Many people think that the stigma of having a minivan is too much to bear. Instead, they shift focus to the latest crossover SUV. That’s a shame, because the minivan remains one of the best vehicles to transport your family. Sliding doors, easy entry into the third row, large passenger and cargo space certainly make life easier. Crossover does have its own charm, but still can not beat the overall flexibility of the van like the 2018 Toyota Sienna.
The Toyota Sienna was last redesigned in 2010, but intensive updates made it stay competitive against newer rivals. For 2018, the Sienna gets some important updates. Toyota now includes the Safety Sense package on all trim and no longer an option on mid and upper trim levels.
Although Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona have more modern and newer designs, the 2018 Toyota Sienna continues to be the perfect choice for a versatile family vehicle.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan comes in five main trim levels: L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The SE is eight-passenger only, while the L and Limited versions are seven-passenger only.
Standard equipment for the base L include 17-inch alloy wheels, a wiper de-icer, automatic headlights, keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, a conversation mirror, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free, smartphone-app navigation (Scout GPS Link), Bluetooth, five USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system with media player interface, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Also standard is the Toyota Safety Sense which includes automatic headlights, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna LE adds roof rails, privacy glass, power-sliding rear doors, heated mirrors, upgraded easy-clean fabric upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, rear sunshades, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Entune apps such as iHeartRadio, Pandora and Yelp, and telematics services, satellite and HD radio. All-wheel-drive versions get 18-inch wheels.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna SE is similar to the LE but also adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a unique front fascia (LED daytime running lights, foglights and a mesh grille), lower body skirting, sharper steering and a noise-reducing windshield. The SE also gets a power liftgate, gauges with a larger driver information screen, heated front seats, first and second-row leather upholstery (the third row gets premium vinyl).
The SE Premium adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, keyless ignition and entry, a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system and the Driver Easy Speak system.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna XLE gets the SE comfort and convenience features but has the LE styling, steering and suspension. It also adds push-button start, keyless entry, imitation-wood trim, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and power-opening rear-quarter windows. The XLE Premium adds rear parking sensors and the SE Premium’s features.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna Limited get the XLE Premium features except for the rear entertainment system. It also adds 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a different grille, front and rear sunroofs, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, noise-reducing side glass. Inside, you gets a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, the first and second-row premium leather upholstery, navigation system, Toyota Safety Connect emergency services and an upgraded 10-speaker JBL surround-sound audio system. FWD models also get a sliding center console between the first two rows, extendable footrests for the second row, and a power-folding third row with faux leather upholstery.
The Limited Premium adds automatic wipers, xenon headlights, a surround-view parking camera system, upgraded third-row leather and the rear-seat entertainment system.
Only two option packages are available. For SE trims, the SE Preferred package adds keyless ignition and entry, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, a sunroof, in-dash navigation system and the Driver Easy Speak system. The XLE Navigation package adds in-dash navigation system, Driver Easy Speak and rear parking sensors.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna is powered by an upgraded 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 296 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard across models. All-wheel drive is optional on the LE, XLE and Limited models.
In performances testing, the 2018 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium with front-wheel drive accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in quick 7.4 seconds. The engine and transmission upgrades also improved EPA fuel economy estimates. Front-wheel-drive Sienna models are rated at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway), while all-wheel-drive models are rated at 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway).
At lower trim levels, the 2018 Toyota Sienna interior is attractively designed with high quality fabric upholstery, while the top trims get simulated wooden cabin accents and leather. The quality of the materials is excellent, and the dashboard design is attractive and modern. The seats are comfortable plus the controls are user-friendly and lots of useful storage space.
The Eight passengers models are equipped with a 40/20/20-split second-row bench with the center slide forward for easy access to the child’s seat. Chairs can also be removed and stored inside the van itself.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna seven passengers get the second row of captain seats. The available extended footrests will attract attention during the test drive, but you will be impressed with their ability to slide the fore or back farther than most competitors, which certainly increases more convenience. The maximum cargo space is 150 cubic feet, and you have to remove the second row seat, which is heavy enough and awkward to remove.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Toyota Sienna should be available at dealerships this fall. The cheapest Sienna L starts at $31,745 including the $995 destination charge. The LE trim begins at $34,655, option for all-wheel drive costs an extra $2,540.
The sportier version Sienna SE starting at $37,985 and the SE Premium starts at $43,200. At $36,990, you can get the XLE and extra $3,690 for the XLE Premium. The Sienna Limited starts at $44,730, and $48,250 for the Sienna Limited Premium.