By Jennifer Geiger on May 2, 2013
Toyota's minivan was redesigned for 2011 and not much has changed since then. We tested a top-line version of the Sienna; the Limited has seats for seven on standard second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat. Click here to read how a Sienna with a second-row bench seat handled child-safety seats. In both rows, there was plenty of room for our car seats and plenty of bells and whistles to keep both Mom and the kids happy.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Here's how the 2013 Toyota Sienna did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch: There's one set of Latch anchors in each of the second row's captain's chairs. It was easy to access the anchors with the rigid connectors even though the anchors are set a quarter- to a half-inch into the seat bight. There's two tether anchors at the base of each seatback; they could be hard to find because they’re pretty far down and under a flap.
In the third row, the bench seat has one set of Latch anchors. They're in slits in the leather and easy to access with the rigid connectors, but they're positioned in the middle of the 60 portion of the 60/40-split bench seat. When you install a car seat here, you lose an additional seating position. The third row has one tether anchor in the middle seating position; it's hidden under a carpet flap. There are also a few cargo hooks in the back, so it might be confusing for parents when trying to figure out what to connect the tether anchor to.
Booster seat: This high-back booster fit well in the second-row captain's chair and the third-row bench. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases and easy for kids to use.
Convertible seat: The forward-facing seat fit well in the second and third rows after the head restraints were removed, and there was plenty of room for the rear-facing convertible in the second row. Note: The outboard head restraints in the third row aren't removable.
Infant-safety seat: This seat's traditional hook-like connecters made it harder to hook up with the Latch anchors, but this seat also had plenty of space in the second row.
Third-row access: Access is great. The captain's chairs tip and slide forward to create a pathway to the third row, or passengers can use the narrow walkway between the two captain's chairs.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in third row? Two
Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer