2011 Toyota Sienna Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Smooth and powerful V6, available all-wheel drive, seven- or eight-passenger seating.
- Some lower-grade plastics in cabin, expensive options packages.
For 2011, the Toyota Sienna has been completely redesigned. Changes include a new entry-level four-cylinder version as well as a sport-tuned (yes, we're serious) SE trim level.
Roomy, comfortable, well-built and offered in several different flavors, the 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan is an excellent choice for larger families.
Notably, we picked the 2011 Toyota Sienna as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars, Trucks and SUVs.
Despite the popularity of crossover SUVs, the minivan remains the king of family vehicles. Let's face it: The minivan's boxy shape is the best for maximizing passenger and cargo space within a given footprint, and its dual sliding rear doors make entry and exit super-easy. And to spark more interest in this function-over-form segment, there's the redesigned 2011 Toyota Sienna.
The newest Sienna is virtually the same size as the outgoing version, and as before it can seat seven or eight passengers and has available all-wheel drive -- a Sienna exclusive. But there are a number of significant changes for 2011. Among them are the debut of a four-cylinder engine, a new six-speed automatic transmission, available recliner-style seating for the second row and a new split-screen video monitor for the rear seat entertainment system.
Those on a tighter budget who are also looking for max fuel economy may want to consider the new four-cylinder base and LE trims. On the other side of the spectrum is the new Sienna SE, which comes with a sport-tuned suspension as well as styling tweaks that include lower skirting and a larger lower grille. What hasn't changed much is the Sienna's basic and likable character, which means a smooth, quiet ride, easy handling, comfortable seating and plenty of family-friendly features. And based on its strong record, we assume the Sienna will likely provide many miles of low-maintenance and trouble-free transportation.
Still, the Sienna has its age-old rival, the 2011 Honda Odyssey, vying for minivan supremacy. Previously, the Honda had the advantage in driving enjoyment with its superior steering feel and relatively agile handling, making it the choice for driving enthusiasts in need of practical family wheels. Now, however, Toyota offers the Sienna SE to appeal to that same consumer. The Sienna also has a quieter ride and continues to offer the option of all-wheel drive. The latter is an exclusive option for the 2011 Toyota Sienna, and gives it added appeal to those who live in inclement climates.
Another consideration is the value-packed 2011 Kia Sedona, which may not offer quite the same refinement in the cabin, but boasts solid performance and plenty of features for quite a bit less than the two stalwarts. Though the Chrysler-derived minivans (Grand Caravan, Town & Country and VW Routan) offer attractive styling and features, their build-quality problems and an antiquated base engine prevent us from recommending them. This sets the minivan market as a three-horse race. The Toyota is certainly the newest and has a lot going for it, but you'll also want to check out the Honda and Kia to determine which minivan best suits your needs.
Performance & mpg
Base and LE models come with a 2.7-liter inline-4 that makes 187 horsepower. Available on those two trims and standard on all others is a 265-hp 3.5-liter V6. Both engines come matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sienna LE, XLE and Limited V6 models can also be had with all-wheel drive.
We timed the V6 (in front-drive Limited trim) from zero to 60 mph in a swift 7.9 seconds. The EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for the four-cylinder/front-wheel-drive models, with the V6/front-wheel-drive versions earning estimates of 18/24/20 and V6/AWD rating 16/22/18.
Antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, a windshield de-icer and a full complement of airbags (including driver knee, front-seat side and full-length side curtain) are standard on all 2011 Toyota Sienna models. The LE adds a rearview camera (with the monitor integrated into the rearview mirror).
The Limited also comes with front and rear park assist; it's optional on the XLE. If you opt for the navigation system, you'll also get a wider-range (180-degree) rearview camera that uses the large screen of the nav system as the monitor. At the test track, a Sienna Limited stopped from 60 mph in 127 feet -- about average for the minivan segment -- with a solid, confident brake pedal feel.
In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Sienna earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five, with three stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Sienna earned a top score of "Good" for its performance in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength impacts.
Equipped with the V6, the 2011 Toyota Sienna offers truly spirited performance, just as we've come to expect from this jewel of a power plant. This year's new alternative, the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, is a smooth and fairly quiet operator, and it has enough punch to deal with traffic and freeway cruising with two people aboard. But when faced with steeper inclines, quick merging or a full load of passengers, it has to work harder and the thrust quickly tapers off. The smart six-speed automatic does a great job at keeping the four-cylinder lively, but the downside of this powertrain is that the fuel economy isn't that much different from the V6's.
The Sienna's ride quality is plush, and handling is competent in all versions. The SE, due to its recalibrated suspension, provides more agile handling with a somewhat firmer (though still comfortable) ride quality. The steering is typical Toyota, meaning precise if somewhat numb, though the SE offers a meatier feel in the wheel.
The Sienna's cabin is handsomely fitted with high-quality fabric on the lower trim levels and leather and somewhat unconvincing faux wood on the higher-end models. Some of the plastics, however, strike us as odd and downmarket, such as the purposely rough-textured plastic on the dash. The various controls are simple to use, storage space is plentiful and the seats are plush. The available rear seat entertainment system has a new split-screen monitor that can allow two different media (e.g. a movie on one side and a video game on the other) to be shown simultaneously.
