Quick Summary This mid-cycle refresh includes substantial improvements to the interior's quality, ergonomics and design. Taken together this round of upgrades to the 2015 Toyota Sienna further elevates its position as one of our top-recommended minivans.
What Is It? The 2015 Toyota Sienna represents a mid-generation refresh of this popular minivan that has previously impressed with its versatile seven- or eight-passenger cabin, smooth and powerful V6 engine, segment-exclusive all-wheel-drive system, and abundant family-friendly features. Previous complaints that largely centered on interior materials quality and the placement of commonly used controls have been addressed with this update.
Is It Me, or Does It Look Exactly the Same? If you're looking at the pictures of the updated 2015 Toyota Sienna above and wondering whether we accidentally posted photos of last year's model instead, rest assured those are the correct photos.
Indeed, very little has changed with its exterior apart from slimmer headlight units with LED accents and certain trims getting slightly redesigned grilles or taillights. The old aerial antenna has also been replaced by a diversity antenna embedded in the rear window. According to Toyota, styling was not an area of concern for customers so it didn't try to fix what wasn't broken.
How Has the Interior Changed? While the Sienna's interior wasn't broken, it certainly stood to be significantly improved. Flimsy, oddly textured plastics abounded, fake wood trim looked fake, and controls for the climate and entertainment system were too far away from the driver. The infotainment interface also wasn't exactly state-of-the-art, and in general, the cabin was the area in which the Sienna most clearly trailed its principal competitor, the Honda Odyssey.
That all changes for the 2015 Toyota Sienna. The materials have been greatly improved, with richer plastics and padded upper door trim. The dash is also padded and covered with stitched simulated leather, while the available wood trim is considerably more convincing and premium in appearance. The result is arguably the nicest interior look and feel in the segment, especially in the sport-themed SE trim and luxury-lined XLE and Limited.
More notably, however, those previously far-flung controls have been placed into a tidy, more sensibly designed and prominently placed cluster within easier reach of the driver. Some climate controls are a whopping 3 inches closer, which is a huge distance in automotive design terms.
The climate controls themselves are also more sensibly designed, with easily decipherable buttons, three large knobs for each climate zone (which can all be synced together now) and its own large display that liberates climate readouts from their previous spot high atop the dash. As an added bonus, it all looks much nicer.
Above the climate controls sits an audio and navigation interface offered in two different designs. The standard setup is similar to the one found in the Toyota Highlander, with either a 6.1-inch (L trim only) or 8-inch touchscreen bordered by touch-operated buttons in a matte black surround. The same basic layout of those buttons exists in the higher-end Entune system, but it features a snazzier gloss black surround as well as two levels of additional feature content.
Unlike the touch-operated buttons included with other electronics interfaces, such as MyFord Touch and Chevrolet MyLink, Entune's buttons respond consistently and are big enough and spaced apart enough to be functional at a glance. The menus and functionality of the touchscreen itself is also quite good and user-friendly, at least in the top-of-the-line unit tested. The ability to "swipe scroll" should be a welcome addition for those used to smartphones, while the redundant control knob remains for those who prefer to wheel through playlists or phonebook entries.
The gauges received an overhaul as well, with two unique designs (one for the sport-themed SE and another for everything else) that both have a classier and more premium look than the rather downmarket collection of dials they replace. The previous trip computer display on top of the dash has been relocated in between those gauges. In the upper trims, it's a larger color display that also shows redundant information from the audio and available navigation systems.
Are There Any Changes to the Interior Space and Its Functionality? While the interior has been redecorated, the furniture remains the same. The Sienna seats seven in trims that come with second-row captain's chairs, including those in the Limited trims that feature the "Lounge Seating" extending leg and foot support. Eight-passenger capacity is achieved by a small jump seat of sorts that installs in between those two jump seats. It's less comfortable than its counterpart in the Honda Odyssey, but also stowable when not in use.
The Sienna's versatility also remains intact with second-row seats that slide further forward than most of its competitor's setups, making third-row access and storing long cargo items easier. The second row slides further rearward, too, creating an unparalleled amount of sprawl space and comfort for those in Row 2. As for Row 3, it still folds flat, which in the Limited, can be accomplished by pressing a button just under the open liftgate.
With all seats in place, Toyota says there is still enough room for five golf bags or four large suitcases. In total, there is 150 cubic feet of space in the event you lower and/or remove all seats.
Are There Other New Features Available? Besides the Entune touchscreen interfaces, a rearview camera and three-zone automatic climate control being standard on all 2015 Sienna models, there are other noteworthy new features, especially those on upper trims.
The Limited can be equipped with a heated steering wheel, while the rear-seat entertainment system that comes standard on all "Premium" trims now comes with a Blu-ray player and an HDMI port to go with its ultra-wide screen that can display two things at once. Arguments over whether to watch Frozen or Cars should be a thing of the past.
The SE Premium, XLE Premium and both Limited trims also come with Toyota's Driver Easy Speak system. It uses the Bluetooth phone system microphone to pipe voices from the front seat back to the speakers located in the third row. It's subtle, and not indicative of the booming voice of god you may hope it to be, but it should at least aid in any declaration of "Don't make me stop this car!"
The sport-themed SE trim now comes standard with leather and is available with many of the same options and features as the upper trims. This is especially true of the new SE Premium trim. Essentially, no longer must a driver choose between a more engaging driving experience for themselves and greater comfort and convenience equipment for their family. Cake, eating it, too, etc.
What About New Safety Features? Every 2015 Toyota Sienna now comes with some sort of blind-spot aid. Integrated mirrors are found in the L, LE and SE, while all others get a sensor-based warning system (lights in the mirrors and audible warnings) bundled with a rear-cross traffic alert system. The front passenger seat also has a new cushion airbag that prevents submarining and the side curtain airbags have 30 percent more coverage to satisfy new government safety standards.
Will the 2015 Toyota Sienna Drive Differently? Toyota added 142 spot welds to the Sienna's structure for increased body rigidity. This made it possible to make changes to the suspension for enhanced ride comfort and handling performance. Indeed, during a brief drive, the Sienna XLE felt less nautical in its body motions than before and instilled a greater sense of control without losing any semblance of its comfortable, cosseting ride for all board. At the same time, its steering remains rather remote, with a gooey on-center effort and turn-in that makes you feel more like a chauffeur than a driver.
If that sounds like a negative to you, there is still the 2015 Toyota Sienna SE trim level, which remains the most engaging and responsive minivan to drive. Its steering is higher in effort, far more responsive on center and generally more indicative of sporty family sedan. At the same time, it rides firmer, but we'd never deem it to be anything other than comfortable. The fact that you can now get the SE with the same sort of higher-end feature content as the upper trims should hopefully help its popularity grow beyond the current 5-percent take rate.
As for its powertrain, all Siennas come with the same carry-over 3.5-liter V6 engine good for 266 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. This is a strong, smooth engine, although despite an abundance of new sound-deadening throughout the Sienna for 2015, it still gets quite noisy when really pushed. The six-speed automatic displays a willingness to downshift and its ability to be manually controlled (on extended grades, for instance) further sets the Sienna apart from the Odyssey. The same can be said for the segment-exclusive optional all-wheel-drive system.
How Much Will All This Newness Cost? The most basic 2015 Toyota Sienna L costs $28,600, which is a $1,680 increase from last year, while the other trims increase by between $800 and $1,500. Given the added equipment and much nicer interior, this isn't entirely unwarranted. Its price is also essentially on par with the Honda Odyssey, but much more than the budget-minded Chrysler minivans.
What Are Its Closest Competitors? Honda Odyssey: This van is the closest competitor to the Sienna in virtually every respect, and should be the one you primarily cross-shop it against. Although the Odyssey has previously proved superior in an Edmunds comparison test, the Sienna's upgrades for 2015 push it that much closer to parity with its rival.
Kia Sedona: The Sedona has been completely redesigned for 2015. Thoroughly impressive in its features and style, the revamped Sedona is once again worth a look.
