By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
The 2013 Toyota Sienna is a large people mover with impressive tech and safety features, good fit and finish and a strong engine. These add up to make the Sienna a confident competitor to its longtime rival the Honda Odyssey as well as the revamped Nissan Quest. The 2013 Sienna now comes standard with a relatively fuel-efficient V6 and can be had in 7- or 8-passenger configurations. With five trims available, cabins vary from pragmatic to something that can feel like a luxury liner. The Sienna is the only minivan in its class to offer traction-enhancing all-wheel-drive, a plus for those who drive in inclement weather. The Sienna also stands out for its ability to hold value.
If good looks, ample storage space, comfortable amenities and all-wheel-drive are important to you in a van, the Toyota Sienna has a good chance of finding a place in your heart and driveway.
If spending the least amount of money is one of your priorities in buying a new minivan, you may want to look at the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan; With a starting price of around $21,500, it's more than $5,700 less than a base Sienna. But keep in mind that the long-term resale value of a Grand Caravan is also much less than a Sienna.
The base 4-cylinder engine that struggled to move a fully-loaded Sienna has been dropped for 2013, with the better V6 now standard. Blind-spot monitoring is standard on Limited models and available on SE and XLE trims. The system also features a new cross-traffic alert system for extra precaution when backing up.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Toyota Sienna feels more powerful than expected, with its 266-horsepower V6 engine having no trouble getting this van up to speed, even when the vehicle is equipped with...all-wheel-drive. The standard 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth and refined. Overall ride quality in the 2013 Toyota Sienna is comfortable, but road noise is still evident. Rearward visibility to the left and right can be impaired, making the available blind-spot monitoring system a welcome feature. The front seats are comfortable and easily adjustable to fit a variety of body types. The SE model has a sport-tuned suspension and rides on 19-inch wheels for better handling and a more engaging driving experience.
As the only minivan in the segment able to put power to all four wheels, this option is the one to have if you regularly find yourself regularly driving in snowy or slick conditions.
2ND-ROW LOUNGE SEATING.
The pair of leather-trimmed captain's chairs available in XLE and Limited versions of the 2013 Sienna are a treat for second-row passengers. In Limited models, the seats have a "long-slide" feature that makes them feel more akin to a living-room recliner complete with footrests.
There is plenty of room for passengers and cargo in the 2013 Toyota Sienna. The minivan can be configured with bench seats in the second and third rows in order to accommodate up to eight people total, or with captain's chairs in the second row to hold seven. Third-row passenger room is commendable but, as with the second-row, legroom is less than that of the Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest. Cargo capacity behind the third-row seat, however, is greater than those rivals; at 39.1 cubic feet, Toyota says there's sufficient cargo space for five golf bags or four large suitcases – even with all seats in use. The third row stows flat for additional room. Driver ergonomics are good, but the dash is rather bland and plastic parts are prominent.Exterior
Swoon-inducing looks usually aren't at the top of the list for minivan buyers and, while the 2013 Sienna isn't likely the change that, its sheetmetal is comfortably inoffensive. The Sienna has a mildly athletic, forward-leaning stance. A svelte beltline runs the length of each side, effectively splitting the vehicle and preventing it from looking bloated. SE models, which aim to be sportier, sit a bit lower and ride on bigger, 19-inch wheels. The Sienna SE also features smoked taillights and, for a visually lower stance, side skirting.
A base 2013 Toyota Sienna minivan comes with 3-zone air conditioning, AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary jack and four speakers, cruise control, keyless entry and eight cup holders (six on 7-passenger models). The standard Star Safety System includes stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist and Toyota's Smart Stop Technology, which helps halt the vehicle even if the accelerator is depressed. LE models add dual power-sliding doors and tri-zone automatic climate control. SE models have larger wheels and sport-tuned suspension. XLE models add leather seats and power liftgate, and top-line Limited trims have blind-spot monitoring, dual moonroofs and a 10-speaker JBL premium sound system.
Two navigation systems are available on the Toyota Sienna. One is an older-style, DVD-based version with integrated backup camera and 7-inch screen, and the other is Toyota's newer Entune system, available on LE, SE and XLE trims. Entune uses a smaller, 6.1-inch screen, but it has upgraded voice recognition and the ability to run mobile apps that can provide information on movie times, fuel prices and restaurants. Other options include all-wheel-drive, a 16.4-inch display for entertaining rear passengers, blind-spot monitoring, dynamic-cruise control and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights.
With the discontinuation of the old 4-cylinder engine, all 2013 Toyota Siennas now use a 3.5-liter V6 that makes a robust 266 horsepower and delivers up to 25 mpg. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. The only transmission is a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. The 2013 Sienna's towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
266 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
245 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (FWD), 16/23 mpg (AWD)
By Family Guy on Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Convenience (long-slide seats) comfort, cargo cap."
Cons: "3rd row headroom is low for a 6' tall man"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Drives excellent, extremely comfortable, handles securely in all weather (including ice & snow). Tons of cargo capacity (carried an 8 foot Christmas tree inside with no problem, and also enough luggage (clothes and toys plus a travel crib) and personal belongings for a cross-country move with 5 people and a cat), major convenience - the long-sliding seats really let us customize the interior layout for different #'s of passengers and kids car seats. The fold-down screen for the DVD player doesn't block the rear-view, and the second row sunroof makes a really comfortable, open feeling cabin for the 2nd and 3rd row passengers. Our kid's friends and their parents are all saying they wish they had purchased one like ours instead of theirs. We have near Mercedes-Benz level luxury, the stability of a tank, and the practicality and ease of entry of this minivan, all for about $30k less than a luxury brand mid-size SUV. All in all, we couldn't be happier!"
