By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
The Toyota Sienna minivan for 2014 rises above the minivan mob by offering a nearly unbeatable combination of models, options, strong resale value and styling. Easily the equal of the Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest, the Sienna goes a step further by offering the option of all-wheel drive (AWD), the only minivan in the U.S. to do so. The Sienna's V6 is more powerful than either the Odyssey or Quest, although the Dodge Grand Caravan is more powerful than all three, and the Odyssey trumps both the Sienna and the Quest when it comes to fuel economy. While the Sienna is roomy, its interior color choices and plastics are a bit of a letdown, especially when compared to the Quest or Town & Country.
If your next minivan must have good looks, room for eight and the option of all-wheel drive (AWD), the 2014 Toyota Sienna is your first and only choice. Excellent resale value and a strong reliability record give added peace of mind.
If keeping costs low is a top priority, a better choice might be the Dodge Grand Caravan which costs nearly $7,000 less than the cheapest Sienna trim. Of course, the Dodge's resale value is nowhere near the Sienna's. Another option might be the well-equipped Kia Sedona.
The 2014 Toyota Sienna gains a Tow Prep package as part of its standard equipment list, while Toyota's Blind Spot Monitor is offered as a stand-alone option on the SE trim.
Driving Impressions With its 266-horsepower V6 engine at work, the 2014 Toyota Sienna minivan is surprisingly quick on its feet. Even with the optional AWD, the Sienna accelerates briskly and never feels...labored or short on power. The 6-speed automatic does a good job of finding and holding the right gears and when it does shift, the transition is nearly imperceptible. We found the Sienna's ride to be quite smooth, but did feel there was more road and wind noise inside than in the Honda Odyssey. With some small blind spots toward the rear of the van, we also found the Blind Spot Monitoring system a welcome addition. For those seeking a more dialed-in driving experience, the SE trim offers a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels. Both features improve handling but also result in a harsher ride and more road noise inside the cabin.
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 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 2014 Sienna are a treat for 2nd-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 2014 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 3rd-row seat, however, is greater than those rivals. Driver ergonomics is 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 2014 Sienna isn't likely to 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 2014 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 rearview camera and 7-inch screen, and the other is Toyota's 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.
The 2014 Toyota Sienna comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes a robust 266 horsepower and delivers up to 25 mpg. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, with AWD optional. The only transmission is a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. The 2014 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)
A base, 2014 Toyota Sienna L has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just shy of $28,000. On the other end of the Sienna spectrum, a fully loaded all-wheel-drive Limited model can run past $50,000. The Sienna's base price is lower than that of a Honda Odyssey or Chrysler Town & Country, nearly the same as a Nissan Quest but higher than a Dodge Grand Caravan and Kia Sedona. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others are actually paying for the 2014 Sienna in your area. Down the road, the Toyota Sienna is expected to be the leader of the pack in terms of resale value.
By Mike T (MI) on Thursday, November 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good value, excellent resale, surprisingly peppy!"
Cons: "Gas mileage isn't terrific, but it is as stated."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my wife's car and she absolutely loves it. She has had multiple 4wd SUVs before this and she tells everyone that the Sienna is her favorite car that she's ever had. The AWD does great in the winter, especially paired with snow tires. Ride is smooth and very "car-like". Interior is nicely styled for our model, especially considering it is not one of the more expensive models. The 260hp 6-cyclinder gets the van up and going quickly and merging onto a highway or into traffic is no problem!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Sel (NJ) on Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Most of today's minivans satify the user's needs. But that still sets them apart due to many reasons. Here is the easiest review. Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are the two best minivans as of today. PERIOD. Others are just surviving due to lower pricing(Dodge/Chrysler) or Tech (Nissan Quest). For exterior looks, Sienna SE beats Odyssey by miles. It is also good looking than XLE or Limited. Coming to Drive/Handling, Sienna SE is exciting with sport tuned suspension and transmission. Odyssey is also good here. For tech features and equipments, Odyssey is better than Sienna. Seating is good on both Sienna and Odyssey. Configurations are slightly different. Please explore according to your taste. Odyssey has a better mileage than Sienna. Sienna has slightly bigger Cargo space than Odyssey. Sienna SE is priced lesser than Odyssey EX-L or Touring Overall winner is Sienna SE (Mix of both the worlds) !! Ranking (Overall with price included). This applies to 2014 model - 1. Sienna SE (with Navigation) 2. Odyssey Touring 3. Odyssey EX-L (with Navigation) 4. Sienna XLE 5. Odyssey Touring Elite 6. Sienna Limited"
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Sonny (OK) on Friday, September 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I have a 2011 XLE Toyota Sienna van, the wind and road noise is really bad. The backup camera is fuzzy and not clear at all. It is close to worthless. Dealerships say all the new are the same. As much as it cost, it should at least be better than a Ford. My daughter's Ford makes the Sienna's look really bad!"
18 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Double D (Canada) on Thursday, September 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"We previously owned 2004 Sienna LE. Loved it, so when it was time to buy a new van we purchaed 2012 Sienna LE. Toyota has certainly cut corners, compared to our 2004. The sliding doors will have an unusual "pop" sound when you pull the handle to close the sliding doors. This does not happen all the time but you will definately hear the "pop". We have a noise coming from the passenger side door near the third row, it's a "knock" that we he when we brake or when we accelerate, again it does not happen all the time, however the noise does startle you, I first thought that someone had thrown something at the van, or we hit something. Interior has a "plastic" feel to it. We will NOT be purchasing a Sienna again."
18 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Bill C (PA) on Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable space for passengers and cargo"
Cons: "noisy, poor mileage, poor radio and camera / nav"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased my Sienna XLE AWD in late January 2013 and I now have 13,000+ miles on it. I am EXTREMELY disappointed with both the vehicle and Toyota’s response to one particular problem. The radio has a very bad echo which occurs on multiple stations but frequently on one particularly station, which just so happens to be my favorite station. It appears to be a reception related problem since I can duplicate it every time I drive certain routes. Understand that this is a local station, with very good reception, along the same routes, in every other vehicle I own, or have owned. I encountered the problem the first time I drove the vehicle and every time I drive the vehicle. The dealership has “worked” on the problem three separate times. The first two times, they told me they were able to duplicate the problem (on routes nowhere near my normal driving routes). Both times they “did some diagnostics” but were unable to fix the problem. We arranged for a third visit when they could have a Toyota district service rep available to review the problem. They kept the car for three days. At they end of the three days they told me that they had replaced the radio with a radio from another, new Sienna on their lot. It performed exactly as the original radio (with the echo). Therefore, they said, the radio was functioning as designed and there was nothing they could do to solve the problem. The dealership apologized but said that they had worked closely with Toyota and that it was Toyota’s decision. I open a claim with Toyota’s national hotline. I got a call from a very polite man who told me that he had investigated the problem. He gave me enough specifics (both specifics of the problem and the names of service personnel at the dealership) to satisfy me that he had indeed looked into it. His bottom line however, was that, although Toyota acknowledged there was a problem, the radio “was functioning as designed” and therefore they could (would) do nothing to correct it. Really?!?! I guess when you only pay $40,000+ for a vehicle, a working radio is too much to expect. I also asked the dealership (on my first checkup) to look into what I believed was extremely excessive road noise. They did look into it but before they even did so, they said it was most likely, you guessed it, functioning as designed. When I picked the car up after that appointment they told me that the noise level was “normal” for that vehicle due to a combination of wind noise from the design and road noise from the run-flat tires. That was disappointing to hear, but I understand a problem that can’t be fixed until the vehicle is redesigned. My third problem with the vehicle is with the GPS / backup camera screen. I did buy the GPS option, really to get a larger backup screen. THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE. The screen does not have a visor and the angle of the mounting often renders it useless in bright sunlight. In addition, the “upgrade” to the larger screen for the backup camera, does not include the projection lines for that camera screen, a very useful tool I see on virtually all backup screens on 2013 vehicles. Lastly, the gas mileage is terrible. I knew going in that, with the AWD, it wouldn’t be good but I was hoping for something close to the rating of 20 -21. The actual is 17 – 18. Poor performance in my opinion for a 2013. There are definitely the positives you expect from a mini van – comfortable room for seven people, lots of cargo room, etc. However, I am very disappointed with Toyota Corp. compared to the car company I enjoyed years ago as the maker of my Avalon. That was a great car and we got great service throughout the 212,000 miles we put on her. Unfortunately, Toyota Corp. has changed and this is the last one of their cars I will purchase."
12 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Conrad (OR) on Sunday, August 18, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Rattles, bad back seat design - My approximate mileage is 16,000
Pros: "Sienna vans run great and drives good"
Cons: "Doors Rattles, Rear seats rattles."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The Captain chairs in back are hard to get into. They tilt up to high for passengers to get into Van. Also, all the Seat Legs Rattles. The Toyota Dealer tried four times to stop the Rattles in both rear seats. The answer, "There is no fix". The said lots of customers are complaining about loud rattles in seats but there is no factory fix. So I was stuck with it? I traded my 2012 Sienna Van for a Honda Pilot. Not Happy With Toyota, I caught the Service Department in Lies."
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful