2017 Toyota Sienna Reviews
Cars.com Expert Reviews
Toyota calls its minivan the “swagger wagon,” but an update for 2017 failed to add enough pep to its step to outperform competitors in Cars.com's Ultimate Minivan Challenge 2016.
Versus the competition
Parents are used to making sacrifices (sleep, personal space, sanity…), and the Sienna — more than other minivans — asks them to trade comfortable road manners for family-friendly convenience features.
For 2017, the Sienna gets a bit more horsepower and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. It competes against the Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona; compare all three minivans here. It also competes against the Honda Odyssey, which is redesigned for 2018. Read about it here.
My test van also had Toyota’s available Easy Speak voice-amplification system, which projects the driver's voice through a hands-free microphone to the third-row speakers. With a 6-year-old who wants to converse nonstop, I was eager to test the voice-saver. In the third row, my tiny talker had no problems hearing my amplified voice, but Little Miss Chatty thought I sounded so funny, she asked me more questions than usual and eventually told me to turn it off; she was "tired of playing this game." That made two of us.
Kids are likely to be more impressed with the optional DVD entertainment system's 16.4-inch flip-down screen, which can display two videos side-by-side and has an SD card slot and RCA and HDMI inputs; it's also Blu-ray compatible. Parents will appreciate the two pairs of wireless headphones.
Unlike the Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona, the 2017 Toyota Sienna did not ace the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's minivan crash tests due to a score of acceptable (out of possible scores of good, acceptable, marginal or poor) in the small overlap front test.
A backup camera is standard on all trim levels; a helpful 180-degree backup camera is available. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on SE Premium, XLE and Limited trims. Toyota's Pre-Collision System, which uses audio and visual alerts as well as automatic braking to prevent a crash, is optional on the top Limited model but unavailable on other trims.
Value in Its Class
The 2017 Toyota Sienna starts at $30,690, including destination; all-wheel drive adds around $2,000. It's a few hundred dollars more than the 2016 version and priced above the Pacifica ($29,590) and Sedona ($27,695).
The 2017 Toyota Sienna remains the only minivan with optional all-wheel drive and is a strong contender in terms of its two-wheel-drive fuel economy and cargo-hauling abilities, but the Sedona and Pacifica do the job quicker, quieter and with more style — or should I say… swagger?