Reviews

2012 Toyota Sienna Introduction

Minivans have always been superior as people movers. They're easier to park and drive than SUVs, have a low step-in height for easy access, plus comfortable seating and cushy ride characteristics.

The Toyota Sienna has been designed since the beginning to optimize those advantages. But times change, and so has the Sienna. Toyota rolled out an all-new, fifth-generation Sienna for 2011. The 2012 Sienna is nearly identical, with only minor changes regarding standard equipment and options.

This latest-generation Sienna is very much a transportation solution for moving up to eight people, but it is also versatile as a cargo mover, with more flexible interior configurations.

Visually, the 2012 Sienna looks less like a minivan than previous generations, with lower, longer lines, and a wider stance. For 2011, Toyota designers altered the profile and stance to make the Sienna more appealing. Although the current model is based on the same mechanical platform as the previous generation, with the same wheelbase, it has more interior room. Interior seating arrangements were completely redesigned and can be rearranged more easily to carry passengers, haul cargo, or any mix of both.

Sienna excels in second-row passenger comfort and cargo flexibility. The second-row seats are mounted on very long sliders, so they can be moved far forward or far back, depending on the way the interior needs to be configured for people or cargo. With the second-row seats adjusted to the rearward limit, a walk-in isle is created, big enough for an adult to walk through to help a child or an older passenger. With the second-row seats adjusted all the way forward, walk-in access to the third row becomes possible. With the second and third rows removed, Sienna offers a cavernous 150 cubic feet of cargo space, more than most SUVs offer.

The 2012 Toyota Sienna is available in five grades, with seating configurations for seven or eight. There are models aimed at practical transportation, models driven by luxury tastes, and even a sport model, the Sienna SE, which drives and handles more like a sports sedan. The Sienna SE sits lower than the other models, on a sport-tuned suspension, with its electric power steering tuned for quicker response and better feedback.

At the opposite extreme is the luxurious Sienna Limited, which has the nicest interior, and low-effort steering tuned for ease of operation, with very high levels of power assist. That makes the Sienna Limited easy to park and maneuver at low speeds, but it also requires more attention to keep in the center of the lane when driving quickly. Sienna LE and Sienna XLE models are somewhere in between, with steering and chassis priorities balanced 50/50 between comfort and handling.

Sienna is available with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine; higher grades are all V6-powered. Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is available with the V6. We found little difference between the four-cylinder and the V6 in daily driving, but then there isn't much difference in fuel consumption, either, so the V6 may be the better choice. The V6 runs a little smoother at highway speed, with more reserve power for passing.

The Toyota Sienna is made in America, designed in California, developed at Toyota's technical center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and assembled in Indiana. It will be sold only in North America and Puerto Rico.

All vehicle specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice. See above for information on purchase financing and lease program expiration dates. Prices and payments (including the amount down payment) do not include tax, titles, tags, documentation charges, emissions testing charges, or other fees required by law or lending organizations. The estimated payments may not include upfront finance charges that must be paid to be eligible for the purchase financing program used to estimate the APR and payments. Listed Annual Percentage Rates are provided for the selected purchase financing or lease programs available on the current date. Program expiration dates reflect currently announced program end dates, but these programs are subject to change at any time.

Lessees will be financially responsible for mileage beyond the elected quantity and for vehicle maintenance and repairs and excessive vehicle wear. Option to purchase at lease end for an amount may be determined at lease signing. Payments may be higher in some states. You may not be able to combine other incentives with the purchase financing or leasing programs presented above. Residency restrictions may apply. See dealer for details.

Listed APR, down payment, payments, incentives and other terms are estimates for example purposes only. Information provided is based on very well-qualified buyers or lessees. The payment information provided here is not a commitment by any organization to provide credit, leases or other programs. Some customers may not qualify for listed programs. Your terms may vary. Lessor must approve lease. Credit approval required.

Incentives & Offers

  • AdChoices