Nissan Quest: This would be the alternative in the minivan segment. Besides its unique styling, it boasts a luxurious cabin and a fold-flat rear-seat design that prioritizes ease of transformation over all-out capacity. We appreciated it during a long-term test and think it's worth considering.
Why Should You Consider This Minivan? The Sienna was already one of our top rated minivans and this latest round of improvements has addressed its few flaws. It also remains the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive, so it's still the leader when it comes to all-weather performance.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Minivan? The Sienna is still one of the more expensive minivans in the class, so if you're looking for maximum bang for your buck, there are other vans to consider first.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Is the 2015 Toyota Sienna a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2015 Toyota Sienna and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2015 Sienna featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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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.
How do people like the 2015 Toyota Sienna? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2015 Toyota Sienna and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2015 Sienna 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2015 Sienna.
Review The 2015 has made improvements in basically all the areas that I've hated about our 2011 (Limited AWD). In terms of the driving experience, he steering feel and suspension have improved slightly. Rapid inputs in the 2011 are met with a very non-linear resistance, as if it would "catch" at different points of the rotation. That's gone for 2015. The ride has firmed up a bit, but with an equal amount of improvement in body control. The 2011 was needlessly firm with still too much body roll. The improvement in NVH and the interior (see below) sealed the deal for us.
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Is the 2015 Toyota Sienna safe? The 2015 Toyota Sienna earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: Side Impact Test, Roof Strength Test, Moderate Overlap Front Test Results, and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 3.0 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
What options are available on the 2015 Toyota Sienna?
Available Toyota Sienna 2015 Submodel Types: Minivan
Available Trims: XLE 8-Passenger, LE 8-Passenger, XLE 7-Passenger, Limited Premium 7-Passenger, LE 7-Passenger, XLE Premium 8-Passenger, XLE Premium 7-Passenger, SE 8-Passenger, Limited 7-Passenger, XLE 7-Passenger Mobility Auto Access, L 7-Passenger, LE 7-Passenger Mobility Auto Access, SE Premium 8-Passenger, XLE Limited 7-Passenger, LE, CE 7-Passenger, Base 7-Passenger, XLE, CE 8-Passenger, CE
Exterior Colors: Predawn Gray Mica, Silver Sky Metallic, Salsa Red Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl, Blizzard Pearl, Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, Black, Blue Mirage Metallic, Cypress Pearl, Attitude Black Metallic, Creme Brulee Mica, Silver Shadow Pearl, Sky Blue Pearl, Desert Sand Mica, South Pacific Pearl, Sandy Beach Metallic, Slate Metallic, Arctic Frost Pearl, Silver Pine Mica, Aspen Green Pearl, Nautical Blue Metallic, Phantom Gray Pearl, Sailfin Blue Metallic, Stratosphere Mica, Denim Blue Mica Pearl Metallic, Denim Blue Pearl, Lunar Mist Metallic, Natural White, Vintage Red Pearl
Interior Colors: Ash leather, Ash premium cloth, Light Gray leather, Light Gray premium cloth, Dark Bisque leather, Bisque leather, Ash premium leather, Bisque premium cloth, Black leather, Light Gray cloth, Chestnut premium leather, Dark Bisque premium cloth, Stone cloth, Ash cloth, Dark Charcoal vinyl/cloth, Bisque cloth, Gray, Taupe cloth, Dark Charcoal leatherette/cloth, Stone, Dark Bisque cloth, Taupe, Fawn, Oak, Stone premium cloth, Taupe premium cloth
Popular Features: Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Third-row seating, Tire Pressure Warning, 3500lb Towing Capacity, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, Stability Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Trip Computer, Power Driver Seat, Auto Climate Control, Bluetooth, Back-up camera, USB Inputs, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Alarm, Sunroof/Moonroof, Navigation, Heated seats, Leather Seats, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, Keyless Entry/Start, Parking sensors, AWD/4WD, Rear Entertainment System, Post-collision safety system, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Upgraded Headlights, Upgraded Stereo, Remote Start, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Pre-collision safety system