By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.3
You can bet that the engineers at Toyota are not pleased that the Honda Odyssey is widely regarded as the best minivan in America. So they've done something about it. The new-for-2011 Sienna minivan offers an improved exterior design, better driving dynamics, a more accommodating interior and features that take it up several notches in the hotly competitive minivan category. With the redesign, it has certainly moved up on our list of desirable minivans.
The 2011 Toyota Sienna folds together many passenger-friendly features including the reclining, leg-rest-equipped second row seats and an entertainment system that lets the kids watch two different programs. For those of you in inclement climes, the Sienna is the only minivan to offer the option of all-wheel drive.
The Sienna can get pricey when compared to some of the competition like the Kia Sedona, but in terms of resale value the Sienna excels. We expect its overall ownership cost to be reasonable.
For 2011 the Sienna is completely re-engineered. Among the notable changes are the thoroughly upgraded new interior that includes optional lounge-type seating in the second row and a sport-tuned SE model with improved steering and handling. A four-cylinder-powered Sienna is also available.
Driving Impressions Both of the Toyota Sienna's engines deliver where it counts, whether you crave the fuel-sipping economy of the 2.7-liter four-cylinder or the extra punch provided by the 3.5-liter V6. The...four-cylinder-equipped Sienna is surprisingly acceptable, but for serious family- and cargo-hauling, the V6 is the engine to get. Power for both engines is managed by a smooth-shifting ECT five-speed automatic transmission. The base Sienna offers a quiet, soft ride that will cocoon driver and passengers, with the suspension floating effortlessly over potholes. For those who want a more involving driving experience, however, we recommend the sporty SE trim, which offers a sport-tuned suspension and tighter steering feel.
Second Row Lounge Seating
The Toyota Sienna XLE's Lounge Seating offers a Long-Slide feature maximizing legroom, while footrests rise up, virtually transforming the second row seats into Barcaloungers.
Dual View Entertainment Center
The Sienna's Dual View Entertainment Center features two wireless headphones and an extra-wide screen that allows two different movies to play at once. Or in those few families in which the kids agree, one movie can play CinemaScope-style. You'll almost feel like you're watching your flatscreen at home.
Whatever the trim, from lightly equipped base model to decked-out Limited, the Sienna can be easily configured to meet many families' budgets thanks to a number of options and packages. The Sienna can seat up to eight, depending on a choice of captain's chairs or bench seating in the second row, with reasonable leg- and headroom for passengers in all seating positions. The only exception to this is when the lounge seating is deployed to its rearward extreme, which results in nearly non-existent legroom for the third-row riders. The Sienna's third-row seat folds flush into the floor, but we found the manual stowing of the seats difficult to master. Happily, a power-stow option is available. Cargo space in the Sienna is ample and versatile. Additional space can be made by folding down one or both of the 60/40-split rear seats and by completely removing the second row.
Channeling some of the looks of its Venza stablemate, the 2011 Sienna presents a sportier shape that the previous edition with nice details like the rear door slider that is hidden within the window graphic. The strong "shoulder" and well-chiseled fender flares add to the more performance-oriented look. While the new Sienna rides on the same wheelbase as the prior generation, it is wider for interior roominess and slightly shorter overall. The rear of the Sienna sits high and features sculpted sheet metal, LED tail lamps and a rear-lip spoiler - adding a sporty feel to the design.
The base Sienna comes with an MP3-capable CD player with auxiliary input jack, remote keyless entry, dual-sliding doors with power windows, and tri-zone manual air conditioning. Opting for the LE trim adds steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power sliding doors and a Homelink universal transceiver. The SE trim adds its own sport-tuned suspension and steering, leather-trimmed steering wheel and an eight-way power leatherette driver's seat. Moving up to the XLE nets you a six-speaker stereo with a USB port and iPod connectivity, automatic tri-zone climate control, leather and woodgrain interior trim, and heated seats. The upscale Limited adds a JBL sound system, lounge second-row seating, and a power-folding 60/40 third row. All trims offer Toyota's STAR Safety System, airbags for all three rows, plus the XLE features front and rear sonar, which is not for submarine chasing but a parking assist.
