The 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan has a new face for an old idea this year.
Last year, improvements to the Sienna were largely confined to unseen areas: a new engine and transmission. This year’s upgrades are everything we can see: a new front bumper, side panels, an updated infotainment system, more USB ports, a new rear seat entertainment system and standard safety equipment.
We rated the 2018 Sienna at 6.2 out of 10, a decent rating that reflects its continuous updates over the years. (Learn more about how we rate cars.)
The review continues below
For family buyers, the Toyota Sienna now includes a full suite of advanced safety features, which it calls Toyota Safety Sense-P, as standard equipment on every trim level. The package includes adaptive cruise control, active lane control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and automatic high beams. Other automakers offer the same features on their minivans, but many charge extra for the package – Toyota’s is standard on all trims.
Up front, he must not have noticed the Sienna’s expanding maw. Designers lowered the front bumper and widened it to give the van a more aggressive look. Side panels that were reserved for the sportier SE models last year are now standard equipment on all grades this year, and larger fog lamp housings and a crisscrossed hood will help the Sienna achieve a “give me your money for lunch and beat it, wimp” see.
Under its hood, Toyota offers a 3.5-liter V6 borrowed from the new Camry sedan and Tacoma pickup revised last year. It makes 296 horsepower and is controlled by an 8-speed automatic that helps the Sienna get the most out of its gas tank, but there’s no hybrid on the horizon here. Instead, the Sienna boasts another title in the powertrain department: the only minivan with all-wheel drive available. Whether that’s helpful to buyers is debatable, but the Sienna manages respectable fuel economy in both configurations, around the low 20s combined in both configurations.
Available in 7 or 8 seats, the Sienna is among the largest in its class with over 164 cubic feet of passenger space. With all the seats removed, the Sienna contains 4 x 8 building material sheets that can lie flat on the floor. With all the seats in place, it contains many adults who make more noise than building materials.
New for 2018, Toyota has updated its infotainment system, dubbed Entune. The latest system was a bit menu-heavy and lacked Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The new system finally offers support for Apple CarPlay; we’ll report back to you once we’ve spent some time behind the wheel. A 6.1-inch touchscreen is standard on all models and a premium JBL audio system is available on higher trims.
Toyota also offers a handful of family-friendly features such as a speakerphone that projects the driver’s voice better in the third row and a rear Blu-ray player so you don’t have to yell at the kids first. location.