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Lee on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "ride comfort, fit and finish"
Cons: "uncomfortable seats on long trips"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Toyota builds great cars but they are not exciting cars, You aren't going to get a thrill from driving a Toyota but you will get your moneys worth, but people are not ever going to say "Wow there goes a Toyota!" I would recommend this vehicle if you have a family to haul around. We bought it to travel and it steers really well and rides nice but the Japanese have a problem with comfortable seats. Your butt can get sore on long trips. If you are a big person don't buy this vehicle. Otherwise it is really a good choice."
22 people out of 48 found this review helpful
By Joez on Saturday, January 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, room, reliability, value,"
Cons: "Back up camera."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Full disclosure, I am a loyal Toyota vehicle, of one kind or another, owner for over 30 years. Although I am never likely to ever get a "great deal", I buy them primarily because they have proven to me to be so reliable, inexpensive to maintain and have an awesome resale value. I buy new and used. That being said, we purchased a new 2012 Toyota Sienna LE, 8 passenger, FW, for traveling to visit our children in New Jersey, DC and Chicago form Erie, Pa.. This van is so comfortable to drive over longs trips. The driver side more than accommodates my long legs. The front captain seats are extra wide. My wife always says she feels like she is sitting in our living room, as she crosses her legs while doing her nails during our trips. The middle 2 captain chairs area provide even more leg/living room. We have frequently used all 8 seats and no one seems to be cramped. The back cargo area, when we fold the 3rd row seats, unfortunately enables my wife's and my overpacking bad habit. It is huge. I do take constant and accurate mpg readings on our trips. We do get 24-25 mpg's all the time at around 72 mph. City is never more than 18 mpg, and often less. But what would you expect from driving a large vehicle from stop light to stop light. My only real complaint is that the rear view camera is not very useful for backing up. It's only purpose is to let the driver know there in no one or nothing behind you. I understand the camera in the 2015's is a true back up camera. Overall, this is an excellent van for room, comfort, reliability and value. BTW, for a minivan it also looks pretty sharp. Swagger Wagon!!"
30 people out of 57 found this review helpful
By luvmnks on Wednesday, January 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortably seats eight with plenty of hip and leg"
Cons: "Just 15 MPG in city driving"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Had the most amount of trunk area after third row to fit a power wheelchair with a lift while all 8 chairs up.Was very comfortable on a week long 3000 mile trip as I am prone to sore back on other cars after couple of hours. Drives comfortably and noiselessly. Accelerates spiritedly considering the size. Windshield cracked around 27000 miles, possibly hit by road debris. Just had to replace it."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Ithar on Saturday, December 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, folding seats, comfort, backup camera"
Cons: "MPG, interior quality, back seats, RATTLES"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have the 8-Passenger LE model. Though the Sienna has been extremely reliable for the 17k miles I have owned it, I have quite a few gripes. First, I have never seen the advertised fuel mileage under any driving conditions. I was a little concerned that it was not only rated at worse fuel economy than the Honda, but also the previous generation Sienna. Now that I am getting noticeably worse mileage than advertised, I am pretty upset. I typically only get 21-23 highway, and 16-17 city. I drove it all the way from Minnesota to Virginia this spring and didn't see the advertised 25mpg highway on a single tank. Best I have done is 23, and that is cruise set at 60mph on relatively flat ground for basically the entire tank. Second, the interior. While the interior is relatively attractive, I have found it to be of low quality. I have more squeaks and rattles in this thing than I had in the 2002 Buick LeSabre that it replaced. The dashboard rattles when it's cold, the upper glovebox rattles all the time, and the third row seat rattles so bad that I can't stand driving it with the third row seats up unless someone is sitting in them. Also, the upper glove box is difficult to close due to the cheap latching mechanism that is all the way to one side (seemingly so that the driver can reach it). Third, the middle row seats. The middle row has a somewhat strangely shaped seat back that, while comfortable for adults, is awkward for children. It kind of pushes their head down. There is also the big plastic thing that covers the track system between the middle seats. While I didn't think much of it when I purchased the vehicle, it does make getting into and out of the third row much more difficult unless you just step on it. There are a few good things. It does have an incredible amount of storage space inside, which makes it very flexible. You could legitimately drive 6 adults(including driver) to the airport with their luggage and not have a problem fitting everything/everyone. The seats are comfortable for adults in all rows(when the middle is appropriately positioned). The automatic climate control, bluetooth stereo, cruise control, and backup camera, are all very nice to use. It also drives fairly well. Plenty of power for on ramps and passing, the brakes are strong as well. One thing I found surprising was how tight the turning radius is. It really makes it incredibly easy to park. The only gripe I have about how it drives is that the steering is excessively light in my opinion. However, that is quite subjective, and others may prefer it. Overall, the Sienna has been reliable, drives nice, has lots of room, and plenty of power. However, the squeaks/rattles and poor fuel economy prevent me from recommending this. It really makes the thing feel like a very cheap utilitarian vehicle when you are driving it. I have driven the Odyssey and previous generation of Sienna, and neither of them suffers from this feeling of cheapness. My city beater, a 15 year old Honda Civic, seems to have a better constructed interior, and far fewer rattles. Very disappointed. Buy the Odyssey. It looks better, drives better, and gets better mileage. It may be slightly more expensive, but it is better than driving what feels like an upscaled Kia Rio."
39 people out of 69 found this review helpful
By Bruce on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a modified rear entry wheelchair van. Like new with only 2,000 miles. Still has new smell. It came with dual power sliding doors, blue tooth, backing camera, power windows/door locks, keyless entry, and power driver seat."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful