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2018 Toyota Sienna

$30,850 - $48,715
Price Range (MSRP)
Toyota Sienna

2018 Toyota Sienna Review: The Go Anywhere Minivan

by Adam Lynton

Two decades after its debut, the Sienna remains a popular minivan and the only vehicle in its segment that offers an all-wheel-drive option. More than that, but it caters to special needs, too, as two of its trim levels can be equipped with auto access features that allow for a rotating power-ascending and descending outboard seat to help passengers in and out of the vehicle. Competing with popular family carriers such as the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica, the impressive safety rating and superior reliability scores rank the Sienna as an excellent buy if you need to move a lot of people around, most of the time. But the Sienna is aging, and the interior lacks the contemporary feel of rivals. Still, excellent ride quality and typical levels of practicality for the minivan segment, along with new-for-2018 safety features in the form of standard Toyota Safety Sense P mean that there's lots to love about the Sienna.

2018 Toyota Sienna Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 Sienna?

All models for this year are now equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense suite as standard, which includes pre-collision systems with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert and cruise control. Refreshed styling across the range also provides for a sharper, more modern look, while the interior offers an upgraded seven-inch infotainment screen, with the upgraded Entune 3.0 app. A total of five USB ports are also spread throughout the cabin. The exterior also gets a little bit of a refresh with a newly designed front end.

Pros and Cons

  • Auto Access option for less-mobile passengers
  • Productive V6 engine
  • Superb predicted reliability scores
  • Cavernous and versatile cargo space
  • User-friendly cockpit controls
  • All-wheel-drive is available
  • Lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Dated interior
  • Body roll in corners and lackluster handling

Sienna Exterior

Minivans tend to get a bad wrap for their often dreary looks - the Sienna, while maintaining the necessary oblong shape, has had a facelift for the 2018 year, and features a color-keyed rear spoiler, LED stop light mounted at the top-center of the rear windscreen, and a range of 17- or 18-inch wheels, depending on trim level. Power exterior mirrors have integrated turn signals and blind-spot warning indicators on higher trims, dual power sliding side doors from the LE model and up, as well as black roof rails, privacy glass in the rear and chrome door handles with touch-sensor lock and unlock near the top of the range. The Sport SE trim boasts gunmetal 19-inch wheels with a sport mesh grille and fog lamps.

2018 Toyota Sienna Front View
2018 Toyota Sienna Rear View
2018 Toyota Sienna Front Angle View
See All 2018 Toyota Sienna Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Heavier than both rivals, the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica, the Sienna has a curb weight ranging from 4,430 lb to 4,750 lbs depending on trim and drivetrain configuration. It's not quite as long as rivals, though, with a total length of 200.6 inches across the range, while it stands and stands at between 68.9 and 71.3 inches in height depending on trim and drivetrain choice. The minivan's width is set at 78.1 inches across the range, and a 119.3-inch wheelbase is standard on all. Offering better ground clearance than most, the sport-oriented SE trim sits 6.2 inches off the asphalt, other FWD derivatives at 6.5 inches, and AWD equipped LE, XLE Premium, and Limited Premium at 6.6 inches.

Exterior Colors

A full spectrum comprised of nine colors is available for the Sienna range, including three colors new for the 2018 line-up. Shoreline Blue Pearl, Sky Blue Pearl, and Creme Brulee Mica are shorn from the palette, replaced by Parisian Night Pearl, Alumina Jade Metallic, and Toasted Walnut Pearl. The remaining six hues carry over, including no-cost options of Midnight Black Metallic, Salsa Red Pearl, Super White, and Silver Sky Metallic, while the only premium option remains Blizzard Pearl at a $395 premium. All models except the SE get access to the full range of hues, with the sportier trim losing the availability of Alumina Jade, Toasted Walnut, and Blizzard Pearl.

  • Super White
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Predawn Gray Mica
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Salsa Red Pearl
  • Alumina Jade Metallic
  • Parisian Night Pearl
  • Toasted Walnut Pearl
  • Blizzard Pearl

Sienna Performance

Under the hood, the Sienna is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. Paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, this minivan has similar engine configurations to its nearest rivals, the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica, although producing more power and better acceleration than both. Able to get to 60 mph in seven seconds, the Sienna has a top speed of 114 mph - this is a fast minivan, faster than competitors in the segment.

