Toyota Sienna Review

List of Pros

  • Seven or even eight seats. 
  • Powerful six-speed gearbox 2GR-FE. 
  • A version with AWD transmission available.

List of Cons

  • Some elements are made of plastic of low quality. 
  • Too expensive optional packages.

Toyota Sienna Overview

Toyota Sienna Review

When we speak about the latest Toyota Sienna models, it is easy to notice that they look a little bit outdated compared to the competitors. The last considerable modernization took place in 2012, and this year’s model remains one of the most popular Toyota vehicles. 


Exterior of Toyota Sienna

Sienna 2012 looks impressive. It is an elegant medium-sized van. The updated vehicle is noticeable by really refined aerodynamics with the coefficient of air resistance from 0.308. The 2012 model did not increase in size, and the wheelbase also remained the same. Tires range in size from 235/60R17 to 235/50R on 19-inch alloy wheels and equipped with air pressure monitoring.


Interior of Toyota Sienna

The wheelbase is still large so 2012 Sienna looks even more impressive from the inside with its three rows of seats, seven or eight altogether. The deck, however, hangs over the seats of the 3rd row a bit low for tall passengers so it is better to accommodate teenagers here. A variety of configurations of used seats and cargo compartment size is simply boundless.
An updated interior looks fresh and attractive, particularly, thanks to the materials of decent quality. Buttons, switches, and on-board system controls are picked from an expensive assortment. A steering wheel is set by the angle of inclination and reach. 

Interior of Toyota Sienna 2019

Technology & performance

2012 Sienna model year is a slightly upgraded vehicle of the same third generation. Constructive changes are not essential, limited to only small improvements. The power units feature two engines, both on gasoline – the 16-valve 1AR-FE and the V-shaped 24-valve six-speed gearbox 2GR-FE equipped with phase rotation VVT-i at the inlet and outlet.

At its core, the Sienna is a front-wheel-drive car that comes with a 4WD transmission paired with the powerful 6GR-FE six-speed gearbox. It is the only all-wheel-drive van in its class. The rear differential is equipped with a thrust vector control device, which contributes to the controllability of a single-volume all-wheel drive in turns. The vehicle has got disc brakes: ventilated with a diameter of 327.6mm in front, and 310mm in the rear. The only thing missing is hydropneumatic elastic elements at the back that could automatically compensate for the huge differences in axle load.


A driver’s seat is adjustable in six directions, while a front passenger seat is adjustable only in four. Richer trims include electric servomechanisms for rearranging seats; premium class.
A 7-seater version features are two “captain’s” chairs in the 2nd row that move along longitudinal runners as far as passengers prefer and up to the backs of the front seats if you want to get an additional luggage compartment in the middle of the cabin. In the optional Lounge Seating package, the backs of individual 2nd-row seats recline back to the sleeping position, just like on board of an airliner. Also, comfortable footings are extending under the legs so that some of the passengers can take naps along the way.

Climate Control System

The car is equipped with dual-zone climate control for a driver and front passenger, although it doesn’t have separate controls for each zone. Passengers on the second and third rows have access to temperature regulators.

Infotainment System

All versions of 2012 Sienna are well-equipped. The basic trim features four-speaker stereo (radio, CD, MP3), a Bluetooth headset, and helpful navigation tools. Large buttons greatly simplify the communication with vehicle auxiliary systems, although some are pretty far to reach. A picture from a rearview camera is displayed on a small screen. The audio system is also equipped with USB and AUX connectors and a 12-volt power jack, which easily pair with smartphones.

Toyota Sienna Review 2019

Storage and Space

The car has a glove box and numerous compartments for small things. A large center console extends to the feet of passengers in the second row and is suitable for many things. There are 10 cupholders (12 in 8-seat option). 

Even with a full landing you still have a rather large loading space – around 1105 liters, whereas folding the seats of the 3rd row increases it to 2465 liters. And if you fold the 2nd and 3rd rows (this option is also available), the loading space expands to as much as 4250 liters, opening immense possibilities of transporting not only passengers but also a variety of luggage items. 


In 2014, Toyota Sienna did not undergo any significant changes. In other words, the car is still as practical, convenient, and versatile as before. It is one of the few minivans with all-wheel drive.

Seat comfort

The second-row seats ultra-comfortable, and this distinguishes Sienna from the majority of competitors. Even though the less expensive Sienna trim levels feature the second row in the form of a sofa, these seats with adjustable backrest and footrest tell a lot about the priorities of a car owner. Access to the third row of seats has become easier. The slide construction allows to move them far enough for an adult passenger to easily get there. These mega-comfortable retractable separate seats allow only one child seat in each row.

Ride comfort

The vehicle is stable at high speed and accurately writes curved paths. The van goes smoothly on diverse roads, not only highways with improved coverage. The atmosphere inside the car is a calm and comfortable atmosphere thanks to dense sound insulation that dampens noise and vibration from the power unit and chassis.


Slide your hand along the steering wheel, dashboard and front console, feel the pleasant high-quality materials that are much better than the rough gray panels, and you won’t need any other word about the quality of materials or interior. 

Safety & Reliability

The car was rated five stars by IIHS and named a Top Safety Pick. It is equipped with numerous safety bags, including knee bag for a driver, curtains on the windows, 3-point belts with pretensioners, active head restraints, and other protective equipment. An optional Pre-Collision System scans the space in the front, and if it is impossible to avoid an accident, automatically takes protective measures.

Should I Buy the Toyota Sienna?

Certainly yes, if we speak about 2012 model. Comfort, expressive dynamics, good steerability, large capacity, and flexible variability of the internal space are only some features you’ll enjoy. If you consider later versions, decide on price-quality relation and don’t hesitate to get a Sienna if pros overweight cons on your list. 

How Much Does the Toyota Sienna Cost?

You can expect to pay N450,000 for the cheapest early versions. The prices for the models produced in the 2000s start from N750,000. If you plan to buy a newer model, be ready to pay from N3,500,000 to N9,500,000 and more. Limited and almost new vehicles can be priced around N21,000,000 and up to N29,000,000.