well, seem to lock into plact but the seat backs will not come up....

We were sitting at a stop light and heard a loud bang. Took it to the nearest Toyota dealership and they found the right front coil spring had broke. I brought the van new and it has never been in ?...

Some bulletin boards speculate that Toyota is going to introduce a Sienna Hybrid in 2008. My question to the forum is this:...

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