Where the Sienna further differentiates itself from other minivans is the availability of all-wheel-drive on certain trims, while others only offer the same front-wheel-drive system as found standard across the Sienna range. The Sienna is also capable of towing 3,500 lbs across all trims, regardless of whether FWD or AWD is equipped - an average figure for the segment.

2018 Toyota Sienna Front View Driving
2018 Toyota Sienna Side View Driving
2018 Toyota Sienna Wheel

Engine and Transmission

Equipped with a high-tech eight-speed automatic transmission, the 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine feeds power to the front wheels of the Sienna in the standard configuration. As the only minivan in the United States currently available in all-wheel-drive, the Sienna delivers extra versatility others aren't privy to. Power outputs from the V6 are a healthy 296 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque, more than the Honda Odyssey's similarly sized V6.

Throttle responses are slightly languid in the standard Normal driving mode, necessitating liberal throttle usage to get the big Sienna moving. However, the transmission is smooth and seamless in general. It may need a little nudge to gear down for overtaking or going uphill, but this doesn't pose a problem when the reserve power is ready and waiting to be unleashed.

  • Engine
    3.5-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

With such large dimensions to accommodate up to eight passengers as well as cargo, it stands to reason that the Sienna would feel like the big van that it is. Unsurprisingly, there is quite a bit of body roll when going through turns. This is improved significantly on the SE trim with sports-suspension that better adapts to bends and curves in the road. However, this comes at the expense of ride quality, and sharper jolts are felt more, particularly when fully loaded.

On the standard suspension, the ride is relatively plush and comfortable. Hitting bumps jostles the cabin a little, but not so much that it is unbearable. In general, road textures are absorbed without a fuss. With light and effortless steering, tight-spaces can be easily negotiated, but at speed, the steering feels numb and does little to inspire confidence. In terms of braking, a soft pedal produces smooth deceleration that may require a little more push to get a reaction. Stopping from 60 mpg takes around 120 feet, which is normal in this segment, but expect this figure to increase the more passengers you have on board.

Sienna Gas Mileage

For a heavy family mover, the Sienna offers average fuel economy rates that are generally seen across the segment. For front-wheel-drive variants, gas mileage figures of 19/27/22 mpg for the city/highway/combined cycles are achieved. When equipped with all-wheel-drive, these numbers drop to 18/24/20 mpg. With a 20-gallon gas tank, this implies a total range of 440 miles for the FWD trims, and 400 miles before the AWD derivatives will need refueling. while not the best (and with no hybrid option at this point like the Pacifica), this is better than what the regular Chrysler Pacifica achieves, with the Honda Odyssey earning only one mile per gallon more for highway driving.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    20.0 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 19/27 mpg
* 2018 Toyota Sienna L FWD 7-Passenger

Sienna Interior

Where the Sienna excels is in terms of interior space and utility. Seating up to eight passengers in three of the trim levels, this minivan also has the option of being equipped specifically for less-abled passengers by means of adding a rotating power-liftable rear seat. Fabric options are included on the bottom two trims, with a leather interior from mid-range models and up as well as multi-stage heating for the front seats. Although the cabin is neatly appointed and has some soft-touch areas, it is predominantly hard plastics throughout, though and it's beginning to show its age compared to more modern, crossover-styled interiors. Generous head and legroom abound for all passengers, and comfortable seats make for a pleasant interior overall. Infotainment offers no Apple or Android compatibility, which is a tremendous oversight. The driver has superb visibility, and with power sliding side-doors, easy entry and exit as well.

