2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland First Drive: More Than a Gadget?

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toyota sienna full overview

Advantages

  • genius packaging
  • Fabulous fuel economy and range
  • Lounger-style seats

The inconvenients

  • Stupid suspension lift
  • Not particularly fast
  • Coarse powertrain

We might as well eliminate that: Raising the 2022 Toyota Sienna’s ground clearance from 6.3 inches to 6.9, as was done to create the Woodland Edition tested here, may help it climb driveways better. steep, but that doesn’t turn it into a trail-ready adventure pickup truck. On the contrary, the slight lift seems to negatively affect the performance of this otherwise excellent family transporter and perhaps its efficiency. In all other respects, however, the Sienna Woodland remains a desirable alternative to any other three-row family vehicle, whether their rear doors swing or slide.

In the woods

For some reason, there’s more to the Sienna Woodland than a tiny lift kit. Cement gray metallic paint and faux leather upholstery with flannel accents are Woodland-specific styling touches, and it also includes out-of-the-box amenities like a tow hook, roof rails, carpet floor mats, thick rubber and a 1,500 watt inverter. Each Sienna Woodland seats seven passengers, with second-row captain’s chairs being standard. Tech upgrades include built-in navigation and a 12-speaker JBL audio system. So equipped and priced at $46,715, the Woodland nestles between the XSE and Limited grades in the Sienna lineup. As a feel-good bonus, Toyota donates $250 to the National Environmental Education Foundation for every copy sold.

Arbor Acceleration

Like all 2022 Siennas, the Woodland features a hybrid powertrain centered around a 2.5-liter I-4 driving the front wheels through a CVT automatic. The engine is supplemented by two electric motors in Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive unit, while AWD versions like the Woodland gain another electric motor that spins the rear wheels. Power totals 245 hp and something over 176 lb-ft of torque. (Toyota does not generally provide a combined torque figure on its HSD models.)

Despite this, the Woodland proved to be slower than other Siennas we tested. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph took 8.5 seconds and the quarter mile fell in 16.5 seconds at just 84.5 mph. Granted, the other Siennas aren’t fast either; a Sienna Platinum AWD hit 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and completed the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 87.8 mph. Toyota’s most popular three-row hybrid, the Highlander Hybrid, uses the same powertrain and reaches 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds.

In normal use, the hybrid system has its pros and cons. Offline and at low speeds, its electric motors are smooth, quiet and responsive. The Sienna can even cover a few blocks in all-electric mode, but only under very gentle acceleration. However, the quietness disappears when the gasoline I-4 fires up, producing unseemly levels of noise and vibration.

The Woodland’s brake pedal is firm and requires strong pressure, and there’s not much communication. Well, aside from a slight swerve that marks the transition between regenerative braking and friction braking. Like other Sienna models, its stopping distance is long for its segment. Our test crew recorded a result of 129 feet at 60-0 mph, but commented on the pickup’s stable and controlled stance under maximum braking force. For reference, in a recent MT comparative test, a Honda Odyssey stopped in 123 feet, a Chrysler Pacifica in 122 and a Kia Carnival in 118.

More redwood than sapling

Measuring 203.7 inches from bumper to bumper, the Sienna Woodland is closer in length to the 2022 Toyota Sequoia than the Highlander. And at 4,834 pounds, it’s no surprise that the Sienna Woodland’s handling isn’t snappy. The pickup completed our figure-eight course in 29.9 seconds at 0.54g average, among the lowest results of any 2022 vehicle we tested; even Toyota’s off-road 4Runner and Tundra do better. That said, our test team noted an unexpected quietness on the edge of the Sienna.

Slow steering and large size are factors when trying to navigate through traffic or avoid an unexpected obstacle. The raised ride height elevates your field of vision a bit while not making the Woodland tippy and too heavy like some SUVs. Ride quality is generally comfortable; the SIenna’s suspension dampens road vibrations, but reacts sharply to larger impacts. Overall, the feel on the road made us wonder about the prefix usually associated with vehicles in this class – there aren’t many minis in this minivan.

