The 2020 Toyota Sienna offers a smooth and comfortable ride

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The Toyota Sienna minivan has grown in the tooth, having undergone its last major redesign for the 2011 model year. Tweaks, some significant, have kept it competitive thanks to the enduring success of the 2011 redesign and the departure of Ford , General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen from the minivan market. But Toyota would introduce a redesigned Sienna for the 2021 model year – an enthusiastic expectation that has contributed to a sharp drop in Sienna sales in the United States, from a peak of 137,497 units sold in 2015 to 73,585 last year. .

Of course, Toyota isn’t the only automaker to see its minivan sales decline. But the remaining minivan makers – Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Kia and Honda – are betting American car owners will rediscover the minivan. It’s a safe, comfortable, versatile and fuel-efficient alternative to crossovers and sport utility vehicles. Toyota is nibbling at the limits of the crossover market by offering an all-wheel-drive Sienna, while efficiency-minded people can opt for the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid.

The base Sienna L, with a 296-hp V6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, starts at $31,565. Our test car, a near-luxury Sienna SE Premium with all-wheel drive, was priced a bit high at $47,434. Depending on the seating configuration, the Sienna can carry seven or eight passengers.

For people who convert their minivan people carriers to utility vans and back again and again, Pacifica’s Stow-‘n-Go system is preferable because all rear seats fold effortlessly into the floor. Second row seats must be detached and removed from the Sienna and other vans.

A week with the Sienna reminded us how truly enjoyable and reassuring a minivan can be compared to conventional sedans, crossovers and SUVs. It’s easier to get in and out of than any sedan, but drives like a car rather than a truck or van. The ride is smooth, quiet and comfortable, and the 296 horsepower engine delivers plenty of power. The Sienna’s all-wheel-drive system provided an extra level of snow-weather confidence.


Fuel economy ranges from 19 mpg city, 27 highway, for front-wheel-drive models, to 18/24 for all-wheel-drive ones.

The SE Premium edition of the Sienna comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense P system, Star Safety system, Blind Spot Monitor and Cross Traffic Alert – all good to have in such a large vehicle. Convenience and luxury features of the test car included leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-view Blu-Ray rear entertainment system, premium audio system, satellite radio, compatibility Apple CarPlay, a power tilt/slide sunroof, dual power sliding doors, power tailgate and tri-zone automatic climate control. Rounding out the test car’s optional equipment list was the Nightshade Edition, ($700), consisting of cosmetic flourishes; door guards ($79); and paint protection film ($395).

Price: $47,434

Motor: 3.5-liter V6, 296 horsepower

Transmission: 8-speed direct-shift automatic

To drive: all wheel drive

Weight: 4,605 ​​pounds

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, twisted blade with coil spring rear

wheels: 18 in. alloy

Tires: 235/55RF18 all seasons

Number of places: seven

Baggage capacity: 39.1 cu. ft with all upright seats; 87.1 cu. ft with third row seat folded down

Maximum loading capacity: 150 cu. ft.

Fuel capacity: 20 gal.

fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 24 highway

Fuel type: regular unleaded petrol


The Sienna received five stars in US government crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sienna “good” ratings in all categories except for small front overlap, driver’s side (acceptable) and small front overlap, passenger’s side (marginal) .

Steven Macoy ([email protected]) is a lifelong car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel.

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