2018 Toyota Sienna Dashboard
2018 Toyota Sienna Rear Passenger Seats
2018 Toyota Sienna Seat Details
See All 2018 Toyota Sienna Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The range offers a great deal of versatility, with the L, LE, and Limited seating seven passengers by default while the rest of the range accommodates eight as standard. The XLE and XLE Premium have the option to upgrade from eight seats to seven by means of equipping second-row captain's chairs in AWD guise. Seating is relatively comfortable, with a wide range of adjustments for the driver and front passenger, however, not as supportive as seats on other rivals. Long trips may result in position shifts or more stops to stretch out - while legroom and headroom are ample in the front, the sloping roof means six-footers could be a little uncomfortable in the back and middle rows, although the third-row still caters to adult legs.

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

A range of upholstery materials and styles are available for the Sienna range, with the base LE kicking things off with basic fabric in Ash or Dark Bisque. The LE retains the color choices but upgrades to a higher-quality fabric instead. The SE is unique in that it's the only trim to get black as an upholstery option, with black perforated leather the only choice. XLE models get leather in either Ash or Dark Bisque, while the Limited trims get upgraded, perforated leather in standard Ash color, or optional Chestnut brown.

Sienna Trunk and Cargo Space

One of the winning areas for the Sienna is the large amount of cargo space present, particularly behind the third row of seats. Even with all seats installed, the 39.1 cubic feet of available trunk volume is better than what most rivals have to offer, and with the back row folded away, it opens up to 87.1 cubic feet. For maximum cargo space, 150 cubic feet can be had with all seats stowed, making for a class-leading, and very versatile, minivan. Seats are also power-folding in top-end variants, and a low-liftover makes loading a breeze.

Door pockets are available, but those allocated to the front doors are situated low in proportion to the seats; there are also twelve cupholders in various places throughout the cabin, including two pop-out holders on the dashboard. Two more sit behind the center console that can be pulled out to reach second-row occupants. There is a deep and spacious center console bin in the front, and two additional, well-sized cubbies in the third row.

2018 Toyota Sienna Rear Angle View
2018 Toyota Sienna Side View
2018 Toyota Sienna Side View

Sienna Infotainment and Features

Features

New for this year range is the standard inclusion of the Toyota Safety Sense suite on all models, which includes pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control. Each model comes equipped with three-zone automatic climate control, with individual temperature settings for all seating rows. A heated leather-wrapped steering wheel is available on the range-topping Limited trims, while from the SE upwards there's the option of an in-cabin driver PA system and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof.

An integrated backup camera is standard on all, but the Limited Premium gets the exclusive use of a bird's-eye view camera instead. Multi-stage heating on the front seats comes standard from the SE trim up, and keyless entry with push-button start is enabled on the top trims. At the top end of the range, front and rear parking sensors are equipped and the third row is power-foldable. The Auto Access sub-trims also get a unique powered rotating seat in the second row that can lower or lift to make entrance and exit easier for those needing help.

Infotainment

The base trim is equipped with the Entune 3.0 App that is configured to a seven-inch touchscreen, six speakers and connected navigation. AM/FM radio and MP3 compatibility, together with Siri Eyes Free, are included, as well as an aux jack, USB port, and hands-free technology. An upgraded version of this infotainment system on the LE, SE, and XLE adds HD Radio, Safety Connect, and Wi-Fi Connect to the package, with controls located on the steering wheel for ease of use. For the SE Premium and XLE Premium, the Entune Premium Audio App is equipped, while the top-of-the-range Limited trim boasts the Premium JBL set up with ten speakers, subwoofer and dynamic voice recognition feature. Navigation is standard only on the two Premium trims, with all others requiring the use of the third-party Scout Link app. Unfortunately, none of the trims cater to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay functionality, although Siri Eyes Free is standard.

Sienna Problems and Reliability

The J.D. Power overall predicted reliability score for the Toyota Sienna is four out of five, ranking it as better than most. A total of five recalls have been issued for the 2018 version of the minivan for problems ranging in severity from incorrect load capacity labels to more serious problems like brake hoses being too short, a possible loss of steering, incorrect nuts on brake lines, and wheels that may crack and separate from the wheel hub. Toyota covers the Sienna comprehensively, though, with a three-year/36,000-mile full warranty, five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty. An additional two-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance plan is also included.

