2017 Toyota Sienna Review

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Its spaciousness, versatility and fuel efficiency make the 2017 Toyota Sienna a compelling choice in the minivan segment. The Sienna is also the only minivan with available all-wheel drive, an important feature in regions beset by wintry conditions.

The 2017 Toyota Sienna may be configured to seat seven or eight passengers. For 2017, the Sienna receives a new 3.5-liter V6 engine, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing six-speed automatic. These upgrades bring enhanced fuel economy and more power.

Toyota offers the Sienna in L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited trims. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on the LE, XLE and Limited. Premium sub-trims are offered for SE, XLE and Limited models.


The powerful front fascia and sleek lines of the 2017 Sienna offer a familiar look that was initially put in place when this third-generation model rolled out for 2011. The Sienna has aged well, benefitting from a slight update in 2015.

The front fascia is dominated by an upswept grille that’s flanked by standard projector-beam halogen headlamps. The pronounced lower grille opening gives this model a sporty look. Available fog lamps rest within circular pockets at the lower corners.

From the side, the Sienna presents alloy wheels that provide flair across the model line. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, and 18-inch wheels with machine-finished alloy are available. SE models come equipped with 19-inch wheels fashioned in a handsome gunmetal finish. The Sienna’s profile also features a gently rising beltline, upper and lower character lines, rear privacy glass and standard sliding doors.

The rear portion is distinguished by a spoiler, an available power liftgate and oversized tail lamps.

The 2017 Toyota Sienna is available with roof rails, a rear bumper protector, LED taillights, heated sideview mirrors, high-intensity discharge headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers.


A cavernous cabin greets passengers as they enter the 2017 Sienna, and there is ample room across all three rows. The L and Limited trims seat seven passengers only, while LE and XLE models seat seven or eight. The SE trim comes with eight-passenger seating. Limited and XLE seven-passenger models are available with lounge-seat second-row captain’s chairs. All eight-passenger Sienna models feature a 40/20/40-split folding second-row seat.

Once you slip behind the wheel, the Sienna’s commanding seating position provides excellent sight lines. All driver controls are within easy reach. The transmission shifter is located on the lower left side of the center console, freeing up floor space for an open storage area that is suitable for holding a purse or a camera bag. Numerous beverage holders and storage compartments are located throughout the cabin.

Seating surfaces range from fabric to the swaddling leather found in the XLE, SE and Limited trims. Legroom is excellent in the first two rows and adequate in the third row. The available second-row lounge seating in Limited and XLE models will have your passengers vying to enjoy the included ottoman feature.

Access to the third row is excellent, thanks to moveable second-row seats that flip forward and sliding doors on both sides of the Sienna that easily glide out of the way.

Base models come with tri-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a cargo-area storage compartment and a 60/40-split third-row seat with one-motion stowing. Available comfort and convenience features include a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a power sunroof. One of the Sienna’s signature features is the optional stowable center seat. The seat can be relocated to a dedicated compartment in the cargo area. This provides tremendous versatility.

Another strong Sienna attribute is its standard 39.1 cubic feet of cargo space. Drop down the third-row seat and that space increases to 87.1 cubic feet. For ultimate cargo-carrying capacity, you can remove the second-row seats to open up 150 cubic feet of storage.


The Sienna is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 engine providing 296 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The powertrain offers impressive off-the-mark acceleration, taking this vehicle up to highway speeds at a steady clip. The transmission shifts smoothly, although downshifts seem slow when more power is needed for passing.

As with all minivans, the Sienna has a high center of gravity. It’s especially apparent on twisty roads where pitching and rolling become apparent. Still, it offers responsive steering and firm braking, which are favorable attributes for any vehicle your family might consider.

The SE edition comes with a sport-tuned suspension and sits slightly closer to the ground than the other models. All-wheel drive Siennas provide a handling edge on wet roads.

The Sienna’s new-for-2017 powertrain brings improved fuel economy. Front-wheel drive models get 19/27 mpg city/highway, up from 18/25 mpg. All-wheel-drive models get 18/24 mpg, up from 16/23 mpg. Our week with the Sienna reflected fuel consumption in line with EPA estimates.


The Sienna’s technology offerings improve at the LE trim level and above, although even the base model comes with sought-after features such as voice recognition, Bluetooth streaming, Siri Eyes Free, an auxiliary audio port and a USB port. The list of standard features also includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen color display.

Available features bring in satellite radio, a 7-inch touch-screen display, HD radio, smartphone app integration and Gracenote album cover art. A navigation package was included with our test Sienna Limited and delivered three route options per request and accurate turn-by-turn driving instructions on demand.

A four-speaker sound system is standard. A six-speaker upgrade is available, and there’s also a premium 10-speaker JBL system offering superior sound quality throughout the cabin. The available Driver Easy Speak system is a welcome feature. It supplies a microphone situated in an overhead console to amplify the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

If there is one demerit for the Toyota Sienna, it would be the lack of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. However, the same can be said of top competitors such as the Chrysler Pacifica.


The 2017 Toyota Sienna garnered a top five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the minivan top scores in four of five crashworthiness tests and bestowed the Sienna with an Advanced rating for its available crash avoidance and mitigation equipment.

All models come with a full complement of airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. Other standard safety equipment includes smart stop technology, designed to automatically reduce engine power when the brake and accelerator are pressed at the same time under certain conditions, bringing this minivan to a full stop. All-wheel drive models come with active torque control, which automatically sends the right amount of torque to the front and rear wheels.

Available driver-assistance features include hill-start assist and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Sienna also offers dynamic radar cruise control, which maintains a preselected following distance between the vehicle immediately in front of it.


The base Sienna L offers a respectable amount of standard equipment and retails for $29,750, plus a $940 destination charge. However, most families will want additional features such as second- and third-row sunshades and power sliding doors. These features are standard with the LE trim, which costs nearly $2,800 more.

The SE trim is the outlier of the bunch, bringing in sporty characteristics, including larger wheels and a more aggressive look. At $36,110 it offers middle-of-the-pack pricing, although all-wheel drive is not available.

Toyota prices the XLE just $200 above the SE, and this model provides a natural bridge between the LE and top-of-the-line Limited editions.

Our Limited test model was outfitted with a sunroof, a heated steering wheel and an available onboard vacuum. When equipped with all-wheel drive and features such as a rear-seat entertainment system, Limited models ring in at around $48,000.

We imagine most families will be satisfied with an LE equipped with all-wheel drive, and pricing for these models starts at $36,020.


The Toyota Sienna offers the versatility and reliability families want and does so without crimping budgets. This minivan’s strongest advantage is its available all-wheel drive, which is unavailable elsewhere in the segment. This is a must-have feature for families living in cold climates. When you put it all together, it’s easy to see why the Sienna has been a perennial best seller.

By | 2017-12-13T17:22:35+00:00 December 6th, 2016|0 Comments

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