Options on the Sienna vary by trim and include all-wheel drive, roof rails, dual-power sliding doors, power seats, Bluetooth connectivity, tri-zone automatic climate control and a power rear hatch. A Dual-View Entertainment Center with wireless headphones is available on XLE and Limited models. The Limited can also be equipped with a Navigation Package, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and rain-sensing wipers.
Two engines are offered in the 2011 Sienna: A new fuel-efficient 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that offers decent off-the-line acceleration and a hearty 3.5-liter V6 with plenty of torque, quiet operation and fuel economy that is remarkably similar to the four cylinder. If you want all-wheel-drive the V6 is your lone choice.
2.7-liter in-line 4
187 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
186 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/24
265 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
245 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)
By Scripter on Thursday, April 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Cons: "Alot of plastic finishes on interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'm not a minivan person however because my family expanded to7 we found ourselves purchasing a brand new Sienna, I really like this van it has served my family well over the last two and a half years. The big negative is that the majority of the finishes inside this vehicle are plastic that do scratch easily. And a few times the power door (on the drivers side only)wouldn't open by the power option. Over all though I would rate this van a 8/9 out of ten."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By MoMofTwins on Friday, April 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "amazing car for a family of twins!"
Cons: "it seems to get dinged in parking lots a lot"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I said I would never drive a minivan but now that I am a MoM to twins I don't know how I would ever live without it! The sliding doors on both sides made getting infant carriers in and out so much easier no matter how tight the parking spot - I have no idea how twin moms do without it - what if some jerk parks too close - how do you get two infant carriers into a car when you can't open a door wide enough? Also, we do a lot of road trips (about 350 miles) and I can stow the third row and then haul all of the stuff that goes along with twins easily! Double stroller whether tandem or side by side - no problem with back row seats up or down! I love the "emergency" 8th seat and that you don't have to have it up all the time! Can't say enough great stuff about the Sienna. Almost got the Town & Country (more bells and whistles, less $) but it doesn't get as good a reliability rating from Consumer Reports and as the hubby said when we were shopping for the minivan (after I admitted defeat, test drove one and decided this might be the perfect answer for us) he wants the most reliable and safe car around for his wife and babies to be driving in - he never wants us stuck on the side of the road for a preventable reason! Tried out the Honda Odyssey but didn't like how the front end was designed. Two years later I LOVE my Sienna!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By nbsatx on Friday, February 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I've enjoyed the van for 2 years; however, I am ready to own a smaller car because of my age. One thing I don't like is the small backup camera as I overlook it a good bit of the time because it is set way back in the dash and very small. The cup holders are too small for a large insulated mug and the divider for the 2 cups is too high for mug handles so the cup doesn't sit flat. The "jump seat" when used is lower than the 2 captain chairs so it really isn't convenient for seating 3 people."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By motdat on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good turning, gas, comfortable ride"
Cons: "Terrible heater, too long to warm up."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Good overall but has a horrible heating system. Takes forever to get even warm air. Toyota says thats the way they designed it. 4 times longer the get warm to hot air than any car I've owned. Rear window washer is not good either. Water is out of sync with washer blade. Car is comfortable and gets good milage for it's class.Mechanically it seems reliable."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By sparkie on Sunday, December 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "drives nice .good visibility,good seating"
Cons: "bad fit and finish,cheap materials,smelly ac"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I own a 2011 sienna and it has just been repainted by Toyota. The seats squeak,the passengers seat behind the driver is stuck,the glove compartment hinge broke,and the interior keeps getting a very musty meldewy smell.I will never buy a Toyota product again.junk. the caravan may be troublesome sometimes but the cab and fit and finish is much better."
By rdc on Friday, December 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "v6 passing power"
Cons: "bigger tire size would be good"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought a base v6 Sienna in 2012 for $25k out-the-door. Drove 16000 miles total, great driving experience specially the v6 passing power. Quiet, comfortable ride, quad chair, lots of space. Gas mileage 24 mpg combined. Dual AC great value. Won't go wrong with this van."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful