The 2023 Toyota Sienna’s brawny-for-a-minivan exterior design is an attempt at SUV cosplay, but even a casual glance in its direction reveals it for the minivan that it is. Fine by us. We like the way this minivan behaves on the road, with a quiet cabin and a refined ride. Besides the obvious practicality benefits that come with any minivan, the Sienna’s interior is spacious and nicely equipped—although its second-row seats aren’t removable or stowable as they are in other vans. This fourth generation of the Sienna is offered solely as a hybrid, with front- and all-wheel drive variants sharing the same 245-hp rating, which has proven to be on the poky side in our testing. The Sienna’s fuel efficiency, at 36 mpg combined, is far better than that of the other minivans on the market but we’d much rather be piloting the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, or the Kia Carnival.
What’s New for 2023?
The current Sienna is in its third year of this hybrid-only generation. Meanwhile, Toyota is celebrating the 25thanniversary of the nameplate this year with a limited-edition version: only 2,525 25th Anniversary Edition Siennas will be built, and all of them will be based on the sporty-looking XSE trim and will wear either Celestial Silver or Wind Chill Pearl exterior paint. Special 20-inch wheels, roof rails, black exterior badging, and exterior mirrors with integrated puddle lights are visual clues to the special model’s identity. The interior is decked out in black leather upholstery with silver stitching, a JBL stereo system, a wireless smartphone charging pad, heated and ventilated front seats, and carpeted floormats bearing the 25th Anniversary logo.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’re eyeballing the sporty XSE model, which comes with 20-inch wheels, more-aggressive front and rear bumpers, and sport front seats. The XSE also comes standard with in-dash navigation and second-row captain’s chairs. The XSE, like all Sienna trims, comes standard with front-wheel drive but adding all-wheel drive costs just $760, which seems like a worthy upgrade to us.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Unlike previous versions of Toyota’s family van, the Sienna is offered exclusively as a hybrid. The powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter gasoline-powered four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors that combine to make 245 horsepower. All-wheel drive is available and adds a third electric motor in back that drives the rear wheels. The Sienna’s main rival—the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid—is offered solely with front-wheel drive, but its V-6 engine and electric motors make 260 horsepower. Our all-wheel drive Sienna Platinum failed to excite us during acceleration testing, requiring 7.7 seconds to reach 60 mph and completing the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds at only 88 mph; these results are similar to what the Pacifica Hybrid managed, but are far slower than non-hybrid examples of the Pacifica we’ve tested as well as the Honda Odyssey.
More on the Sienna Minivan
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that front-wheel drive versions of the Sienna should deliver 36 mpg city as well as 36 mpg highway with all-wheel drive examples carrying ratings 1 mpg lower at 35 mpg. In our mix of city and highway driving, we managed 29 mpg with our all-wheel drive Platinum test vehicle. When we get a chance to put the new Sienna through our 75-mile highway fuel economy test, we’ll update this story with results. For more information about the Sienna’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Complementing its daring exterior redesign, the Sienna’s interior is modern and stylish. Rather than the open cockpit design of the previous generation model, Toyota has created a tall center console that spans the distance from the dashboard to the center armrest, with a large storage cubby underneath. Upscale Limited and Platinum models have two-tone interior trim and dashboards covered in stitched leather-like material while the sporty XSE model gets black-and-white faux-leather seats with red contrast stitching. Unlike the Odyssey and the Pacifica Hybrid, the Sienna’s second row seats are not removable; however, the optional second-row captain’s chairs can slide forward-and-back a total of 25 inches to help provide maximum legroom for rear-seat riders or to open as much room as possible aft of the second row for cargo. Limited and Platinum models can be had with reclining second-row seats with pop-up ottomans. The two top trims can also be equipped with an onboard vacuum cleaner.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Toyota’s latest infotainment interface is a 9.0-inch touchscreen display which stands upright on the dashboard above the climate controls. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa connectivity features are all standard, and seven USB ports dot the van’s cabin. Toyota provides SiriusXM satellite radio and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot as well. The base stereo is a 6-speaker setup; and XLE models get eight speakers. A 12-speaker JBL stereo system is optional on the XLE and XSE and standard on the Limited and Platinum. In-dash navigation is standard starting with the XSE trim; a rear-seat entertainment system with an 11.6-inch display is optional on all but the base LE model.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Toyota offers blind-spot monitoring and its Safety Sense 2.0 bundle of driver-assistance features standard on the new Sienna, while convenience items such as parking sensors and a 360-degree exterior camera system are optional. For more information about the Sienna’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Kia Carnival offers longer coverage for both the powertrain and the bumper-to-bumper warranty than the Sienna. But Toyota makes up for its fairly basic warranty package with a two-year complimentary maintenance plan.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Hybrid-component warranty covers 8 years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 2 years or 25,000 miles
2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Platinum AWD
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door van
PRICE AS TESTED
$53,350 (base price: $51,635)
DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4, 189 hp, 176 lb-ft + 3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors, front: 180 hp, 199 lb-ft; rear: 54 hp, 89 lb-ft (combined output, 245 hp); 1.9-kWh nickel-metal-hydride battery pack
continuously variable automatic
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.9-in vented disc/12.5-in vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza LS1000, P235/60R-18 102V M+S
Wheelbase: 120.5 in
Length: 203.7 in
Width: 78.5 in
Height: 68.5 in
Passenger volume: 162 ft3
Cargo volume: 34 ft3
Curb weight: 4821 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.7 sec
100 mph: 21.0 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.6 sec
1/4 mile: 15.8 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited, mfr’s claim): 116 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 188 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.79 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 29 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 35/36/35 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs