1998 Toyota Sienna Review

Pros & Cons

  • All-new minivan from Toyota is guaranteed to set the minivan-world on end. A powerful engine, seating for seven, car-like ride, and attention to detail may spell the end of Chrysler Corporations dominance of this field.
  • We think that this is one of the ugliest minivans on the road.
List Price Estimate
$1,224 - $2,130

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Just when you thought it was safe to call the minivan market dead, Toyota does the unthinkable and makes this typically boring corner of automobilia interesting. Toyota's new minivan sits in sharp contrast to the one it replaces. Whereas the Previa was a study in minivan abnormalities, with rear-wheel drive, a midship-mounted supercharged engine and a shape that looked like the droid escape pod from the first Star Wars movie, the Sienna is a model of suburban respectability.

That doesn't, however, mean that this minivan is boring. Resting under the hood is a powerful 3.0-liter V6 engine that was stolen from the Camry parts bin. The engine isn't the only piece of equipment pilfered from the Camry; the Sienna rides on a stretched and modified Camry platform and uses much of the Camry's interior switchgear. Appropriately referred to internally at Toyota as "The Camry of minivans," we can only assume that the company expects this creation to be as popular as their recently redesigned sedan.

In order to harness the 194 horses at work under the hood, engineers put antilock brakes at all four wheels of every Sienna. Other safety equipment includes dual airbags, side-impact protection that meets future federal standards and seatbelt pretensioners for both front seats. Toyota is so confident in this vehicle's crashworthiness that they proclaim in their press kit that it will deliver "best-in-class" in tests administered by third parties. The claim has been substantiated. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted an offset crash test of the Sienna and called it "the best performing vehicle in the history of the test."

Interestingly, Toyota was able to talk rivals General Motors and Chrysler into lending a hand on the Sienna's manufacturing process. Not used to making such a large vehicle, Toyota had questions about how to deal with the interior assembly of this van that has well over 130 cubic feet of cargo space.

In the end, General Motors and Chrysler may be sorry that they offered to help Toyota figure out some of their manufacturing logistics. Toyota is expecting to sell 70,000 of these minvans annually. If they increase capacity, they could become a real thorn in the side of the Big Three that has heretofore dominated the minivan industry. Whatever the case may be, we have no hesitation about recommending this outstanding, if somewhat homely, minivan.

1998 Highlights

A new minivan from Toyota brings some innovation to the family transport market. A powerful 194-horsepower V6 engine rests under the hood of all models. Safety equipment includes standard antilock brakes, low tire-pressure warning systems and five-mph front and rear bumpers. Sienna boasts outstanding crash test scores.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Toyota Sienna.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Excellent Vehicle, Super Reliable
clsharky,12/21/2014
CE 3dr Minivan
We bought this minivan used from the original owners with 220k kms. When they bought it new, they had a remote starter, class II towing package with trans cooler installed, and the undercarriage was undercoated with rubberized rockguard. We have owned it nearly 7 years and driven 130k kms for a total of just under 350k kms. In the time we have owned it, I have done regular maintenance to it, brakes, tires, engine tune-ups, etc and have only had to replace both rear wheel bearings, all 4 ABS sensors, two inner tie-rods and the original battery. I just completed the 332k timing belt service and the engine runs like a top. It will tow all I need it to and still gets reasonable fuel mileage
Good engine/trans, body hardware weak
diydiy,06/12/2013
LE 3dr Minivan
bought car brand new. did standard maint. car still runs strong and quiet. now at 150K I did do the timing belt/hoses at 75k. The A/C stopped working 3 years ago. Recharged with sealant fixed it! Interior passenger door handle broke twice... cracking AGAIN! Struts seemed okay, but replaced at 120K due to slick salesperson at tire place. Car runs like NEW. The car had LOTS of short trips, and had many hours run time in crazy long traffic. Now giving it to my son to drive until it dies. Best $22K I ever spent on a car. Previous van Dodge caravan sport SE, just about fell apart at 150K, many repairs and extra maint! (But the dodge looked nicer ;-) ).
Where do I start?
pazeredo,06/22/2012
LE 3dr Minivan
Shortly after we bought this car the transmission died. We replaced it with another sienna tranny, then that died. So we got another one, and by 170,000 miles it was on its way out, refusing to leave 1st gear until 40mph. As other users have stated, the exterior door handles break off. Our interior handles (backseats) died around 170,000 miles, so I rigged up the trunk to open from the inside. The window motors died by 100,000 miles, and the radio and AC died around the same time. The engine only had about 4 of the 6 cylinders working when it finally died. Despite all of these things, the car held up in my family for 13 years and 4 different drivers, and with care, treated us well.
350k and still ticking
MacKayak,01/14/2009
CE 3dr Minivan
This van is simply amazing. At 180K received letter from Toyota asking if while driving you hear a humming noise, bring it in. The following week dealer installed a brand new transmission, free of charge. Now going on 350K. Changed radiator, timing belt twice, brakes and oil. Van should be good for another 200k, at least! Extremely satisfied.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 1998 Toyota Sienna

Used 1998 Toyota Sienna Overview

The Used 1998 Toyota Sienna is offered in the following submodels: Sienna Minivan. Available styles include LE 3dr Minivan, XLE 4dr Minivan, and CE 3dr Minivan. Pre-owned Toyota Sienna models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 194 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 Toyota Sienna comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Toyota Sienna?

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Which used 1998 Toyota Siennas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 Toyota Sienna for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 Toyota Sienna.

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Find a used Toyota Sienna for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,722.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 1 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $11,688.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Sienna for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $9,671.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Toyota Sienna?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Toyota Sienna lease specials