One-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Fuel Efficiency: 18 city/25 hwy
|Best Suited For: Families
Notable Features: Lots of room, easy to reconfigure the seats, removable center seat
Links: Official site
The one gripe I usually have about Toyota is the lack of esthetic appeal and innovation in design. The cars themselves are sturdy and drive well, but they look the same as from the outside as they did a decade ago. With the new grill and silhouette of the 2015 Toyota Sienna, it’s as if the production team knew my biggest peeve. This year’s model is much more appealing.
2015 Toyota Sienna – Performance
Handing is good, as is the turning radius. However, the ride seems somewhat clunky compared to the 2014 version. There’s more inside noise and driving seems more like an effort than an enjoyable experience. The Sienna really has a “heavy” feel. It’s slow to start, you feel rolling on the corners, and it gives the effect of stopping with the same inertial force I imagine a big rig does.
The middle controls are simple but only becomes easy to use after memorizing where everything is. Frans did mention he had to stretch quite a bit to reach the controls though. The center display looks very slick. Sadly, only a few direct options are available, forcing you to go through several menus just to adjust the sound or search for directions. Question is, why was the slot to insert the Blu-ray disc all the way on the bottom and in addition to the upper CD slot?!
2015 Toyota Sienna – Inside
I am happy to see that Toyota continues to make operation of the seats effortless. As far as I’m concerned, the Sienna has THE best system for dropping down the third row. It’s as smooth as butter! The same can be said for moving the second row. Both rows offer fantastic head and leg room.
That center seat in the second row is just weird and I would only have someone sit there if you really needed an eighth seat. It’s narrow, sunken lower than the other to seats, and the arm rests would poke your back. At least you can take that seat out and stick it in the perfectly fitted cubby in the cargo area. Doing so reveals awkwardly placed cup holders. My guess? Someone said, “Hmm, what should we do with this gap between the seats?” and just went with their gut feeling of what to fill it with. Then there’s that release loop that just sticks out…
The cargo space behind the third row is plenty roomy. A good amount of grocery shopping, a wheelchair, a double stroller, and a good number of other things can fit there.
2015 Toyota Sienna Review
The 2015 Toyota Sienna continues to be a decent choice for families. It has plenty of comfortable seating, you can easily configure it to your needs, and there’s enough cargo area for daily errands. While I like the new exterior look and the sporty interior with contrasting stitching, I feel that this year’s model does not perform as smoothly as the previous one did. The good news is that a fully loaded model (including the entertainment system) is only $40K. This may still be the right minivan for your family but you may want to test some other brands before you commit to buying.