A winner for families? We drove him to find out

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In this review:

The 2020 Toyota Sienna is packed with infotainment technology and safety features that make it a good choice for families. However, minivans today require a premium comparable to SUVs and crossovers.

Safety and technical features

96

Daily functionality

97

Advantages

Safety devices

AWD capacity

Comfortable interior

The inconvenients

Wind noise and cabin noise

MSRP Adds Up Quickly

Hard-to-remove 2nd row seats

Minivans are often the primary victims of jokes, but they’re still the best when it comes to versatility and flexible seating for growing families. This week, we tested the top of the line when it comes to minivans: a luxurious 2020 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium. Find out why this might be your best option when it comes to family carriers.

Toyota Sienna: what’s new for 2020?

The 2020 Toyota Sienna remains unchanged, but the minivan gets a new Nightshade Edition with blacked out treatments. For 2020, the Sienna is available in five trims: L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The LE and the XLE have an option for the Automatic access seat with a 330-lb. lifting capacity. All models are standard with Toyota Star security system which includes a number of features to help keep families safe.

Features and options: The laundry list

The top-of-the-line 2020 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium AWD ($ 49,190) has everything your family will want and need. This is standard with automatic headlights; wiper defroster; three-zone automatic air conditioning; and a reversing camera. Technical features include a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune interface; Apple CarPlay; Bluetooth connectivity; and five USB ports.

Our Premium Limited is also equipped with a sunroof; ignition and keyless entry; blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert systems; navigation and a premium JBL stereo; a rear entertainment system; and the Driver Easy Speak system which amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

Our plush test model rode on 18-inch alloy rims and featured a different grille; LED daytime running lights; auto-dimming and power folding mirrors; and front and rear parking sensors. Inside are premium leather upholstery in the first and second rows, driver’s seat memory functions and a heated steering wheel.

How much does the 2020 Toyota Sienna cost?

Total MSRP for our tester including destination: 51,427. For comparison, the 2020 Toyota Sienna starts at $ 31,565.

2020 Toyota Sienna Nightshade Edition.
2020 Toyota Sienna Nightshade Edition.

Interior highlights: comfort and technology

You buy the Sienna minivan for its family interior comfort. Limited models offer an additional level of comfort with leather seats, heated steering wheel and premium sound. Adults will love these features but, of course, kids will love the rear seat entertainment system when you’re on long trips. What they might not like is when mom or dad goes on the speakerphone and tells them to stop arguing with their sibling.

Our Sienna tester comes with removable second row captain’s seats that make it easy to access the third row. Passengers can lower the blinds and have their own private cinema to stay comfortable on long journeys. The entertainment system has Blu-Ray capability, HDMI input and SDXC card reader that can play 10 different audio and video formats.

Interior highlights: Safety and security

The 2020 Sienna comes with eight airbags, including dual-stage front airbags; side airbags mounted in the seats for the driver and front passenger; three-row side curtain airbags; a front passenger seat cushion airbag, plus a driver’s side knee airbag. Active head restraints in the front seats reduce the risk of whiplash. There are four LATCH locations (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) in the second and third row.

Interior highlights: plenty of space

The third row folds into the ground, while the second row chairs can be pulled out to create a huge cargo space, large enough to carry your IKEA furniture. A distinctive feature of the Sienna is the small jump seat located between the second row captain’s seats. It allows you to add an extra passenger if you are carrying the football team for an ice cream after the game. When you don’t need it, you can easily remove the seat and stow it away, giving second-row passengers maximum comfort in the lounge.

2020 Toyota Sienna.
A power tailgate is standard on SE, XLE and Limited models. The 2020 Toyota Sienna can even carry 4 × 8 ft. plywood sheets.

2020 Toyota Sienna: Engine and Towing Specifications

The 2020 Toyota Sienna is powered by a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with direct fuel injection. The engine develops 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft. of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The standard tow preparation package allows the Sienna to pull 3,500 lbs.

is Toyota Sienna all-wheel drive?

LE, XLE and Limited have the option of all-wheel drive. The EPA’s fuel economy ratings are 18/24 city / highway and 20 combined with all-wheel drive. If you don’t need all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive models increase mileage to 19/27 city / highway and 22 combined. In terms of fuel economy compared to the competition, the 2020 Toyota Sienna is not the best but neither is it the worst.

2020 Toyota Sienna.
The Toyota Sienna is powered by a direct injection 3.5-liter DOHC V6. The engine develops 296 horsepower.

How does the 2020 Toyota Sienna drive?

The 2020 Toyota Sienna is built for comfort, not performance, but it’s still one of the fastest vans available. It will go up to highway speed with no problem. That aside, families will be more concerned with safety, comfort, and whether or not it is maneuverable around town.

Best Radar Detectors Under the $ 200 Banner

The Sienna now comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense (or TSS-P) system that offers frontal collision mitigation, lane departure warning and other modern driver assistance features. This Limited tester provided good visibility and the rear view camera is useful when navigating the parking lot of the grocery store.

We fitted the JBL sound system and it kept the noise of city traffic away. It has 10 speakers and a subwoofer for your favorite tunes. Kids won’t mind either, as they’ll be watching the entertainment system in the back with their wireless headphones on.

2020 Toyota Sienna.
The 2020 Toyota Sienna uses a unibody construction with an anti-vibration subframe and electronic power steering.

Driving dynamics: ready for the snow

The eight-speed automatic provides smooth, virtually unnoticeable gear changes, even when we pushed it hard on the mountain roads near Denver. We haven’t had any snow this week, but if you live in a cold climate families will appreciate the optional all-wheel drive. You will have no trouble getting around this winter when the snow is flying.

Conclusion: a winner for families

The Toyota Sienna Limited Premium is perhaps the most luxurious minivan on the market. It offers a spacious and versatile interior that is comfortable for you and the kids. Add the optional all-wheel drive and you’re ready to take on inclement weather. However, families on a budget will want the lower trim levels, as all the optional features will quickly push the price up.

Denis Flierl has invested almost 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his first-hand reviews are archived on our test drive page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2020 Toyota Sienna Gallery

Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.



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