Toyota Sienna

October 30, 2013

The Toyota Sienna is a family minivan manufactured by Toyota at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana facility, in Princeton, Indiana, United States, for the North American market.

It replaced the first-generation Previa van in 1997 with a more conventional front wheel drive layout and shares a heavily revised platform with the Camry.

Toyota Sienna
2012 Toyota Sienna.jpg
Manufacturer Toyota
Production 1997–present
Model years 1998–present
Body and chassis
Class Minivan
Related Toyota Camry
Predecessor Toyota Previa

Both the Previa and original Toyota Sienna were smaller than the other minivans they competed against, but a redesign in 2004 increased the dimensions to match those of its competitors.

The Toyota Sienna is currently the only minivan in its class to offer all-wheel-drive. It was redesigned a second time for the 2011 model year. The third generation Toyota Sienna was put on sale in the US in February 2010 and is the first Sienna to ever receive a “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

To order your new Toyota Sienna rival with a brand new Toyota 3.5L V6 or a Turbo diesel 2.5L 2KD-FTV for only US$16,000.

First generation (1998–2003)

In late 1997, Toyota launched the front wheel drive MY 1998 Toyota Sienna in the North American market as a replacement for the mid-engined Previa. The Toyota Sienna debuted with a 3.0-liter 1MZ-FE V6 engine rated at 194 hp (145 kW) and 209 lb·ft (284 N·m) of torque. Built on an extended platform of the Camry, the Toyota Sienna was appropriately marketed as the “Camry of minivans,” capitalizing on the Toyota Camry’s popularity and reputation. It came in three trim levels, CE, LE, and XLE. The LE and XLE models were equipped with 2nd row captain’s chairs while the CE models came equipped with a 2nd row 2-passenger bench seat. The driver side sliding door and roof rack were standard on the LE and XLE models, but were optional on the CE models. The XLE models offered leather seats and a wood trim package. The Toyota Sienna also touted best-in-class fuel economy of 16 city/22 highway miles per gallon. It was built in Georgetown, Kentucky. A year after its release, the Toyota Sienna faced new competition from the redesigned Honda Odyssey minivan, which was larger and offered a V6 like the Toyota Sienna.

2001-2003 Toyota Sienna LE

2001-2003 Toyota Sienna LE

For the 2001 model year, the Toyota Sienna underwent a mid-cycle refresh. This update included a facelift to both front and rear fascias which added a redesigned front grille and bumper along with revised rear taillights sporting a more modern appearance (clear-lens turn-signals as opposed to amber-coloured). Toyota also revamped the center console area to add more usability to the HVAC controls along with new locations for the accessory switches (rear vent, power sliding doors, heated seats). The engine also came equipped with a variable valve timing feature VVT-i boosting output to 210 hp (157 kW) and 220 lb·ft (298 N·m) torque. The driver side sliding door became standard on all models, although the roof rack remained optional on the CE models.

This generation was noteworthy for its impressive safety content as one of the few minivans to offer options including front seat-mounted side torso airbags and Vehicle Stability Control. Anti-lock braking was standard. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Sienna “Good” in all six frontal crash test measures, which was far better than the Previa.

Second generation (2004–2010)

First generation
Toyota Sienna -- 07-09-2009.jpg
Production 1997–Dec 2003
Model years 1998–2003
Assembly Georgetown, Kentucky, USA (TMMK)
Body and chassis
Body style 3-door minivan (CE only, 1998-2000)4-door minivan
Layout FF layout
Related Toyota Camry
Engine 3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6 (1998-2000)3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6 (01-03, VVT-i) 210 hp, 220 lb·ft
Transmission 4-speed automatic (A540E/A541E)
Wheelbase 114.2 in (2,901 mm)
Length 190.5 in (4,839 mm) (1998-2000)194.2 in (4,933 mm) (2001-03)
Width 73.4 in (1,864 mm)
Height 67.3 in (1,709 mm)

In January 2004, the second-generation Toyota Sienna was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Production shifted to Princeton, Indiana, and the former Georgetown plant was retooled to build the second generation Camry Solara. To make the redesign more successful, Toyota assigned Yuji Yokoya as chief engineer on the new Toyota Sienna project. Yokoya and his family drove the previous Sienna over 53,000 miles (85,000 km) throughout North America to find weaknesses from the previous model.