Sienna Safety

Overall crash test scores yield positive results for the Sienna, with the IIHS giving the best possible scores of Good in four out of six individual tests, while the front crash prevention systems were rated Superior. The NHTSA scores the Sienna with an overall five stars out of five.

Key Safety Features

To achieve the high scores set for 2018 safety tests, Toyota equips the Sienna with eight airbags as standard including a driver knee airbag and front passenger seat airbag, as well as the Star Safety System with stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD, and brake assist. Now standard on all Siennas for 2018 is Toyota's Safety Sense P suite of driver assistance features, which adds a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Additionally, a rearview camera is standard with the highest trim receiving a surround-view camera, while all models receive four full sets of LATCH anchors for the fitment of child safety seats.

Verdict: Is the 2018 Toyota Sienna a good Minivan?

The Sienna is a minivan with a proven track record over the course of the last twenty years; remaining popular for its spacious cabin and versatile cargo options, the Sienna's ability to be customised is a real plus point. Impressive reliability ratings and high safety scores make this an ideal family vehicle, supported by extensive warranties that underscore the faith the manufacturer has in its own product. A strong and efficient engine provides class-leading acceleration and average fuel consumption ratings, and while rivals may offer better gas mileage or even hybrid options, the Sienna remains the only minivan with all-wheel-drive as an option. It is an excellent choice for those seeking a minivan specifically. Additionally, families who need a vehicle to cater to special needs will find the Auto Access seats particularly thoughtful and useful, and while this is by no means a compact SUV or full utility vehicle, it performs its tasks with aplomb and consistency. However, it's not all positive, as the dated interior feels a little cheap, and the driving dynamics aren't exemplary. It's definitely one of the better minivans, but against a benchmark like the Chrysler Pacifica, the Sienna just feels old.

What's the Price of the 2018 Toyota Sienna?

With so many options available on this range, pricing structures are broad, ranging from $30,850 to $48,715 excluding Toyota's $1,045 destination charge.

The base model Sienna L is the cheapest option in the range, and is priced at $30,850. One level up, the LE can be had in various configurations with a base price of $33,760. The specially equipped seven-seater with Auto Access rear seat has an MSRP of $39,685. The mid-range SE trim will set you back $37,090 while the SE Premium is priced from $42,305. The XLE is priced at $37,090 in base form, while the XLE Premium carries an MSRP of $40,780. The Auto Access version of the XLE is priced at $43,225. The most premium trims on offer, the Limited and Limited Premium, carry base MSRPs of $43,835 and $47,355 respectively. Adding all-wheel-drive adds an additional $1,360.

2018 Toyota Sienna Models

The 2018 range is comprised of five basic trim levels, the L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited. For all models other than the L and SE, all-wheel-drive is an optional extra, and the equipping of available packages results in the configuration of new sub-trims. All options feature the same 3.5 V6 engine with eight-speed automatic transmission.

The entry-level model is the Sienna L features 17-inch wheels and daytime running lights. Inside, the L gets cloth seats with six-way adjustment for the driver. Entune Audio 3.0 is standard on a seven-inch touchscreen and allows for app-based navigation and Bluetooth compatibility.

The LE model provides optional 18-inch wheels on AWD models, color-keyed mirrors, and dual power sliding side-doors. Seating up to eight passengers, the second row folds down in 40/20/40 configuration, and the rear in 60/40 with second and third-row sunshades. Infotainment carries over unchanged, with the option of HD and satellite radio now available.

For the SE trim, the major differences are in its appearance, with 19-inch gunmetal wheels, sport mesh grille, and a power liftgate. Inside the cabin, the seats are upholstered in perforated leather with multi-stage front-heating seats, as well as a sports instrumentation cluster, while under the skin, the SE gets a sportier suspension setup.

Building on the SE's features, the XLE reverts back to smaller 17- or 18-inch wheels but adds, color-coded mirrors with blind-spot warning indicators. It also receives keyless entry and push-button start.

