2015 Toyota Sienna Review – If you ask me, the once maligned minivan is at the precipice of a comeback. Several new or updated models are coming to market over the next couple of years. And for 2015, Toyota is keeping their popular Sienna fresh by adding to its comfort, capabilities and safety. 2015_Toyota_Sienna_XLE_01It was 2010 the last time Toyota debuted an all-new Sienna and it could be 3 more years before it happens again.
2015 Toyota Sienna Review
So this 2015 primping serves to bridge that gap. Sorry, but if you were expecting something less frumpy looking you’ll be disappointed. Toyota says this Sienna sports a revised front grille and new slimmer headlight units but if you can tell the difference than you have a keener eye than me. Underneath its bulbous skin is a stiffened chassis thanks to over 140 additional spot welds. And because minivans are ostensibly big boxes on wheels, that’s an important and welcome upgrade to the driver and passengers alike, improving overall comfort and quietness.
Luckily for Toyota, minivan shoppers put attractiveness pretty far down their priority list and so it’s the Sienna’s interior than sees the bulk of the changes. Surface materials are of higher quality now with stitched surfaces and additional soft touch points replace harder plastics. An emphasis on safety is huge in this segment and the Sienna now gets a 4th LATCH point in the 3rd row, a new airbag in the front-passenger seat cushion and larger side curtain airbags. But the most visible changes are seen on the center stack featuring a more intuitive layout and the addition of the fresh Entune Premium Audio system with navigation and App Suite – optional on this higher level XLE trim for $775. This touch screen system can also be voice activated, possesses the right amount of redundant knobs and works simply. A backup cam is now standard on all grades.
Are you tired of shouting to the kids in the 3rd row? Well, the little ones no longer have the “I can’t hear you excuse.” With Driver Easy Speak enabled your voice is carried through the Sienna’s speaker system all the way to the rear. A new steering wheel and color Multi-information display packed with useful information round out the changes. And having a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert are perfect minivan accoutrements. If you’re the person driving, the Sienna’s 3.5-liter V6 pleasantly surprises with its lusty acceleration stemming from 266 horses and a 6-speed auto. Sienna is the only AWD minivan currently on the market though this tester is a front-driver. Gas mileage is rated at 18mpg city/25mpg which is highly competitive. As for the kids, the Sienna offers up huge amounts of space.
This 8-passenger Sienna provides the option of stowing the 2nd rows middle seat in the back for times when you’d rather have a center console that slides with the seat on the left. It’s a little cumbersome to switch out but the idea is a good one. Even with the third row seat upright, there’s still oodles of room to store your stuff as well as convenient grocery bag hooks to keep your goods in place.
Getting the 3rd row to disappear is an easy 3 step process but the 2nd row seats are they to stay; there’s no clever Stow ‘N Go feature so the best you can do is fold them down or remove them from the Sienna altogether. The 150 cubic feet of cargo room is especially impressive. When sitting in the 2nd row, the seats slide an amazing 23” rearward and also recline so even the tallest folks will find comfort here. Ditto for the 3rd row which is accessed from either side with an easy tip and slide feature. The airiness and comfort levels are top notch.
Yet despite the 2015 updates the Sienna still feels like it’s lost some of the swagger it touted after its last redesign. On paper it’s solid and it has the resume to deliver the premium minivan experience, but its intangibles leave me feeling somewhat ambivalent about its overall appeal, especially when looking at the stylish new Kia Sedona. Competitively priced, this model stickers for $37,090. thanks for reading 2015 Toyota Sienna Review.