Vehicle Type: Minivan
History Description: With heaps of room, top safety scores, proven short- and long-term value, a reputation for reliability, and the backing of decades of experience with minivans, the Toyota Sienna is a worthy used minivan buy for active families, couples, or anyone after plenty of space for the buck.
Three rows of seating, available motorized door and tailgate provisions, and a generously sized interior create appeal and flexibility, and Sienna’s feature content included a 120-volt power outlet, a wide-angle backup camera, dual power moonroofs, rain-sensing wipers, intelligent key system, multi-zone climate control and plenty more. Navigation, a JBL audio system, heated leather and Toyota’s EasySpeak system were available, too.
The latter system uses a microphone near the driver to play front-seat conversations through the rear-seat speakers. Notably, this system only works in this direction, and rear-seat conversations (thankfully) don’t play back through the front speakers.
Engines / Trim: Available with both four- and six-cylinder power and standard with a six-speed automatic, Sienna offers plenty of selection in the powertrain department: look for a 3.5L V6 with up to 266 horsepower, or a 2.7L four-cylinder good for 187. Segment-exclusive all-wheel drive (AWD) could be specified for added all-weather confidence, but only with the V6 engine.
What Owners Like: Space, comfort, flexibility, cargo capacity and even handling were all rated highly by Sienna owners from this generation. The V6 engine is said to offer more than adequate power output, and the six-speed transmission shifts smoothly.
What Owners Dislike: Typical owner complaints centre around models with the AWD system, which are noted for being thirstier on fuel, and for not having a proper spare tire. Instead, AWD Sienna models use run-flat tires, which some owners say are pricier to replace, and reduce ride comfort slightly.
Here’s a list of owner reviews of the Toyota Sienna. Note that these reviews cover all Sienna generations, not just the one highlighted here.
The Test Drive: According to numerous owner reviews online, test drivers of a used Sienna from this generation are advised to start their test drive by checking all accessories for proper functionality, focusing primarily on windows and doors. Confirm all window switches are operational, that all door lock switches work properly, and that the motorized sliding doors, and the motorized tailgate (if equipped) function properly. Any hesitation, unwelcome sounds, or failure of these systems to operate on your test drive should be checked out by a mechanic. Sometimes, a non-functioning power door or liftgate needs a simple adjustment (cheap). Sometimes, it needs a new motor (not so cheap).
Next, confirm proper operation of the smart key system (if equipped). The Engine Start button should fire the Sienna up almost instantly, and on the first try. If that’s not the case, the switch may need to be replaced.