At the top of the range, the Limited features 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights and seating for seven upholstered in premium perforated leather. The third-row seats are power-activated, and front and rear parking sensors are equipped. The infotainment system is upgraded to offer premium JBL audio with onboard navigation and the full Entune App suite.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
L
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$30,850
LE
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$33,760
SE
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$37,090
XLE
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$37,090
Limited
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$43,835
See All 2018 Toyota Sienna Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Premium packages are available for the SE, XLE, and Limited trim levels, which are model specific. The SE Premium package adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a power moonroof, keyless entry with push-button start, an in-cabin PA, and premium audio with dynamic navigation. A Dual-View Blu-Ray Disc entertainment is also included, featuring a 16.4-inch monitor with HDMI port and two 120V power outlets.

Building on the features of the XLE, the Premium package includes seating for up to eight, rear parking assist and the same Bly-Ray entertainment system from the previous model. Similarly, the Limited Premium package features the same entertainment upgrades but additionally provides high-intensity discharge headlights, automatic high beams, 18-inch alloy wheels, and rain-sensing wipers.

For the sporty SE trim, the SE Preferred bundle is also available that equips blind-spot monitoring, smart key system on all doors with remote illuminated entry, touch-sensor locking/unlocking doors, moonroof and a premium Audio Entune system with dynamic navigation and all the benefits of the Entune 3.0 App. This package is priced at $2,835 extra.

Separate navigation, moonroof, and outdoor packages are also available for select models.

What Toyota Sienna Model Should I Buy?

While the SE trim level offers better suspension and handling (with the trade-off of a more rigid ride) as well as nicer styling, it is surprisingly not our choice for the best possible buy. Instead, the very customizable XLE trim takes that honor: with five different configuration options, the standard XLE in front-wheel drive with Premium package installed offers excellent value for money. Seating up to eight passengers, this trim level offers the luxurious leather seats with multi-stage heating in the front, 17-inch wheels, touch-activated door handles, leather steering, keyless entry, and the additional Blu-Ray entertainment system. A minivan is bought for family, and this model offers everything a family would require. Space, comfort, and convenience - with the option of a power rotating seat on the XLE Auto Access sub-trim, for those families with passengers who may need a little extra assistance.

2018 Toyota Sienna Comparisons

2018 Toyota Sienna
2018 Toyota Sienna

2018 Toyota Sienna vs Honda Odyssey

Sharing an identically sized 3.5-liter V6 engine with the Honda Odyssey, both minivans provide ample power and acceleration, although the Sienna has a higher horsepower output and better performance. Where the Sienna struggles in its base format is with average handling and body roll in corners which can only be mitigated by choosing the SE trim which leads to a stiffer, harsher ride. By contrast, the Honda offers a much more capable and controlled drive, with impressive cornering and better steering, which on the Sienna is quite lifeless. Fuel economy ratings are within one mile per gallon for highway driving, and the Sienna offers a much better cargo area with more space overall. Superior reliability ratings on the Sienna are offset by its lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which are available on the Honda. With very similar prices at the entry point to their respective ranges, the overall winner between the Honda and the Toyota depends on personal preference for the most part. We are inclined to lean towards the highly reliable and competent Sienna, but the more contemporary and tech-centric Odyssey is a superb choice.

See Honda Odyssey Review

2018 Toyota Sienna vs Chrysler Pacifica

The biggest difference between the Sienna and the Pacifica is in the easy-to-use, modern infotainment system on the Chrysler, which is equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Featuring similar engines - a 3.6-liter V6 on the Pacifica and a 3.5-liter V6 on the Sienna - the Sienna outperforms its rival by at least nine horsepower, and while having the preppier engine, offers less exciting and capable handling than what the Chrysler does. Included features and driver aids are much more comprehensive on the Toyota though, with the newly included Safety Sense suite as standard across the range. The Sienna is also more spacious and roomy, although the seats in the Pacifica fold and store a little easier. However, the Pacifica is the class-leader for a reason, feeling more premium, offering much better tech and infotainment, and even the option for a hybrid model should your heart desire. Considering the nearly $4,000 difference in price in favor of the Pacifica, it's our pick for the current best minivan on the market.

See Chrysler Pacifica Review

Toyota Sienna Popular Comparisons