2012 Toyota Sienna

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Toyota Sienna. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Ride comfort
  • Versatile second row
  • Cargo volume
  • Capable engines

The Bad

  • Mushy brakes
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Indecisive transmission
  • Highway steering response
  • No second-row floor storage

Notable Features of the 2012 Toyota Sienna

  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Available AWD
  • Seats seven or eight
  • Available lounge-style second-row seats
  • Available 180-degree backup camera

2012 Toyota Sienna Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

Toyota redesigned its Sienna minivan for 2011, affirming its commitment to stick it out in a segment other automakers have fled over the past decade. Wider but slightly shorter than its predecessor, the Sienna offers a four-cylinder or V-6 engine and seating for up to eight people. All-wheel drive continues to be offered on the V-6 Sienna, the only minivan to offer that feature. Major competitors include the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler's twins, the Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Sienna comes in five trim levels: base, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. This is the first Sienna generation to offer a sport-tuned SE variant with a firmer suspension, 19-inch wheels and racier exterior details. The SE, XLE and Limited come standard with a V-6, which is optional on the base and LE. All-wheel drive is optional on the LE V-6, XLE and Limited.


New for 2012
Changes are minor for the second model year of the current design. A power front passenger seat and automatic headlamps are new standard features for the XLE trim, and the optional rear-seat entertainment system for the SE is now packaged with a moonroof.

Exterior
The Sienna's styling borrows from Toyota's Venza wagon, complete with Camry-like headlamps, wraparound taillights and a wide, bladed grille. Each trim level gets a distinct grille, with the SE getting a blacked-out version with a mesh insert. Other SE accoutrements include lower side skirts, clear-lens taillights and 19-inch wheels. Seven...

Vehicle Overview

Toyota redesigned its Sienna minivan for 2011, affirming its commitment to stick it out in a segment other automakers have fled over the past decade. Wider but slightly shorter than its predecessor, the Sienna offers a four-cylinder or V-6 engine and seating for up to eight people. All-wheel drive continues to be offered on the V-6 Sienna, the only minivan to offer that feature. Major competitors include the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler's twins, the Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Sienna comes in five trim levels: base, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. This is the first Sienna generation to offer a sport-tuned SE variant with a firmer suspension, 19-inch wheels and racier exterior details. The SE, XLE and Limited come standard with a V-6, which is optional on the base and LE. All-wheel drive is optional on the LE V-6, XLE and Limited.


New for 2012
Changes are minor for the second model year of the current design. A power front passenger seat and automatic headlamps are new standard features for the XLE trim, and the optional rear-seat entertainment system for the SE is now packaged with a moonroof.

Exterior
The Sienna's styling borrows from Toyota's Venza wagon, complete with Camry-like headlamps, wraparound taillights and a wide, bladed grille. Each trim level gets a distinct grille, with the SE getting a blacked-out version with a mesh insert. Other SE accoutrements include lower side skirts, clear-lens taillights and 19-inch wheels. Seventeen- and 18-inch alloys go on other trim levels.

A roof spoiler is standard, and it conceals a rear window wiper. Fog lights go on the SE, XLE and Limited. All-wheel-drive models come with run-flat tires. Exterior features include:

  • Projector beam headlamps and daytime running lights
  • Available power moonroof
  • Available power liftgate
  • Available power sliding doors


Interior
The Sienna's dashboard has been designed so both the driver and front passenger feel a majority of the space is theirs, Toyota says. Its swoopy lines convey separate spaces for both occupants, with large dials for major functions like temperature adjustment and stereo volume.

Depending on seating configuration, the cabin accommodates seven or eight occupants. Standard second-row captain's chairs have a walk-in feature that tips up the bottom cushion and slides the seat forward for third-row access. A removable center seat is optional; it stows in a nook behind the third-row seat. The third row folds into a storage compartment behind it to create a flat load floor.

The Sienna's second-row seats are removable, creating maximum cargo capacity of 150 cubic feet. There's 39.1 cubic feet behind the third row and 87.1 behind the second row.

Load up the options, and you can get heated leather seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, dual moonroofs and a navigation system. The optional rear entertainment system has a wide flip-down screen that can play two different inputs — two DVDs, for example, or a DVD and a video game — side by side, with passengers listening to their individual programming via wireless headphones. Interior features include:

  • Standard cruise control
  • Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Standard CD stereo


Under the Hood

The Sienna's four-cylinder engine comes from the Venza and Highlander. The 2.7-liter engine makes 187 horsepower and 186 pounds-feet of torque. The 3.5-liter V-6 makes 266 hp and 245 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines work with a six-speed automatic transmission. Mechanical features include:

  • Both engines run on regular gas
  • Front- or all-wheel drive


Safety
Toyota's optional Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system integrates stability control with various drivetrain components for better response during evasive maneuvers. On Limited models, the optional adaptive cruise control system works with Toyota's Pre-Collision System, which can alert the driver and tighten the seat belts should it detect a rapidly decelerating car ahead. A backup camera is optional. Standard safety features include:

  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system and traction control
  • Active front head restraints
  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags for all three rows
  • Knee airbag for the driver

 


Latest 2012 Sienna Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Most enjoyable vehicle that we have ever owned

by retired and traveling from San Jose Ca on August 3, 2018

Have driven it just over 70K miles, no failures. All other brands of my vehicles didn't get past 12K miles before needing repairs. Toyota's computer performs flawlessly in controlling engine and ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great Family Vehicle!

by mdickinson83 from Atlanta, GA on July 12, 2018

With 3 kids, we needed more space. I loved my Toyota Highlander, but having 3 carseats in the second row was awful. We found a used Sienna that was in excellent condition. After the test drive, we ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Toyota Sienna currently has 6 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Toyota Sienna Base 7 Passenger

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    24 months / 25,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Toyota

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, Carfax vehicle history report, travel protection and toll-free assistance line

  • Limited Warranty

    1 year / 12,000 miles

    Comprehensive: 12 months/12,000 miles from date of purchase. Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original in-service date ($50 deductible) Note: In AL, FL, GA, NC and SC, 7-year/100,000 mile limited warranty coverage begins Jan. 1 of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles. Hybrid: 8-year/100,000 mile warranty on Factory HV Battery for Toyota Hybrid Vehicles.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 160 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Sienna received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker