2012 Toyota Sienna Review

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth and powerful V6
  • available all-wheel drive
  • seven- or eight-passenger seating.
  • Some lower-grade plastics in cabin
  • expensive options packages.
List Price Range
$7,729 - $18,664

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Roomy, comfortable, well-built and offered in several different flavors, the 2012 Toyota Sienna minivan is an excellent choice for larger families.

Notably, we picked the 2012 Toyota Sienna as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars, Trucks and SUVs.

Vehicle overview

With its cavernous interior and bevy of available comfort and convenience features, the modern minivan is second to none as a family hauler. The Toyota Sienna has long been one of the segment's most capable picks, and last year, it got a top-to-bottom redesign that makes it even more compelling.

Relative to the previous generation, the current 2012 Toyota Sienna presents buyers with a wider range of choices. It can be had with a four-cylinder engine for those who want higher fuel economy, and there's the SE trim level with a sport-tuned suspension for more responsive handling. Other highlights include a split-screen video monitor for the rear-seat entertainment system and available recliner-style seating for the second row.

The Sienna also has a smooth ride and a quiet cabin in its favor, and the available V6 brings spirited acceleration. All-wheel drive is offered, a plus for those who frequently slog through rain and snow; the Sienna is the only minivan to offer this feature. Another bonus is the Sienna's ability to seat up to eight passengers.

Of course, the minivan segment boasts some impressive choices. Our other top choice is the talented Honda Odyssey, whose wide, uniquely configurable second-row seat adds an extra measure of versatility. You might also want to look at the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Nissan Quest. Still, the 2012 Toyota Sienna is an ideal match for many on the strengths of its overall competence and unique mix of features, engines and trim levels.

2012 Toyota Sienna models

The 2012 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, sliding rear doors with power-down windows, triple-zone air-conditioning, full power accessories, a telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The four-cylinder LE adds privacy glass, heated side mirrors, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, floor and overhead consoles and an eight-way (manual) driver seat. The LE V6 adds a roof rack, power-sliding side doors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power lumbar supports (front seats), second- and third-row sunshades, a 3.5-inch display (includes a back-up monitor), Bluetooth (phone and streaming audio) and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface.

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. The SE also has firmer suspension tuning, revised power steering and a power liftgate. Inside the SE are leatherette/cloth upholstery, unique instruments, triple-zone automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Sienna XLE reverts back to the LE but features a unique metallic-gray grille insert, automatic headlights, a sunroof, a tow prep package, leather upholstery, wood-grain interior trim, power driver and passenger seats, 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, front and rear parking sensors, 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.

2012 Highlights

For 2012, the Toyota Sienna's XLE trim gains additional standard features, notably a power passenger seat and automatic headlights.

Performance & mpg

Base and LE models come with a 2.7-liter inline-4 that makes 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Available on those two trims and standard on all others is a 3.5-liter V6 with 266 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. 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.

In Edmunds testing, 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/24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for the four-cylinder Sienna. Notably, the V6 gets pretty much the same numbers with 18/25/21 ratings. Opting for all-wheel drive drops the Sienna to 17/23/19.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag and active front head restraints are standard on all 2012 Toyota Sienna models. A pre-collision warning system and hill start assist are optional on the Limited. At our test track, a Sienna Limited stopped from 60 mph in 127 feet -- about average for the minivan segment.

In government crash testing, the Sienna received an overall score of four stars (out of five). It got 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 crash tests.

Driving

We've long favored the Sienna's V6, which has the juice to deliver lively acceleration. The 2.7-liter four-cylinder is smooth and quiet, with enough punch to deal with traffic and freeway cruising with two people aboard; however, its thrust tapers off when it's faced with steeper inclines, quick merging or a full load of passengers. The smart six-speed automatic does a great job at keeping the four-cylinder peppy, but the downside of this powertrain is that the fuel economy isn't any better than the V6's.

The 2012 Toyota 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.

Interior

Lower trim levels of the Sienna are attractively decked out with high-quality fabric upholstery, while higher-end models get leather along with somewhat unconvincing faux-wood cabin accents. Some of the plastics feel a bit downmarket, though, while others -- such as the intentionally rough-textured plastic on the dash -- are just plain odd. Seating is plush, there's abundant space for storage and the Sienna's controls are user-friendly. The available rear seat entertainment system has a split-screen monitor that allows two different media (e.g., a movie on one side and a video game on the other) to play simultaneously.

