Minivans are cool. Fight us. Just think about it for a second: These things are spacious, comfortable, and packed with a relatively nice variety of features. It helps that most modern segment offerings look really darn good, too.
We love these cars, we genuinely do—the likes of the Kia Carnival and the Honda Odyssey. Hell, as ‘meh’ as the thing looked, we even loved the SsangYong Rodius as well. As far as minivans are concerned, though, there’s one new offering we really, really want to try out. Sadly, it’s one that isn’t available locally.
Say hello to the all-new Toyota Sienna—a minivan that, at first glance, appears like it ticks all the right boxes.
Obviously, this thing’s pretty. It’s massive, though its stylish lines, sculpted body, and design cues like attractive headlights and slim LED lighting units give off the impression that’s sleeker than its on-paper dimensions might suggest. If you opt for the sportier XSE version, you even get some snazzy dark 20-inch five-spoke wheels and more aggressive-looking bumpers than the ones on the lower variants.
Toyota says the overall look was inspired by Japan’s world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, and we think it’s an apt description—at the very least, it’s has a better ring to it than the last-gen Sienna’s “swagger wagon” comparisons.
As nice as the exterior is, the star of the show here is what’s inside. The front part of the cabin is signature Toyota: a layered dashboard with plenty of angular cues, sleek A/C vents, nice controls, a floating nine-inch touchscreen, and a modern instrument panel. It’s all reminiscent of the current-generation RAV4. The center console is positioned high with ergonomics in mind, and comes equipped with a wireless charger and a handful of storage compartments.
LE and XLE variants get an eight-seat configuration with two captain’s chairs, while the XSE, Limited, and Platinum get seven-seat setups featuring ‘Super Long Slide’ captain’s chairs. These slide as far back as 25 inches for excellent legroom. And since this minivan now runs on the brand’s new TNGA-K Platform, it boasts better NVH levels, too.
The base variant comes with a humble six-speaker sound setup with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability as standard, while higher-end units get eight-speaker systems. If that’s not to your liking, you can always shell out a little extra for the optional JBL setup with 12 speakers and a 1,200-watt amp. And, get this: The Platinum variant comes equipped with a refrigerator and a vacuum.
There’s only one powertrain option here: a hybrid setup with a 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine for a total output of 244hp. There are four drive modes—Selectable EV, Normal, Eco, and Sport—and Toyota claims a combined fuel efficiency of 14km/L. All-wheel drive is also available.
So, does the all-new Toyota Sienna sound like it will appeal to you? Let us know in the comments if what it offers is enough to get you on Team Minivan.