2017 Toyota Sienna Review
2017 Toyota Sienna Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Dan spent many years covering the go-fast, look-good, get-loud corners of the automotive universe. First, he served as editor of enthusiast magazines AutoSound and Honda Tuning, then as executive editor at SEMA News, the publishing arm of the trade group that produces the annual SEMA Show (yes, that show). As a contributor to Edmunds, he now likes to keep the volume low and the speed limit legal, providing expert car-shopping advice to drivers looking for the perfect match.
- Refined ride quality gives it a confident feel from the driver seat
- High-quality materials and trim throughout the cabin
- Wide range of adjustments for the second-row seats
- No other minivan offers the option of all-wheel drive
- Second-row seats are heavy and awkward to remove
- Fewer features than some of its newer competitors
For 2017, the Toyota Sienna receives an upgraded V6 engine and new eight-speed transmission. The rest of its features and options carry over unchanged.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2017 Toyota Sienna CE Fleet Cargo Van 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$172/mo for Sienna CE Fleet Cargo Van
Sienna CE Fleet Cargo Van
Avg. Large Minivan
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.
Notably, we picked the 2017 Toyota Sienna as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars, Trucks and SUVs.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
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.
2017 Toyota Sienna models
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).
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
3 out of 5 stars
The new 8sp Transmission, it has problems!
Keven Nguyen, 02/26/2018
2017 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
2017 Sienna, XLE 5,255 miles. I noticed a light whining sound during drive/acceleration about a day or two before the first breakdown. The whining sound comes on and you can hear it faintly with the foot on the gas. You don't need to engage the acceleration, just keep your foot on the pedal lightly and you'll hear the whine, once you let go, the whining goes away. We didn’t have any … problem with trips closer to home, the farthest we’ve driven locally was about 40 miles. We took our first of town trip with a travel time of two hours. After we got off the freeway with our exit, at the first stop light, when downshifting from 2nd to first, we heard a “clunk” and a jerked is felt. Then another light, the continued “clunk” and jerked progresses, the intensity has increased. It started to happen more frequent, at every stop light, the downshifting jerks, “clunk”, and pulls, sometimes it felt as if we were rear ended by the car from behind. Then on the acceleration from stop to go, the van started to upshifts too soon, therefore, it didn’t have any momentum. It was also slipping/not engaging in 3rd gear. Over the course of the next 30 minutes, all the skipping, jerking, pulling, clunking, every gear change. They were loud, and felt like we were hit by another car from the rear. We were pretty much rolling on first and second gear, no 3rd gear, vibration on 4th… There were no check engine lights, no warning lights of any kind. Finally, the check engine light came on, then shortly, the anti-slipping light came on, then the failed safely brake came on, then it just wouldn’t go forward or backward anymore. It stopped right at the intersection! It was dangerous, since it's an expressway intersection and cars were coming thru fast. I managed to have it barely roll off and out of the intersection and used Toyota Roadside Assistance and waited an hour and a half for the tow truck to arrive. The van was towed to a nearby Toyota dealer for an overnight drop off. It took the dealer several days figure out and to get repair approvals and instructions from Toyota Corp. They performed two software updates on the Transmission ECU and the throttle body. I picked up the van on the following week and it seems to be doing fine on the short drives in town. However, the problem started again after the 2 hours long drive back home. Again, the same stuff... a ‘clunk’ and jerk from the downshift from 2nd to first gear is heard and felt. This ‘clunk’ and harsh jerk was happening here and there, not as often as it did on the our first breakdown. I didn’t want to take any chances of breaking down on the road again, so I drove the vehicle straight to Maita Toyota dealer in Sacramento, took on another loaner and leave the van with the dealer again. Dealer didn't find anything wrong with the car because they let the transmission get cool overnight, therefore, when they diagnose the next day, it was fine, and it only happens on long drives, at minimum 1.5hrs drive. I kept on driving the van for another 2-3 weeks, then the whining noise came. It starts at about 30mph and last all the way, and gets louder as you drive faster, and up to about 70mph. It doesn't go away...and will continue to be louder and louder as time goes by. I took it into the dealer again and requested for a master mechanic to go on a drive with me so that I can point out the whining noise. Finally, it was a problem in the transmission, and Toyota Corp approved a transmission replacement. It's been several months now, with the replaced transmission. Car drives normal without the noises, but the shifting doesn't feel right. It tends to up-shifts too soon, therefore, lack of power, and when you need some lite acceleration, it won't go, but if you give it more gas, it'll down-shift all over the place and jerks like you're trying to race. It still doesn't perform, it feels like you're driving a car that's built in the 90's. To summarize all this up: - 2017 Sienna 5,255 miles - The bad shifting/clunking/skipping gear/missing gear seems to happen after a long drive 1.5-2hrs, after the transmission gets hot. - First sign of problem is whining noise - Second sign of problem is downshift into first gear, when coming to a stop. - 3rd and continued sign of problem is more downshifts and upshift felt and noise - After a few more lights of the continued sign, get ready to pull to the side and call for tow. - Transmission replaced at 6400 miles - It tends to up-shifts too soon, therefore, lack of power, and when you need some lite acceleration, it won't go, but if you give it more gas, it'll down-shift all over the place and jerks like you're trying to race. It still doesn't perform, it feels like you're driving a car that's built in the 90's. STILL NOT HAPPY! I STILL BELIEVE IT WILL BREAK DOWN AGAIN, hopefully, sooner before the warranty expires.
