2023 Toyota Sienna review: It’s all about the mpg | Jobs Reply


Benefits: Monumental fuel economy benefits; large kid-friendly second row; Above average handling; Internal storage

Disadvantages: Not as powerful as other minivans; less advanced infotainment; Cheap interior materials on lower trims

Every 2023 Toyota Sienna is a hybrid, with fuel economy of 36 or 35 mpg combined depending on whether you get the optional all-wheel-drive system. That’s a huge advantage over most of its minivan competitors, which are powered by V6 engines and return 22 mpg combined. Given today’s gas prices, the EPA says you could save upwards of $1,000 per year versus other minivans (or various large crossovers). It’s this efficiency that makes the Sienna your best bet for a minivan.

But it’s not just a one-trick pony. Otherwise it’s a thoroughly competitive minivan with other strong points including exceptional cabin storage, a bold interior design and versatile super long slide second-row seats that are especially good for parents of older kids. The Sienna’s handling is sharper than its competitors, while its feature content, cargo space and safety are similarly strong. Therefore, other factors being equal or at least equal enough, we can turn to the Sienna’s huge fuel economy advantage as a deciding factor.

Now, there’s a contender that could save you even more gas: the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid that offers all-electric range to make it more efficient (the Sienna is a regular hybrid that doesn’t need to be plugged in and Electric range not included). Unfortunately, the Pacifica Hybrid costs more and can be harder to come by in today’s climate, which is why we ultimately chose the Sienna vs. Pacifica Hybrid as our top minivan choice despite a close tie in the comparison test. Either way, we’ll consider both of these first when looking for a minivan.

Interior and Technology Passenger and cargo space Performance and fuel economy

How does it feel to drive a car? Pricing and trim levels Crash rating and safety features

What’s new for 2023?

Minivan collectors delight! A 25th Anniversary Special Edition has been added to the Sienna lineup for 2023 which is exactly what its name implies. It is based on the XSE trim level, but features some additional luxury features and unique exterior and interior styling elements from the Limited trim. It is only available in Celestial Silver or Wind Chill Pearl.

How about the Sienna interior and in-car technology?

The Kia Carnival has since toned it down, but the Sienna’s front cabin is still surprisingly high-style for a minivan. Controls are canted ever-so-slightly towards the driver, while the high center console provides a car- or SUV-like feel. Still, that console is really just a bridge over a huge open canyon that’s ripe for whatever you want to put in there (maybe a purse or small diaper bag). There are plenty of other handy places up front to stash stuff, as well, as we go in this deep dive review of the Sienna’s interior storage.

Unfortunately, we found that cabin quality varied greatly depending on trim level. The upper XSE, Limited and Platinum (top right and bottom right) trim levels are padded, leather-look trim across the doors and a modern wood-look trim level across the console. In contrast, the lower XLE trim levels (top left and bottom left), get hard textured plastics instead of padded stuff and quirky rust-colored plastic trim with embossed lines and metallic accents. It looks cheap, and that’s the difference between the Sienna being better and slightly worse than its competitors.

As for technology, all the usual features are present and the 9-inch touchscreen is easy to see, reach and operate. It’s outdone by every competitor’s system, especially Chrysler and Kia. The rear-seat entertainment system offers only a roof-mounted screen, unlike the Chrysler’s dual seatback screens, and its USB ports aren’t as conveniently located as the Chrysler and Kia.

How big is Siena?

The Sienna is comparable in size to other minivans. We didn’t find it more manoeuvrable or less cumbersome to drive in tight spaces, and it offers similarly large cargo space behind the third-row seats. Now, its specs indicate much less cargo space with the third-row as well as the second-row seats removed, but we suspect that’s due to differences in the way Toyota measures cargo capacity. In reality, we think it’s effectively similar.

Really, minivans stand out the most when it comes to their second-row seating concept. The Sienna offers a choice of two (and it’s the same as the Kia Carnival). The eight-passenger model is probably better suited for parents of young children because it comes with a removable second-row middle seat that you can add a child seat to while leaving the outboard seats open. The seven-passenger setup available on upper trim levels features new “Super Long Slide” second-row captain’s chairs, which slide considerably more than its competitors. By sliding back, they provide enough legroom for NBA forwards to kick back and relax. They also slide into the front seats, making it more likely you’ll fit what you need inside without removing the seats (though more comfortable than the non-hybrid Chrysler Pacifica’s Stow ‘n Go seats). A second lever folds the seat cushion and seatback forward for easy access to the third row, or to further increase cargo volume.

The Sto’n Go (for those who prioritize cargo-carrying versatility) and Honda’s “Magic Slide” second row (for those with multiple small children) certainly have their advantages, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Choice is good. In this case, we think the Sienna concept is best suited for families with older children.

What are the Sienna’s fuel economy and performance specs?

