For sensible family transportation, it's still hard to beat a minivan. Sliding side doors, a low step-in height, and massive passenger and cargo space make the average minivan a more practical alternative to most large SUVs and crossovers. Although it was last redesigned in 2010, the Toyota Sienna is still a top choice in the class. With seating for eight and class-exclusive all-wheel drive, the Sienna holds its own against other top-rated minivans such as the Honda Odyssey and Kia Sedona.
Toyota did a minor face-lift of the Sienna in 2015, improving the interior layout and the quality of materials and fabrics. Commonly used controls and the touchscreen technology interface were oriented closer to the driver, and the upholstery and trim finally felt worthy of the Sienna's asking price.
For 2017, the Sienna gets two notable enhancements: an updated V6 engine and a new eight-speed transmission that together give the Sienna improved mileage and performance.
When it comes to the competition, several alternatives are worth considering. The Honda Odyssey is the most direct rival, with similar pricing and some exclusive features. The Kia Sedona is not only a top value; it also gives up little to the Honda and Toyota in terms of features. The Chrysler Pacifica is a worthy new entrant, an overdue replacement for the Town & Country (and related Dodge Caravan). Its roominess and smart storage rival that of the Odyssey, and perhaps more important, it's also available as a hybrid. Finally, if you can make do with seven seats, consider the funky and efficient Nissan Quest.
Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag, a front-passenger seat cushion airbag, active front head restraints and a rearview camera are standard on all 2017 Toyota Sienna models.
Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors are available depending on the trim level. The Limited can be had with a forward collision warning system.
At our test track, a Sienna Limited stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, an average distance for a minivan.
In government crash tests, the 2017 Toyota Sienna received a five-star rating for overall performance, with four stars for total front-crash protection and five stars for total 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 front-impact, side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests. It received the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the IIHS test for small-overlap front-impact protection.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Toyota Sienna minivan comes in five main trim levels: L (base), LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The SE, XLE, and Limited are further available in Premium sub-trims. The LE and XLE come in seven- and eight-passenger configurations: the L and Limited versions are seven-passenger only, and the SE is eight-passenger only. All trims come standard with front-wheel drive, but the LE, XLE, and Limited can also be had with all-wheel drive.
The Sienna L includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a windshield wiper de-icer, manual sliding rear doors, automatic headlights, cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri Eyes Free functionality for iPhone users, and a four-speaker sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, CD player, USB port, media player interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The LE adds roof rails, power-sliding rear doors, privacy glass, heated mirrors, body-color exterior trim (replacing black plastic), floor- and overhead-mounted consoles, a conversation mirror, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar support), upgraded "easy-clean" fabric upholstery, second- and third-row sunshades, a 7-inch touchscreen, compatibility with the Scout GPS Link app, and a six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio. All-wheel-drive versions get 18-inch wheels.
The SE is equipped similarly to the LE but adds a sport-tuned suspension, sharper steering, 19-inch alloy wheels, a unique front fascia (foglights, LED daytime running lights and mesh grille) and lower-body skirting. The SE also has a power liftgate, first- and second-row perforated leather upholstery (row three gets premium vinyl), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and unique gauges with a larger driver information screen.
The SE Premium adds a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, a navigation system, Entune smartphone app integration, a rear-seat entertainment system (with HDMI and SD card inputs, a Blu-ray/DVD player, two 120-volt power outlets, and a large screen that can be split to display two different sources) and the Driver Easy Speak system, which amplifies the driver's voice through the rear speakers. A sunroof can be added separately.
The Sienna XLE shares many of the SE trim's comfort and convenience equipment, but it features similar suspension, steering and styling to the LE. It also adds a four-way power front-passenger seat, imitation-wood trim, power-opening rear quarter windows, and keyless ignition and entry. The XLE Premium adds the SE Premium's features and rear parking sensors. The XLE Navigation package includes the same items minus the rear entertainment system and blind-spot monitoring/cross-traffic alert.
The plush Limited includes the XLE Premium's features (minus the rear entertainment system), along with 18-inch alloy wheels, a different grille, LED daytime running lights, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, front and rear sunroofs, front and rear parking sensors, first- and second-row premium leather upholstery, driver memory settings, a heated steering wheel, Toyota Safety Connect emergency services, a navigation system and an upgraded 10-speaker JBL surround-sound audio system. Front-wheel-drive models also get a sliding center console between the first two rows, extendable footrests for the second row and a power-folding third row with imitation leather upholstery.
You can add even more with the Limited Premium model that adds xenon headlights, automatic high beams, automatic wipers, the rear-seat entertainment system and upgraded leather for the third row (AWD only).
For the front-wheel-drive Sienna Limited only, an Advanced Technology package adds adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system.
The Toyota Sienna comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that has been upgraded for 2017 and now packs 296 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission also replaces the previous six-speed. Front-wheel drive is standard on all models; the LE, XLE and Limited models offer the option of all-wheel drive.
The upgrades to the engine and transmission slightly improved EPA fuel economy estimates. Front-wheel-drive Sienna models are rated at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway), and all-wheel-drive models are rated at 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway).
We've long been impressed by the Sienna's V6 engine and how it delivers lively acceleration around town or getting up to cruising speed on the highway. The V6's upgrades for 2017 bring a healthy increase in performance along with mildly improved fuel mileage.
All trim levels offer competent handling that most passengers will find agreeable. Still, the SE's firmer suspension (a relative term) provides more confidence around turns and greater body control over big bumps and undulations without giving up an appreciable amount of comfort. The marginally heavier steering is also more natural than the slightly numb feel on other trim levels. If you're accustomed to driving a car, the SE should make the switch to a minivan a bit easier.
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. Materials quality is very good, and the dash design is modern and attractive. Seating is plush, and there's abundant storage space along with user-friendly controls.
On the electronics front, every Sienna comes with a touchscreen interface. Both available screens feature a similar easy-to-decipher menu structure with surrounding buttons that require little effort to jump from one main function to another, including the built-in navigation system or a suite of smartphone-connected services. There's also an available rear-seat entertainment system, which 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 quash at least one potential sibling argument.
The eight-passenger Sienna comes with a 40/20/20-split second-row bench with a sliding center section that slides forward to improve access for a child safety seat. It can also be removed and stowed within the van itself (unlike the Odyssey's, where you must find a place for it elsewhere).
With a seven-passenger Sienna, you get second-row captain's chairs. Although their available extendable footrests will likely catch your eye during a test drive, you'll also likely be impressed by their ability to slide much farther fore or aft than those of most competitors, increasing sprawl-out comfort. Maximum cargo space is 150 cubic feet, though to achieve this you have to take out the second-row seats, which are quite heavy and awkward to remove.
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.