2017 Toyota Sienna: Car Seat Check

Lead.jpg 2016 Toyota Prius | photos by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — For 2017, Toyota’s self-styled “swagger wagon,” the Sienna, gets 30 more horses powering its 3.5-liter V-6 engine, as well as a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which combined should bring improved performance and fuel economy. In terms of car seats, the Sienna excels thanks to loads of room and accessible lower Latch anchors — watch out for the top tether anchors, however. They can be tricky to find. 

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

What We Like

  • In the second row, two sets of lower Latch anchors are positioned about 1.5 inches into the seat bight and, while not visible, the seat cushions move out of the way for easy access. The seat can also be reclined for better Latch access.
  • The two top tether anchors in the third row are clearly labeled and easy to use.
  • Our infant seat installed with ease and we did not need to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate it. The same goes for our convertible seat in the rear-facing position.
  • In the forward-facing position, the convertible went in easily thanks to those movable cushions; we reclined the seatbacks to improve Latch access and removed the head restraint for a secure fit.
  • After removing the head restraints, our booster seat fit well in the second row. Thanks to seat belt buckles on stable bases, kids should be able to grasp them independently.
  • In the third row, installation of our forward-facing convertible seat was simple due to Latch anchors positioned just inside the seat bight and easily movable cushions.
  • Third-row access is great; the second-row seats slide forward and fold up to create a roomy walkway. Also, the space between the captain’s chairs is wide enough for adults to maneuver through.

What We Don’t

  • In the second row, the two top tether anchors sit far down the second-row seatbacks and are a little hard to find; caregivers may overlook them.
  • Of the two sets of lower Latch anchors in the third row, one is in the outboard seat while the other straddles the two remaining seats, taking up two seating positions.
  • In the third row, the booster seat also fit well, but the seat belt buckles are on floppy bases, which could make it difficult for kids to strap themselves in.

Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.  

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About’s Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.

Latest expert reviews