The new redesign continued to offer the CE, LE, and XLE trims along with a new, more luxurious, leather-trimmed XLE Limited model. The most distinguishable difference on the XLE Limited model is the horizontal chrome bar placed above the rear license plate. All Siennas are now powered by an updated ULEV certified 3.3-liter 3MZ-FE V6 engine paired with a new 5-speed automatic transmission. The gear-shift lever was also moved from the steering column to the lower-center center console area, and moved in a zig-zag pattern similar to the Lexus RX. New styling allowed for a coefficient of drag figure of 0.30 Cd. Fuel economy was rated at 17 city/25 highway (16 city/22 highway for AWD) under revised EPA estimates.

2004-2005 Toyota Sienna

2004-2005 Toyota Sienna

The redesigned Toyota Sienna also offered a variety of new features, many of which were derived from other competition within segment. For example, while the Odyssey’s “Magic Seat” was a one-piece folding bench, the Sienna’s added a more versatile 60/40 split configuration. In addition, the flat-folding third row seat was offered even with all-wheel-drive. Power-retractable side-windows which rolled down completely into the second-row sliding-doors (introduced in the Mazda MPV) were also new along with available eight-passenger seating (CE and LE only), dual power sliding doors, and power liftgate (standard on XLE and Limited, optional on LE).

Standard features included remote keyless entry, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, high solar energy-absorbing glass (HSEA) on the windshield and front windows, rear climate control, and run-flat tires that came standard with the available all wheel drive. The all wheel drive system continuously divided engine power 50:50 front and rear. All 2004-2007 Siennas also came standard with a factory tow package and a 3,500 pounds (1,600 kg) towing capacity. Major options included HID Xenon headlamps (XLE Limited), Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, front and rear obstacle detection, a “kid-view” mirror (similar to wide-angle mirrors found in a school bus), a voice-activated navigation system (not voice activated for the 2004 model year) which included a backup camera, 10-speaker JBL “Synthesis” audio and rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a flip down screen.


The Toyota Sienna comes standard with anti-lock braking, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control and a tire-pressure monitor. Side torso airbags, and side curtain airbags were standard on certain 2004 and 2005 model trims while optional on others, but became standard on all 2006 trims. Vehicle Stability Control initially optional on lower trims became standard for 2008 models.

The IIHS gives the Toyota Sienna an overall “Good” score in their frontal offset crash test with “Good” marks in all six measured categories. All 2006 models and later receive a “Good” overall score, while pre-2006 models without side airbags receive an “Acceptable” score for side impacts.

Model year changes

2006-2010 Toyota Sienna LE

2006-2010 Toyota Sienna LE

For the 2006 mid-cycle refresh, the front fascia, side molding, and Headlamps were restyled. Blue-backlit electroluminescent Optitron gauges were added to LE, XLE, and Limited trims. The “XLE” prefix in “XLE Limited” was removed to reduce confusion, and new exclusive equipment for this trim included an optional memory function for the power driver’s seat and side-view mirrors (also available on XLE as an option) and power-folding exterior side-view mirrors with integrated in-glass LEDturn-signal repeaters. Other options included Bluetooth capability and a power-folding third-row seat. Front row side torso airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows became standard equipment on all models. The optional rear seat audio system was discontinued. Horsepower and torque ratings were changed to meet SAE’s new standard to 215 hp (160 kW) and 222 lb·ft (from 230 hp (172 kW) and 242 lb·ft (328 N·m), Toyota also now rates engines on 87 octane).

For 2007, a new ULEV-II certified 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 engine rated at 266 hp (198 kW) with a rated fuel economy of 17/23 MPG for front-wheel-drive models and 16/21 MPG for AWD models replaced the previous 3.3-liter V6. The tire pressure monitor was upgraded, and a new seven-spoke alloy wheel design was made exclusive to the Limited and AWD models.

For 2009, the Toyota Sienna remained largely unchanged, except for a revision in pricing to become more competitive through several available comprehensively equipped “extra-value package” offerings. In Canada, base prices are lowered by up to $1,500.

2010 specifications

  • Engine: 3.5 L DOHC 24-valve Dual VVT-i V6 – 2GR-FE
  • Output: 266 hp (200 kW) at 6200 rpm and 248 lb·ft (336 N·m) at 4700 rpm (SAE Net)
  • Transmission: 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with Intelligent Grade-Logic Control (ECT-i)
  • MPG: EPA Estimated 23 MPG Highway, 17 MPG City (2WD), and 21 Highway, 16 City (AWD).
  • Drivetrain: Front wheel drive, all wheel drive available on LE, XLE, XLE Limited (CE in Canada)
  • Turning Diameter: 36.8 ft (11.2 m)

Third generation (2011–present)

Third generation
2012 Toyota Sienna.jpg
Production Feb 2010–present
Model years 2011–present
Assembly Princeton, Indiana, United States (TMMI)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door minivan
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Related Toyota Camry
Engine 3.5 L 2GR-FE V6 (266 hp)2.7 L 1AR-FE I4 (187 hp)
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 119.3 in (3,030 mm)
Length 200.2 in (5,085 mm)
Width 78.2 in (1,986 mm)
Height 68.9 in (1,750 mm)70.7 in (1,796 mm) w/roof rails
2011 Toyota Sienna SE

2011 Toyota Sienna SE

The redesigned 2011 Toyota Sienna premiered at the Los Angeles Auto Show in early December 2009. It was designed at Calty studios and engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. The new Sienna arrived at dealers in February 2010.

The Toyota Sienna is offered in five trim levels, the Sienna base grade, LEXLELimited and for the first time the SE trim. The new SE offers revised bodywork, clear tail lamps, 19-inch (480 mm) wheels, firmer suspension and revised steering tuning for a sportier ride. All-wheel-drive is only available with the V6 engine on the LEXLE and Limited model trims. Described by AOL Autos as slipping a sports car in a minivan, Chief Engineer Kazuo Mori (an avid autocrosser) reportedly had to overcome opposition to get the SE equipment package included in the line-up.

The previous 3.5-liter 2GR-FE continues, but for the first time the Sienna offers a four cylinder, the 1AR-FE. An Electric Power Steering (EPS) system replaces the previous hydraulic power steering system. Toyota expects EPA-estimated mileage figures of 19 mpg-US (12.4 L/100 km) city / 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km) highway for models powered by the 4-cylinder engine, 18 mpg-US(13.1 L/100 km) city / 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km) highway for 2WD V6 models, and 16 mpg-US (14.7 L/100 km) city / 22 mpg-US (10.7 L/100 km) highway for AWD models. An optional tow package for V6 models is rated to tow 3,500 pounds (1,600 kg).

The front dashboard features a “swoop” wood trim, inspired by the Toyota Venza and Lexus RX, that gives front seat occupants a “60/60” split whether in the driver or passenger seat.

2012 Toyota Sienna LE

2012 Toyota Sienna LE

New features include an optional sliding second row with “Lounge Seating” recliner style chairs, a feature previously seen on the Lexus LS, and Toyota’s keyless Smart Key System with push-button start. The rear seat entertainment option now uses a 16.4-inch (41.7 cm) LCD screen which operates in two view modes, a single 16:9-ratio widescreen or two separate 4:3-ratio split screens with separate wireless headphones. Toyota’s new “Display Navigation with Entune” connected navigation system became available for the 2012 model year.

For safety the back-up camera comes with a new 180° panoramic view. Other new options include a Pre-Collision System (PCS) as well as an automatic highbeam dimmer, Safety Connect and a more advanced stability control system known as Vehicle Integrated Dynamics Management. A driver’s knee airbag is now standard as well.

Unlike Chrysler’s minivans Toyota decided not to offer a flat folding second row; instead the seats must be removed for extra cargo space. Toyota instead chose larger and heavier second row seats with more padding for comfort. When the second row seats are removed, the bottom of the second row seats, which is similar to a rack, remains attached to the van floor. This means that with second row seats removed, the floor of the Toyota Sienna is not flat.

Toyota is the first automaker to offer a factory installed auto-access seat for disabled people. The one-touch rotating, power ascending/descending lift-up seat can lower to within 19 inches (48 cm) of the ground.

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