The 2023 Toyota Sienna marks the model’s first quarter-century of success and celebrates with a limited-availability 25th Anniversary Edition. Based on the sport-infused XSE grade, the special model gains additional luxury cabin features from the Limited grade and adds exclusive exterior and interior trim. Toyota will build just 2,525 of these models for the U.S., making this a “gotta have it” minivan.
Toyota has sold more than 2.2 million Sienna models since its debut in 1997. The fourth-generation Sienna debuted for the 2021 model year, offering hybrid power exclusively and giving customers the benefit of Toyota’s 20+ years of global hybrid leadership and well-documented quality, durability, and reliability. The 2023 Sienna lays down impressive numbers. It’s Toyota Hybrid System II delivers 245 total system horsepower and earns the vehicle an EPA-estimated 36 combined MPG fuel economy (front-wheel drive).
The Hybrid-exclusive strategy has been a winner for Sienna, which was the top-selling minivan in America for 2021, capturing 35% of the segment. The new-generation Sienna offers the choice of front-wheel drive or Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive, which employs a separate rear electric motor rather than a heavy AWD transfer case and space-robbing driveshaft to the rear wheels. As a result, EPA-estimated combined fuel economy is 35 MPG, nearly matching the 36 combined MPG for front-wheel drive.
Happy Silver Anniversary
The ultra-sporty XSE model on which the 25th Anniversary Edition amps up the sporty factor with available dark 20-in. split-5-spoke wheels, bolder looking front, and rear bumpers, black-painted caps, and a sport-tuned suspension that is unique to the XSE. The Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and includes the XSE Plus Package, which equips the Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition with roof rails, and Premium Audio with JBL speakers and navigation, wireless charging, and a 1500-watt converter.
Appropriately for the occasion, the Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition is available in Celestial Silver, with Wind Chill Pearl as a second color choice. Special black badging and exterior trim, including mirror caps and shark fin antenna, accent the two available exterior colors.
From there, this celebration model adds a slew of features from the Limited grade, including the exterior mirrors with memory, auto-dimming, puddle lights, power-fold, and reverse-tilt down function. Inside, the Limited also donates black leather-trimmed seating with silver-colored stitching, including heated and ventilated front seats with memory. The Limited’s memory steering column and second-row seats with ottomans enhance onboard comfort, and illuminated door sills greet front occupants. Special “25th Anniversary” floormats treat the feet, and an exclusive black key fob cover with silver-colored stitching features a “25th Anniversary” badge.
As minivans entered the market and gained popularity in the eighties and nineties, Toyota first imported its rear-drive Van and then the more market-suitable Previa. Meanwhile, Toyota was preparing a much more focused entry, and it arrived in 1998: the Sienna.
The Sienna proved to be right on target for the market, and through each design, the generation has evolved to a state of family vehicle perfection. Here’s a look at how it got there.
Designed expressly for the U.S. market, the 1998 Sienna was assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. in Georgetown, Kentucky. Toyota called the first Sienna “The Camry of Minivans,” and for good reasons. Firstly, it was based on a larger version of the Camry’s front-wheel-drive platform, which ensured an excellent balance of handling agility and ride comfort. Also, the Sienna was designed to give buyers the same combination of quality, user-friendly operation, and value that had made the Camry so popular.
The first Sienna was 193.5 inches long on a 114-inch wheelbase, making it easy to maneuver and park. The powertrain paired a 3.0-liter, 194-horsepower V6 with a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The 1998-2003 Sienna had an EPA-estimated 17 city MPG / 23 highway MPG / 19 combined MPG fuel economy ratings.
The Sienna offered the choice of 7- or 8-seat configurations and provided renowned Toyota value in CE, LE, and XLE grades. A driver’s side sliding rear door was standard on LE and XLE and optional for CE, and the XLE offered optional leather-trimmed seats.
Toyota engineered the first Sienna with the safety that family van buyers sought. Anti-lock brakes were standard, and Sienna was one of the few vans at the time to offer available front seat-mounted side torso airbags and Vehicle Stability Control. The first Sienna achieved the highest rating (“Good”) in all six IIHS frontal crash tests.
Customers loved the first-gen Sienna so much, that they wanted more … more room, more versatility, more power, and more safety. The second-gen Sienna for 2004 delivered on all counts. The chief engineer for the new model, Yuji Yokoya, and his family drove a first-gen Sienna throughout North America and met with minivan owners to gain a deeper understanding of how owners used these vehicles in daily life. Influenced by that input, the second-gen Sienna introduced in 2004 grew significantly to offer more room and versatility. Wheelbase and length both increased by five inches, and the new Sienna was also four inches wider and 1.6 inches higher than the first-generation model.
The second-gen Sienna debuted an all-wheel-drive option, and the Sienna would remain the only minivan to offer AWD for many years. All models gained a 3.3-liter V6 with 230 horsepower, teamed with a new 5-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. Fuel economy ratings increased to 17/25/20 EPA-estimated MPG for the front-wheel-drive model.