With a seven-passenger Sienna, you get second-row captain's chairs that tip up to allow easier access to the third row; these chairs also have a long-slide feature to maximize legroom for taller passengers. However, the 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 comes with 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.

Choose a model fitted with the lounge seats and second-row passengers get to recline in La-Z-Boy-style comfort, 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 Toyota Sienna.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Comfort & Spacious
nag4,05/06/2012
XLE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I bought 2012 XLE FWD model last month. It is very spacious and more comfortable. I took test drive of equally loaded Highlander SE v6 FWD and compared it to Sienna. I felt the handling is better in Sienna. But, the pickup is good in Highlander. In terms of mpg, i guess Sienna gives 1 miles less than Highlander. My wife liked Odyssey. But, since we read bad reviews about its Wind noise and Transmission, we decided not to buy. That too equally loaded Odyssey ELX is expensive than Sienna XLE. But after buying Sienna, i realize that there is Wind noise & Road noise in this as well. But, it rides better and cheap with 2 year free maintenance.
People mover
saljack,03/14/2012
LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
My biggest concern in purchasing a minivan was gas mileage. I calibrated the odometer against my GPS (it was perfect!), and then waited until the vehicle had reached 1000 miles. Then I carefully measured fuel consumption for our "around town" (we live in a suburb, so our "around town" doesn't have lots of stop and go), and cross country on open roads. I noted that the mileage computer is exceptionally accurate...within .1 mpg of my calculated mpg. The results: Our town driving...22-23 mpg Highway (under the best circumstances possible)...26-27 mpg. Basically, for a vehicle of this size and power, and with an EPA rating of 18/25, I think this is pretty good, and I am satisfied.
Third Sienna (Limited with convenience pkg., nav and entertainment pkg.)
minivanmom123,02/29/2012
Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I previously had a 2004 Limited, 2011 Limited and now the 2012 Limited. My 2011 Sienna was totaled (not our fault). I was very happy with how well the Toyota protected my entire family. My kids begged me to replace the 2011 with another Sienna. The Sienna drives well and feels like a luxury vehicle (as far as minivans go!). It's comfortable, drives smooth, has great features and proved to be a safe vehicle. The pickup power is good, the doors open smoothly and quietly. I looked at luxury SUV's and many didn't have all the features the limited Sienna had (and were $15K more.) Gas mileage in the city, for me, averages 18 according to the display monitor.
Very impressed with 2012 Sienna LE 8-psg V6
bigedmundsfan,02/07/2012
LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
When my Odyssey died (transmission problem) I've decided to test drive a Sienna. Love it and bought it, and two weeks later I do not regret the decision (options: towing prep, floor mats, anti-theft.) The drive (handling and ease of turns) is excellent which is what I have not expected. The seats are very roomy and even the second-row middle-seat is fairly comfortable, the third-row bench's ability to recline is a nice touch. Ride is so comfortable that you don't feel like you're driving at a high speed so if you are a speedster, keep an eye on your speedometer. Acceleration is decent for a minivan and overall I would say it really up its game to rival Honda Odyssey.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2012 Toyota Sienna

Used 2012 Toyota Sienna Overview

The Used 2012 Toyota Sienna is offered in the following submodels: Sienna Minivan. Available styles include LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), XLE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), LE 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), XLE 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (2.7L 4cyl 6A), LE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (2.7L 4cyl 6A), XLE 7-Passenger Mobility Auto Access 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and LE 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 2012 Toyota Sienna comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2012 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 2012 Toyota Sienna?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 Toyota Sienna trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE 8-Passenger is priced between $10,895 and$16,888 with odometer readings between 95583 and159884 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Sienna LE 8-Passenger is priced between $7,729 and$9,890 with odometer readings between 166082 and198164 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Sienna Base 7-Passenger is priced between $12,180 and$13,246 with odometer readings between 112194 and143984 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Sienna Limited 7-Passenger is priced between $14,990 and$18,664 with odometer readings between 95885 and107958 miles.
  • The Used 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE 7-Passenger is priced between $16,995 and$16,995 with odometer readings between 123186 and123186 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 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) 2012 Toyota Sienna for sale near. There are currently 12 used and CPO 2012 Siennas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,729 and mileage as low as 95583 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 2012 Toyota Sienna.

Can't find a used 2012 Toyota Siennas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Sienna for sale - 7 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $17,832.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $22,040.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Sienna for sale - 3 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $20,362.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $16,785.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 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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