Used 2002 Toyota Sienna Review

No more exciting than a toaster, but comes close to being the perfect minivan appliance.




what's new

Nothing major is in store for Toyota's minivan this year. The most significant change is the availability of a new "Symphony" special edition for LE models. This special edition includes items like keyless entry, a roof rack, captain's chairs for the first two rows (six-way power driver seat), a premium JBL audio system, power swing privacy glass, color-keyed heated power side mirrors, an overhead console with HomeLink and painted bumpers and cladding. There's also a new color this year exclusive to the Symphony: Lunar Mist Metallic. The base CE model's Extra Value package now includes a roof rack and keyless entry for no extra cost.

vehicle overview

Despite the fact that it's five model years old and doesn't offer as much utility and functionality as newer competitors, the Toyota Sienna is one of the top choices in the minivan class. With the Sienna, Toyota has placed an emphasis on safety, quality and performance.

There are three models: the base CE, the mid-level LE and the top-level XLE. All come standard with five doors. Under the hood is a smooth, powerful and refined 3.0-liter V6 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. This powertrain setup can also be found in the Toyota Camry, fitting since the Sienna is built on a stretched and modified Camry platform. In the Sienna, the engine produces 210 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque.

The Sienna's rigid and lightweight unitized body performed exceptionally well in government crash tests. Standard safety features include ABS, front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, front height-adjustable seatbelt anchors, a low tire-pressure warning system and daytime running lights. Every Sienna can also be ordered with optional side airbags and a stability control system that helps prevent dangerous skids and spins.

The Sienna driving experience is similar to the Camry in that it's pleasantly non-confrontational. Steering is sure, if not quite nimble. The suspension does a good job of soaking up road imperfections, and wind noise is kept to a minimum. Braking is exceptionally competent. Acceleration from the V6 is acceptable for almost all situations, and the cabin is quiet at highway speeds.

The Sienna was designed to offer optimum interior roominess in a compact, easy-to-maneuver package. The interior has a definite Camry feel to it, constructed and trimmed in high-quality materials. Dual power doors are optional, and removable modular seating allows for custom configurations to accommodate a variety of cargo requirements. A second-row bench seat or captain's chairs and third-row seats can be folded or removed to accommodate bulkier cargo. Third-row seats also add a 50/50 split-folding and tumble feature for additional cargo space, but can't match many competitors for overall user-friendliness. What the Sienna needs to remain competitive in the class is a third-row seat that folds flat into the floor like newer models from Honda and Mazda. More comfortable front seats would help, too, as the current chairs are firm yet unsupportive and don't offer a wide enough range of adjustment.

Overall, Toyota does not make the biggest or most useful minivan, but it does make a reliable, safe, well-performing and refined alternative to a number of family haulers on the market.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.