Every 2023 Toyota Sienna is a hybrid. There’s a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors, with a third added to make up the available all-wheel-drive system. Its battery recovers energy from the brakes and engine (it’s not a plug-in hybrid like the available Pacifica Hybrid, which has an all-electric range and higher price). Total system output is 245 horsepower, less than its V6-powered competitors.

Fuel economy is massively better though. Toyota estimates the Sienna will get 36 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 35 mpg combined with AWD in EPA testing. We averaged 39.4 mpg on a 454-mile road trip without making any effort to drive efficiently. The Odyssey, Carnival and V6-powered Pacifica combine for 22 mpg. Given today’s high gas prices, that’s a difference that could equal $1,000 in gas savings per year with the Sienna. Even if gas prices drop, you’ll still see a figure of hundreds. That is impossible to ignore.

What does Sienna like to drive?

The hybrid-only Sienna certainly won’t be the top choice for lead-footed minivan drivers, but it’s a minority, if perhaps an oxymoron. For everyone else, power should be perfectly adequate, while the instant nature of the electric torque makes it feel quick off the line around town. You’ll have to live with the droning from the e-CVT, though, especially when accelerating on the highway.

Otherwise, the drive is smooth and mostly quiet, with surprisingly responsive handling. When not accelerating, the engine makes a slight noise. Wind and road noise are mostly filtered out before entering the cabin. The suspension is taut enough to provide good support for the Sienna’s long, heavy body, but doesn’t punish over the bumpy roads of southeast Michigan and northwest Oregon where we drove the Sienna. It’s actually the most engaging minivan to drive right now. This is unlike most versions of the old Sienna, which can be rather floaty. We’d recommend buyers step up to the more restrained Sienna SE trim level, and although the similarly “sporty” new XSE trim makes the Sienna sharper, it’s definitely not a buy for those who prefer a more composed or engaging drive.

As for the Woodland Edition (pictured above), don’t expect the Subaru Outback of minivans. Don’t expect it to drive any differently than other Siennas. Yes, it has extra ground clearance, but at 6.96 inches it’s only 0.59 inches more than a Sienna XLE, really enough to prevent a tow hitch from scraping up the driveway (maybe other Siennas will). So with no other real mechanical improvements, and barely any aesthetic differences, the Woodland feels like a missed opportunity to create something truly special for those looking to go on extra-adventurous family outings.

Any other Toyota Sienna reviews I can read?

2021 Toyota Sienna vs 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Comparison Test

We test our top two-recommended minivans in this exhaustive comparison test. This comes down to one point out of a possible 230. (Spoiler alert: Sienna wins)

2021 Toyota Sienna XSE First Drive | It’s the “sporty” one

The XSE features unique styling features with suspension and steering differences that result in a different, sharper driving experience. Unlike the last Sienna, we don’t think getting this “sportier” version is a must for those who prefer a more responsive driving experience, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland First Drive Review: Not Woodsy Enough

The Woodland is a smart idea, but not quite high enough in terms of style or power.

2021 Toyota Sienna First Drive | Functional skills with style

Our first review of the Sienna, covering its changes and new features in more detail

2021 Toyota Sienna Interior Storage Review

We go full James Cameron with this deep dive into the Sienna’s interior storage, filling all 18(!) cupholders and its many bins.

What is the price of 2023 Sienna?

The Sienna’s price rises nearly $1,000 for 2023, including a more expensive destination charge of $1,335. The starting point is now $36,720, but before you get too steamed by that, know that the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey have similarly high base prices. Only the Kia Carnival, which comes in at around $33,000, is significantly lower.

Although considered the “base” Sienna, the LE is more akin to previous years’ mid-grade trim levels so you’re at least getting decent equipment for its price point. Along with the increase in equipment and higher quality cabin materials (see the interior section above), there are some key differences with the trim levels. The XSE and 25th Anniversary Editions feature sportier styling and chassis tuning, while the Woodland has a modest increase in ground clearance and slightly more rugged styling cues. Note that pricing for the Woodland was not available at the time of this writing, but Toyota says it will be in production for 2023.

All prices below include destination charges.

LE: $36,720
XLE: $42,030
Woodland: Not available at this time
XSE: $44,280
25th Anniversary Edition: $48,005
Limited: $48,980
Platinum: $52,180

What are the Sienna’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?

Every Sienna includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, and full-speed adaptive cruise control. Automatic reverse emergency braking is included on all but the base LE. Also standard is Toyota’s Safety Connect emergency telematics service, along with a number of atypical airbags: driver’s knee, passenger seat bottom cushion (prevents submersion under seatbelt) and second-row seat-mounted side airbags.

The 2022 Sienna has been named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the highest rating a vehicle can achieve. In official crash tests, the Sienna received five out of five stars for overall and side crash protection, with a four-star frontal rating.

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