2 out of 5 stars
Very Poor Preformace
T Scott, 08/18/2017
2017 Toyota Sienna XLE 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
1. No acceleration for a second or so then it kicked in. 2. Lift off the throttle approaching a corner, and pressing on the throttle half way through the corner. Feels like the gear slipped (engine whines, but no acceleration) then exerted a big gear kick. 3. Lot of money for a car that drives like a straight drive. 4. I owned a 2014 Sienna and sold it to get this 2017. Except for the … money lost i would trade the 2017 for the 2014. 5. i would not recommend this van until Toyota admits the problem and corrects it. 6. By the way my local dealer agrees its a problem but say its nothing they can do about it.
2 out of 5 stars
Transmission failure after 10K miles
Calin V, 05/12/2018
2017 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium 8-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
After 10k miles the car start making a whining noise when accelerating over 30 mph. Searching online reveals that it's a common problem that leads to complete transmission failure, however the dealer refuses to fix the noise until the transmission fails completely. It's not a pleasant experience driving a car with kids inside waiting for transmission to fail. Now I need to talk to … lawyers and file for the Lemon Law. The acceleration overall is very bad, the car feels like an under powered big box on wheels. The interior quality is very low, the car squeaks from everywhere. Fuel economy is awful, I get around 10 mpg in the city and the car drives really bad. If you think you buy it because it's a Toyota think again because they are no longer what they used to be.
2 out of 5 stars
2017 Sienna TRANSMISSION BEWARE
2017 Toyota Sienna XLE Premium 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
I bought a brand new 2017 Sienna XLE and the transmission went out at 14,000 miles. The dealership replaced the transmission but we have had more electrical issues with the vehicle. Now it only starts when it wants too. The dealership can’t “duplicate” the issue on demand so to them it’s a “glitch”! Toyota has been absolutely useless. I am terrified this unreliable vehhvle is going to … get my family killed! BUYER BEWARE!
2017 Toyota Sienna video
JOSH SADLIER: This is automotive editor Josh Sadlier with an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Toyota RAV4. The current RAV4 debuted back in 2013. And ordinarily, that would be a strike against it. But with the refresh for 2016, Toyota actually brought this vehicle back to competitive status in the class. We still miss the V6 from the previous generation RAV4. So there's just one engine in this one. It's a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Gets the job done, but it's not going to blow your socks off. So if you're looking for extra performance, you're going to have to look elsewhere in the segment. Overall, though, the RAV4 rides comfortably. Spacious interior. Up to date features, including an additional suite of safety features that come standard for 2017. It's one to watch in this class. In the back seat, the RAV4 has plenty of room for adults. Certainly, no shortage in that regard. You'll notice that there's no third row seat, however, and that's another missing aspect from the previous generation RAV4. So this is strictly a two-row crossover. Nonetheless, plenty of space within those constraints. Dashboard design's a little adventurous, by Toyota's standards at least-- touchscreen infotainment in the center, dual zone automatic climate control, and even a sporty steering wheel. The bottom line if you're shopping for a compact crossover is this segment is chock-full of interesting alternatives. So we would recommend shopping around before you decide on the Toyota. Most notably, the Honda CR-V is all new. And that's the traditional rival for the RAV4. So both of those, at least, before you buy. For more Edmunds Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
2017 Toyota Sienna Expert Rundown
Looking for a minivan comfortable enough for a family road trip but able to handle curves? Consider the 2017 Toyota Sienna. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
2017 Sienna Highlights
|Combined MPG||22 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$172/month|
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 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 Rollover14%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestAcceptable
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood