By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 9.0
As minivans go, it's hard to go wrong in the Toyota Sienna. This family-friendly hauler has a roomy interior, easy driving manners and an enviable reliability record. For 2017 the Sienna gets a new transmission and 30 extra horsepower to make it the most powerful minivan in its class. This is just icing, though. The Sienna's real appeal is its ability to accommodate a family of seven or eight with ease while providing a confident and safety-minded experience for Mom and Dad. The Sienna faces stiff competition in the stylistic Honda Odyssey and the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, but the Toyota continues to stand out thanks to its roster of safety features and creature comforts. It also remains the only minivan available with all-wheel drive.
If you want a minivan with simple operation, stellar reliability and plenty of power, the 2017 Sienna is an excellent choice. Class-leading resale value and the availability of factory-installed hardware for passengers with mobility needs are other merits, as is the option of traction-enhancing all-wheel drive.
If bargain pricing in the here and now is a priority, the Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest undercut the Sienna in initial pricing, if not long-term resale value. The brand-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan tempts with it nifty features like hands-free sliding doors, collapsible 2nd-row seats and even a hybrid model.
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2017 Toyota Sienna receives a more powerful V6 engine standard and a new 8-speed transmission to replace the prior 6-speed. With just shy of 300 horsepower, the new 3.5-liter V6 makes the Sienna more powerful than its rivals, while the two extra gears help make it more fuel-efficient than prior versions.
The Sienna has always felt surprisingly potent and even, yes, relatively sporty to drive for a minivan. This year's fresh injection of power promises to only further improve the driving...
... experience. Of course, no one expects you to be drag-racing this minivan, but the standard 296 horsepower Toyota's van now packs helps in real-life driving situations like passing that slow-moving truck or quickly accelerating up that notoriously short freeway onramp. In general the Sienna is a quiet highway cruiser that's manageable to maneuver in the city. If you're looking for a sportier experience, try the Sienna SE, which comes with a sport-tuned suspension and larger, 19-inch wheels. These features improve handling, but the flip side is a harsher ride and added 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.
For passengers who require mobility assistance, the Sienna can be a savior. In addition to its ability to be fitted with an aftermarket wheelchair ramp, the Sienna is available with Toyota's factory-installed Auto Access Seat, a power-operated chair that enables easier access to a 2nd-row passenger weighing up to 330 pounds.
The 2017 Sienna minivan has three rows of seats and can accommodate seven or eight passengers. Seven-passenger models have a pair of 2nd-row captain's chairs, while 8-passenger models have a bench that seats three. You can opt for a 7- or 8-passenger arrangement in every Sienna except the SE, which is 8-passenger-only. If you choose 2nd-row captain's seats in the XLE or Limited, your passengers get lounge seats with adjustable ottomans and armrests. Toyota's minivan features four LATCH points for child-safety seats, plenty of nooks and crannies up front for electronics and bags, and ample storage in back behind the third row.
Compared to the Honda Odyssey with its "lightning-bolt" side-window treatment or the Kia Sedona and new Chrysler Pacifica with their progressive stances, the Toyota Sienna appears more conservative to our eyes. Like all matters of taste, this isn't a bad thing, and whether the Sienna looks the best among its peers or is lost in the crowd will be subject to your eyes. Sienna SE models strive to put the "swagger" in this Toyota's wagon with big 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear underbody spoilers and smoked headlights.
The 2017 Toyota Sienna spans five trims: L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. A base L model comes with tri-zone climate control, fabric seats, rearview camera, automatic headlights and the Entune Audio system with 6.1-inch touch screen, AM/FM/CD player with USB, and iPod and Bluetooth connectivity with Siri Eyes Free for Apple devices. That model is only available with seating for seven; all others can accommodate seven or eight. The LE gets easy-clean fabric, power-operated sliding doors, upgraded infotainment system and power-adjustable driver's seat. All 2017 Siennas come with safety systems and Toyota Care, which covers two years/25,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.
Keep climbing trims and you'll get extra conveniences such as power liftgate (optional on LE models), Leatherette or genuine leather seats, push-button start, moonroof, navigation system and Driver Easy Speak, which broadcasts the driver's voice to the rear speakers -- no more needing to turn around and yell at the kids! Active safety features include blind-spot monitoring and, for Limited models, radar cruise control and pre-collision automatic-braking system. A rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray DVD player and ultra-wide 16.4-inch screen with HDMI inputs and twin power outlets is available to further keep the kiddos occupied.
The 2017 Toyota Sienna retains its 3.5-liter V6 as its sole engine, but it’s more powerful and more efficient than previously. The new engine gets an increase of 30 horsepower and 18 lb-ft of torque for new ratings of 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque while running on regular unleaded gasoline. Also new is an 8-speed automatic transmission, replacing a 6-speed. The new powertrain helps fuel economy climb 1 to 2 mpg. As with its competitors, the Sienna comes standard with front-wheel drive (FWD), while unlike the rest it's available with all-wheel drive (AWD) across every trim except the base L and sportier SE, a boon for drivers living in cold-weather states. With either layout, the Toyota Sienna is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
296 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
263 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The 2017 Toyota Sienna L has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $30,690 for a base L model, including destination charges. On the other end of the Sienna spectrum, a loaded all-wheel-drive Limited Premium model tops $48,000. You can find a lot of value in between, starting with an LE model. At these prices, the Sienna nearly mirrors those of its Honda Odyssey competition, is slightly above the new Chrysler Pacifica, and is a few thousand more than the starting prices of the Nissan Quest, Kia Sedona and Dodge Grand Caravan. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Sienna. Another feather in this Toyota's cap is resale value: The Sienna has routinely been a KBB Best Resale Value Award winner, including most recently in 2016.