2014 Toyota Sienna Limited Minivan (3.5L V6 6-speed Automatic)
Driven On 7/1/2014
The Toyota Sienna Limited pretty much has it all. It's comfortable, roomy and a breeze to drive. Then there's its powerful V6, supple transmission and intuitive throttle calibration. Add in Toyota quality and the reasonable price, and you've got a top choice.
PerformancePeople buy minivans to cart around kids and loads of groceries, sports equipment and home-improvement supplies. But that doesn't mean you can't appreciate the Sienna's 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and its supple transmission.
This is a strong and smooth V6. It's a bit soft below 3,000 rpm, but then comes alive with a hearty midrange punch and an even bigger boost of momentum above 5,000 rpm. Our tester hit 60 mph in 8.1 seconds.
The brakes have a linear response. None of the around-town touchiness so common these days. The pedal has a firm feel and panic-stopping distances were consistent, the shortest stop from 60 mph in 126 feet.
We like the road surface feedback through the wheel, but there's too much power assist making for overly light steering that lacks proper precision. Of course, it is a minivan.
The suspension is tuned for softies, with lots of body roll. It does take a nice set with each transition, but around our slalom cones the stability system was overly intrusive.
With a smooth-shifting and quick-reacting six-speed automatic transmission, linear throttle delivery and a handily-tight turning radius, the Sienna is a breeze to drive smoothly.
V6 models have a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
ComfortTo say the Sienna is a comfortable people-hauler is an understatement. Between its butt-friendly seats and plush ride it's downright pillowy. The V6 is silent at highway speeds, but wind noise can be excessive.
The cushions are relatively firm but still offer plenty of comfort. Second-row seats are also comfy, and we especially like the Limited's reclinerlike footrests. The third row offers ample legroom, too.
With a cushy ride that absorbs most bumps with ease, the Sienna seems to just float down the highway.
The Sienna's sound-deadening is only OK, as there is a significant amount of noise from that expansive windshield. Whisper-silent V6 and quiet tires on the highway.
InteriorThere's lots of room here. It's easy to get in and out and the view for the driver is exceptional. Some controls like the radio tuning knob are a long reach and the cupholders don't hold cups in place well, but overall this is a well-done interior.
The driving position is excellent. Most controls are straightforward, although the stereo display looks dated. The power side door button can be confused for a light switch.
The front seats are easy to get in/out of. You have to hop up a bit to get into second row. Third-row access is made pretty easy by the sliding/tilting second row.
Third-row headroom is surprisingly good, but elbow and hip room are tight. Second-row headroom is voluminous. Not lacking headroom or width up front, either.
Absolutely expansive window area all around the Sienna. Standard rear backup camera gives you even fewer excuses for inadvertently hitting something in a parking lot, though the screen is small.
14 cupholders, but the four most important ones (in the center console and the slide-out device) are too wide and let bottles tip easily. Second row has limited storage cubbies.
ValueToyota has long been known as a value leader because its well-built cars, trucks and minivans seem to run forever, have a reasonable amount of equipment and the pricing won't break your wallet. Those qualities remain in the Sienna.
Build Quality (vs. $)
As you'd expect of a Toyota, the Sienna is put together well, though some of the materials are on the cheap side. For instance, the tacky, fake wood trim and multi-panel plastic dash aren't as nice as those in Honda's Odyssey.
The Sienna Limited comes with most of the standard items you'd expect like power sliding side doors, a backup camera and Bluetooth. Available options include a widescreen rear-seat entertainment system and navigation.
Our tester's $42,000 asking price aligns with other uplevel full-size minivans with a V6, particularly if you're seeking a van with ample comfort.
Our mixed-driving miles yielded 19.1 mpg, almost 2 mpg below the EPA's combined estimate but above the EPA's city estimate. The EPA rates the Sienna at 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway).
The Sienna comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty plus a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Sienna comes with free maintenance and roadside assistance for 2 years/25,000 miles.
Fun To DriveIs the Sienna fun to drive? Not really, but there's fun to be had enjoying the utility of a minivan whether you're driving around town or taking a road trip.
This is a truly comfortable family hauler, the driving experience of which is only marred by its susceptibility to crosswinds and imprecise steering which allows some wandering.
If there is any personality here in a Toyota minivan, it comes from the V6, which is ultra-smooth and quiet on the highway, but shows surprising giddyup when you punch it.
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