Seven-passenger Siennas feature second-row captain's chairs that tip up to allow easier access to the third row. They also have a long-slide feature to maximize legroom for taller passengers. However, those seats do require a fair amount of effort to slide, and removing them is a job best left to two people, as they are rather heavy and awkward. The eight-passenger version uses a 40/20/40-split second-row bench whose center section slides close to the front seats for easier access to the little one seated there.
Models fitted with the lounge seats offer La-Z-Boy-style comfort to those in the second row, provided those seats are slid back far enough (and the front seats are up far enough) to allow the footrests to come up all the way. With the second-row seats out and the third row stowed, the Sienna provides a massive 150 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity.
2011 Toyota Sienna models
The 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan comes in five trim levels base, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The LE and XLE come in seven- and eight-passenger configurations; the base and Limited are seven-passenger only and the SE is eight-passenger only. All trims come with front-wheel drive while the LE, XLE and Limited can also be had with all-wheel drive.
The base Sienna includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual sliding rear doors with power-down windows, triple-zone air-conditioning, full power accessories, a telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a four-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The four-cylinder LE adds privacy glass, heated side mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a 3.5-inch display (includes a back-up monitor), floor and overhead consoles and an 8-way (manual) driver seat. The LE V6 adds a roof rack, power-sliding side doors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power lumbar supports (front seats), second- and third-row sunshades, Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system (with satellite radio, a USB jack, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth audio).
The sport-themed SE is equipped similarly to the LE V6 but adds more aggressive styling via 19-inch alloy wheels, a unique front fascia (with foglights, mesh inserts and a larger air intake), lower body skirting and tinted head- and taillights. Inside the SE are leatherette/cloth upholstery, unique instruments and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The audio system, however, is essentially the base unit with six speakers.
The Sienna XLE features a unique metallic gray grille insert, a power liftgate, a sunroof, a tow prep package, triple-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood grain interior trim, a power driver seat, heated front seats and auto-up/down power windows. The AWD version of the XLE also comes with second-row lounge seats that feature pop-up footrests.
The plush Limited features 18-inch alloy wheels, a satin chrome grille, power-folding side mirrors (with auto-dimming, signal repeaters and puddle lamps), dual sunroofs, keyless ignition/entry, two-tone leather seating, driver memory settings, a leather-and-wood steering wheel, an upgraded 10-speaker JBL surround-sound audio system, second-row lounge seats and a power-folding/split third-row seat.
Options on the Toyota Sienna are grouped into packages that vary based on trim level and buying region. Notable highlights include xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system (with a large screen that can be split to display two different sources) and a navigation system (with a back-up camera).
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall3 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger2 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover13.9%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More About This Model
The Toyota Sienna has undergone a full redesign for the 2011 model year, and this all-new minivan looks to unseat our perennial favorite in this class -- the Honda Odyssey. This Sienna replaces the outgoing second-generation model -- which enjoyed a seven-year run -- attempting to remedy all of its predecessor's shortcomings, which included lifeless handling and a lack of entertainment options. The 2011 Toyota Sienna has successfully exorcised these demons.
While minivans have never focused on delivering sporty performance, the 2011 Sienna has made a sizable leap forward in terms of handling. The new Sienna feels much sharper and composed on the road, while maintaining its focus on passenger comfort. The Sienna also makes headway with its thoroughly modern interior and myriad amenities to make long road trips seem much shorter.
With this in mind, the 2011 Toyota Sienna is poised to wear the minivan crown -- even if only for a while. In a recent comparison test, the new Sienna edged out its aging nemesis, the Honda Odyssey, but we expect Honda to fire back with a full redesign later this year. Other minivans in the market include the Dodge Grand Caravan and nearly identical Chrysler Town and Country, but we tend to shy away from these choices because of substandard build quality and interior materials. The Kia Sedona represents the value leader in this segment, but it can't touch the Toyota when it comes to quality.
Used 2011 Toyota Sienna Overview
The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna is offered in the following submodels: Sienna Minivan. Available styles include XLE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LE 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), XLE 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (2.7L 4cyl 6A), 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (2.7L 4cyl 6A), LE 7-Passenger Mobility Auto Access 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and XLE 7-Passenger Mobility Auto Access 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A). Pre-owned Toyota Sienna models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 266 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ 25000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2011 Toyota Sienna?
Price comparisons for Used 2011 Toyota Sienna trim styles:
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE 8-Passenger is priced between $14,477 and$21,590 with odometer readings between 68992 and165068 miles.
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger is priced between $14,893 and$21,590 with odometer readings between 51503 and135763 miles.
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger is priced between $20,990 and$26,998 with odometer readings between 80662 and104020 miles.
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna SE 8-Passenger is priced between $17,998 and$22,990 with odometer readings between 49261 and117356 miles.
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna Base 7-Passenger is priced between $17,990 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 61566 and100475 miles.
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna XLE 7-Passenger is priced between $11,990 and$20,990 with odometer readings between 70034 and168482 miles.
- The Used 2011 Toyota Sienna LE 7-Passenger is priced between $15,994 and$15,994 with odometer readings between 99593 and99593 miles.
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Which used 2011 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) 2011 Toyota Sienna for sale near. There are currently 25 used and CPO 2011 Siennas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,990 and mileage as low as 49261 miles. 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 2011 Toyota Sienna.
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Should I lease or buy a 2011 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.