A jungle of features

A nice aspect of the Sienna is its fuel economy — at 35/36 mpg city/highway, it’s by far the most efficient 2022 minivan. This is also the case with all-wheel drive, a feature not available on the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica hybrid or Kia Carnival. Plus, with AWD, the Sienna goes a city mile on the Kia Sorento Hybrid AWD and a highway mile on the Highlander Hybrid AWD, these being the most fuel-efficient AWD three-row SUVs. Adding to the Sienna’s efficiency accolades is a 630-mile fueling range, better than any three-row AWD vehicle on sale.

A potential caveat is whether the Woodland can actually meet its EPA ratings, which are identical to every other 2022 Sienna equipped with all-wheel drive. Basic aero principles dictate that attaching crossbars to a roof and raising the ride height increases drag, and adding 53 pounds of trailer hitches can only make matters worse. Even if the Woodland therefore can’t match those numbers in actual driving, a tank of fuel good for 600 miles helps balance out other issues.

Then there’s the interior, which features a brilliantly versatile layout and packing solutions. The two power sliding side doors reveal super-long (non-removable) sliding second-row seats, which provide limo-like legroom. It takes some practice to get to the third-row seat quickly, but rear passengers will find good space there, if not good visibility through the small windows. Overall capacity is vast, regardless of seating arrangement; when the third row is folded into the deep cargo compartment, there is a huge flat floor.

Minivans are generally designed to serve passengers, but the front occupants of the Sienna also benefit from an exceptional configuration. The seats are as plush and comfortable as lounge chairs, with heating elements that heat up almost instantly. Apparently, every surface in and around the bridge-like center console is a locker, slot, shelf or bin, allowing for convenient storage of portable items.

The Sienna’s technology is less efficient. The 9.0-inch infotainment system has lower-resolution graphics than segment-leading displays, and it runs an aging, slow-response user interface. While the standard suite of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 driver assistance and active safety features is preferable, equivalents from competitors such as Honda perform better. On our rides, its adaptive cruise control was slow to react to traffic in front of it, and the lane departure warning system gave frequent false alerts.

Get to the root of the problem

Since the Woodland’s appeals and weaknesses mirror those of other versions of the Sienna, that 0.6-inch increase in ground clearance becomes its sole differentiating factor. Our evaluations didn’t convince us that it makes enough of a difference to pick the Woodland from the Sienna lineup. Theoretically, this adds some advantage over uneven off-road surfaces, but if you plan to venture into such terrain, you’ll be better served by a different vehicle.

Perhaps, however, the specific styling of this pickup or the mere idea of ​​sitting a little higher is appealing enough. If that’s enough to steer you away from SUVs, you’ll also be rewarded with equally stellar fuel economy and packaging found in every Sienna – and a version of the pickup truck that ultimately transcends what could easily be seen as a cynical marketing gimmick. .

This seems good! More details?

Specifications of the 2022 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD (Woodland Edition)
STARTING PRICE $46,715
PRICE AS TESTED $48,475
VEHICLE UPFIT Front Engine, AWD, 7 Pass, 4-Door Van
ENGINE 2.5L DOHC 16-valve direct-injected inline-4, plus front/rear electric motors
POWER (SAE NET) 189 hp at 6,000 rpm, plus 180 hp (front electric), 54 hp (rear electric); 245 hp (comb)
TORQUE (NET SAE) 176 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm, plus 199 lb-ft (electric front), 89 lb-ft (electric rear)
TRANSMISSIONS Variable cont auto (fr), 1-speed auto (rr)
CURB WEIGHT (DIST FWD/REW) 4,834 pounds (53/47%)
WHEELBASE 120.5 inches
Length x Width x Height 203.7 x 78.5 x 68.5 inches
0-60MPH 8.5s
QUARTER MILE 16.5 sec at 84.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 129 feet
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.77g (average)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 29.9s @ 0.54g (average)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECONOMY 35/36/35mpg
EPA RANGE, COMB 630 miles
ON SALE Now

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