Seating and cargo room increased all around. Notably, as minivans were frequently used for trips to warehouse stores, the Sienna could now easily carry 4×8-foot sheets of plywood. The second-gen Sienna debuted a luxurious new Limited trim. And, recognizing the value of keeping passengers entertained, Toyota offered an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system with two 110V outlets.
In the safety category, side curtain airbags, optional on certain 2004-2005 trims, became standard on all for 2006. Vehicle Stability Control was made standard for all models in 2008. Continuous evolution brought new features such as Bluetooth wireless tech for hands-free phone use and music streaming, a power-folding third-row, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and navigation. For 2007, the Sienna received a 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.
Third Generation: 2011-2019
The third-generation Sienna introduced in 2011 ushered in a bolder design, along with a growing roster of luxury and tech features. The design emerged from Toyota’s CALTY studios, with engineering handled by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as in Japan. Sized the same as the second-gen Sienna, the new model added versatility.
A new 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine became standard but was discontinued after two years. The 3.5-liter V6 continued and was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. For 2018, power jumped to 296 horsepower with the addition of Toyota’s D4-S direct fuel injection, and an eight-speed automatic replaced the six-speed. EPA fuel economy estimates with this combination were 18 city / 24 highway / 20 combined.
Standard features include three-zone climate control, three power ports, power door locks, and remote keyless entry. As a fun surprise, a new SE model grade added some sports sedan verve to the driving experience. Front styling was even bolder, with side skirting that visually lowered the vehicle and smoked taillights that made a distinctive statement. Specially tuned suspension, revised steering, and 19-inch alloy wheels boosted agility and driving engagement. This was the minivan with attitude.
The third-gen Sienna brought a major advance in active safety for 2015 with an optional Pre-Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) was made standard for all model grades in 2018. TSS-P included Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams.
Additional safety features included a rear-view camera with a 180-degree view, driver’s knee airbag, and Toyota Safety Connect. On the luxury and user tech side, the Smart Key System with Push-Button Start added new convenience, and the available second-row sliding Lounge Seating could slide up to 23 inches rearward to open up enormous legroom.
The Sienna’s Entune 3.0 multimedia system included a live-traffic map, while the higher grades also featured Wi-Fi connectivity for up to five devices. An available 11.6-inch dual-view rear-seat entertainment system was a real passenger pleaser.
Fourth Generation: 2020-
Toyota reimagined the fourth-generation Sienna to support a wider array of life stages and activities than the typical minivan. That included answering the call for more luxury, multimedia, and outdoors-amenable features.
Assembled in the U.S., the fourth-generation Sienna was designed by the combined effort of CALTY’s Newport Beach, California, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, studios. It is built around an all-new minivan structure based on Toyota’s versatile TNGA-K Platform architecture, and the evocative design was influenced by the bold and robust character of SUVs.
The Sienna delivers a confident, agile driving experience with exemplary ride comfort, thanks in large part to the TNGA-K Platform combined with a trailing-arm multi-link rear suspension. The sporty XSE and lavish Platinum grades fill their wheel wells with standard 20-inch aluminum-clad wheels with P235/50R20 tires for FWD. (All-Wheel Drive versions have 18-inch wheels.)
The 2023 Sienna line includes LE, XLE, sporty XSE, outdoors-oriented Woodland Edition, luxurious Limited, and ultra-plush Platinum trims. The Woodland Edition introduced for 2022 combines adventure-inspired rugged styling, a standard Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System, and increased ground clearance to take family fun further afield.
The 2023 Sienna offers many available premium features across the model line (depending on model grade), such as kick-open and closed sliding side doors and rear gate, a four-zone climate control system, heated second-row Super-Long Slide captain’s chairs with ottomans, power tilt and telescoping steering column with heated steering wheel, 10-in. color head-up display and 12-speaker JBL(r) Premium Audio system.
All 2023 Sienna models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0), a comprehensive active safety system that includes:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Automatic High Beams
- Lane Tracing Assist
- Road Sign Assist
The Sienna LE and some XLE models come equipped in 8-seat configurations with a stowable middle seat. The Super-Long Slide second-row captain’s chairs in some 7-seat models slide 25 inches, providing ample legroom and flexibility to maximize comfort, especially when used with the available ottoman feature. (Standard for 25th Anniversary Edition, Limited and Platinum and available for certain others.)
Cutting-edge visibility tech and the available Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan provides a live, 360-degree view to help the driver see potential obstacles.
The 2023 Sienna offers a smorgasbord of connectivity and entertainment, with versatile Toyota Audio systems providing something for everyone. The base Toyota Audio system in the LE grade is jam-packed with features, including a 9-in. touchscreen, six speakers, Android Auto(TM), Apple CarPlay(r) and Amazon Alexa compatibility, seven USB media ports, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming via Bluetooth(r) wireless technology, SiriusXM(r) with 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription and Safety Connect(r) with 1-year trial and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 3 GB within a one-month trial.
And, did we mention an up to EPA-estimated 36 combined MPG rating and available Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive. That is the anatomy of a minivan innovator and leader.