The Toyota Sienna is Roomy, comfortable and offered in several different trim levels, the Toyota Sienna minivan is an excellent choice for families.
Available eight-passenger seating
Comfortable and far-sliding second-row seating
For sensible family transportation, you can't do much better than the 2016 Toyota Sienna. One of the best minivans in the business, it offers seating for eight and class-exclusive available all-wheel drive. Overall, the Sienna effortlessly holds its own against its fellow top-rated minivans, the Honda Odyssey and Kia Sedona.
Delivering a comfortable ride has always been a Sienna high point, and last year's structural and suspension improvements make it ride and handle even better than before. And if you want a minivan that feels less like a minivan, the SE version boasts sharper steering and a more controlled suspension. It's definitely not sporty, but it's one of the best of its kind to drive.
The Sienna XLE shares many of the SE trim's comfort and convenience equipment, but features similar suspension, steering and styling to the LE. It also adds a four-way power front passenger seat, faux-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 and blind-spot/cross-traffic warning systems.
The plush Limited includes the XLE Premium's features (minus the rear-seat 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. FWD powertrains also get a sliding center console between the first two rows, extendable footrests for the second row and a power-folding third row with upgraded leatherette upholstery.
Performance and Mpg
Every 2016 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 instrumented testing, a front-drive Sienna LE went from zero to 60 mph in a swift 7.5 seconds. The EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway) for front-wheel-drive versions. Opting for all-wheel drive drops those estimates to 19 mpg combined (16/23).
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 2016 Toyota Sienna models.
A blind-spot monitor, 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, which is about average for the minivan segment.
In government crash tests, the 2016 Toyota Sienna received a five-star rating for overall performance, with four stars for total frontal 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 frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength tests and head restraint (whiplash protection) design. It received the second highest rating of "Acceptable" in the IIHS test for small-overlap frontal-crash protection.
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. These include utilizing the built-in navigation system or a suite of smartphone-connected services, including Scout GPS Link. There's also the 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 40/20/40-split second-row bench, and its center section slides close to the front seats for easier access to the little one seated there. 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 specialized 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 most competitors can manage, increasing sprawl-out comfort or cargo space. Maximum cargo space stands at 150 cubic feet, though to achieve this you have to remove the second-row seats, which are quite heavy and awkward to remove.
We've long been impressed by the Sienna's V6 engine and how it delivers lively acceleration whether you're bopping around town running errands or getting up to cruising speed on the freeway. The six-speed automatic transmission does a great job of keeping the engine's thrust on tap, yet the Sienna still manages to provide respectable fuel economy, provided you're not too aggressive with the gas pedal.