What’s new

Amazon Alexa functionality and Apple CarPlay come standard
All-wheel drive optional on SE trims
Part of the third-generation Sienna introduced for 2011

REVIEW

Somewhere on the automotive timeline, owning a minivan changed from smart and sensible family transportation to an admission of suburban defeat, a shift in attitude that in part explains the popularity of crossover SUVs. That’s a shame really since a minivan like the 2020 Toyota Sienna offers features such as sliding side doors, easy entry and exit, and massive interior space that just make life easier for active families.

The Sienna’s stout V6 gives it the power of a comparable SUV, and its eight-speed transmission helps maximize fuel economy. The Sienna has long held an edge on its rivals by offering optional all-wheel drive, and for 2020 that option expands to its sporty SE trim level as well.

The Sienna can seat up to eight passengers inside, although optional second-row captain’s chairs mean more room for seven passengers to spread out. For 2020, the Sienna also gets a tech upgrade with Amazon Alexa voice-assistant integration, as well as Apple CarPlay. The latter is a welcome addition since it gives iPhone owners a way to largely bypass using Toyota’s otherwise mediocre Entune infotainment system.

The Sienna remains a solid choice, but it’s one of the oldest minivan designs on the road. Its last redesign was in 2011, while key competitors including the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona and Chrysler Pacifica all boast newer and more modern designs.

2020 Toyota Sienna configurations

The 2020 Toyota Sienna minivan comes in five main trim levels: L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The SE, the XLE and the Limited are further available in Premium subtrims. The base L come well stocked with the essentials, while the LE, SE and XLE trims add more premium features. The SE also has a sportier design. Topping the range is the Limited, which comes with nearly every Sienna feature as standard. Toyota also offers a mobility-enhanced Sienna (LE and XLE) with a power-operated Auto Access Seat.

All Sienna trims come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (296 horsepower, 263 pound-feet of torque) paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional on every trim level except the L. Depending on the configuration and trim, the Sienna seats either seven or eight passengers.

Standard features for the base L include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a wiper de-icer, tri-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, a rearview camera, a conversation mirror, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune interface, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, five USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, media player interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

Toyota Safety Sense also comes standard starting with L trims. It includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic headlights.

The LE adds roof rails, power-sliding rear doors, privacy glass, heated mirrors, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, upgraded easy-clean fabric upholstery and rear sunshades. All-wheel-drive versions also get 18-inch wheels.

The SE is equipped similarly to the LE but adds a sport-tuned suspension, sharper steering, 19-inch alloy wheels (18-inch for all-wheel-drive models) and sportier exterior styling. The SE also has a power liftgate, first- and second-row leather upholstery (the third row gets premium vinyl), heated front seats, and unique gauges with a larger driver information screen.

The SE Premium adds a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, a navigation system, a premium JBL sound system, a rear-seat entertainment system, and the Driver Easy Speak system, which amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

The Sienna XLE shares many of the SE trim’s comfort and convenience equipment, but it features similar suspension, steering and styling to the LE. It also adds a power-adjustable front passenger seat, imitation-wood trim, power-opening rear-quarter windows and keyless ignition and entry. The XLE Premium adds the SE Premium’s features and rear parking sensors.

The plush Limited includes the XLE Premium’s features (minus the rear entertainment system), along with 18-inch alloy wheels, a different grille, LED daytime running lights, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, front and rear sunroofs, and front and rear parking sensors. Inside is first- and second-row premium leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings and a heated steering wheel.

Front-wheel-drive models also get a sliding center console between the first two rows, extendable footrests for the second row, and a power-folding third row with faux leather upholstery.

You can add even more with the Limited Premium trim, which tacks on xenon headlights, automatic wipers, a surround-view parking camera system, the rear-seat entertainment system and upgraded third-row leather (AWD only).

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Toyota Sienna Limited Premium (3.5L V6 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2017, the current Sienna has received revisions that include the addition of driver and safety aids such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control on all trim levels, not just midlevel or top trims. Infotainment software has also been updated, and SE and Limited trims receive upgraded glass for a quieter cabin. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year’s Sienna.

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