Used 2014 Toyota Sienna Minivan Review
There's just no getting around the fact that a box on wheels is the most space-efficient vehicle for moving people and cargo. As such, minivans, although not the flashiest things on the road, make the best family haulers. And among these amiable beasts of burden, the 2014 Toyota Sienna stands out as a top choice.
As with its peers, the Sienna provides a spacious interior as well as plenty of available luxury features. As you'd expect, there are the well-equipped base and loaded-up luxury versions. But there's also the SE version, which boasts something rare in this segment: a sporty personality via its firmer suspension tuning, along with some bolder styling tweaks that do their best to make the minivan look cool. It's a nice complement to the Sienna's V6 engine, which is one of the strongest you'll find in this class.
Toyota's minivan can also carry up to eight passengers, and it can be optioned with all-wheel drive -- the Sienna is actually the only 2014 minivan available with AWD and it's a boon if you frequently slog through snow. Of course, the Sienna isn't the only impressive choice for a minivan. The 2014 Honda Odyssey is also one of our favorites and boasts minor advantages in fuel efficiency and second-row seating versatility.
Also worth considering are the more affordable 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and the off-beat 2014 Nissan Quest; both offer ultra-convenient fold-flat second- and third-row seating arrangements. But among this box-on-wheels group, the 2014 Toyota Sienna is still very easy to recommend given its combination of performance, space and features.
performance & mpg
Every Toyota Sienna comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 266 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque and drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sienna LE, XLE and Limited models can also be equipped with all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds testing, we timed a front-drive Sienna Limited from zero to 60 mph in a swift 7.5 seconds. The EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city/25 mpg highway) for front-wheel-drive versions. Opting for all-wheel drive drops those estimates to 19 mpg combined (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway).
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 2014 Toyota Sienna models. A rearview camera, a blind spot monitoring system and front and rear parking sensors are available depending on the trim level, while the Limited can be had with a forward collision warning system. 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, 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 the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. It also earned a "Good" rating for its seat/head restraint design's whiplash protection in rear impacts.
We've long been impressed with the Sienna's V6 engine, which has the juice to deliver lively acceleration whether you're bopping around town running errands or getting up to cruising speed on the freeway. The smart six-speed automatic transmission does a great job at keeping the thrust on tap, yet the Sienna still manages to provide respectable fuel economy provided you're not too aggressive with the gas pedal.
The 2014 Toyota Sienna's ride quality is plush, and all versions offer competent handling. The SE's recalibrated suspension gives it even more agility around turns, albeit with a somewhat firmer (though still comfortable) ride quality. The steering in most Siennas is precise and light in effort (but low on feedback and not especially sporty), while the SE offers a meatier feel to its steering action in keeping with its more athletic character.
Lower trim levels of the Sienna are attractively decked out with high-quality fabric upholstery, while higher-end models get leather along with simulated wood cabin accents. Some of the interior plastics feel a bit downmarket, though, while others -- such as the intentionally coarse-textured plastic on the dash -- are just plain odd. Seating is plush, though, and there's abundant storage space along with user-friendly controls.
On the electronics front, the Sienna's available navigation system includes Entune, a suite of smartphone-connected services that includes features like the Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio, and real-time traffic, sports and stock information. The touchscreen interface is pretty easy to use, but sometimes the virtual buttons' delayed response to touch inputs can be frustrating. The long reach from the driver seat to the center console's controls can also be problematic. The available rear-seat entertainment system features a split-screen monitor that allows two different media (a movie on one side and a video game on the other, for example) to play simultaneously -- thereby making it easier to keep the peace in the backseat.
With a seven-passenger Sienna, you get second-row captain's chairs that tip forward 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 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 Sienna comes with a 40/20/40-split second-row bench, and its center section slides close to the front seats for easier access to the little ones seated there.
If you choose a Sienna Limited with its lounge seats, the second-row passengers get to recline in La-Z-Boy-style comfort, provided the seats are positioned back far enough (and the front seats are up far enough) to allow the built-in footrests to rise all the way up. With the second-row seats removed and the third row stowed, the Sienna provides a massive 150 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity.
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.