2013 Sienna New Car Test Drive
The Toyota Sienna is a transportation solution for moving up to eight people and it does that well. It's also versatile as a cargo mover, with flexible interior configurations for any combination of passengers or cargo.
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 third row folded flat and the second row removed, Sienna offers a cavernous 150 cubic feet of cargo space, more than most SUVs offer.
This fifth-generation Toyota Sienna was introduced for the 2011 model year. Toyota has made only minor changes since then, mostly upgrades to standard equipment and options.
The 2013 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. The sporty 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, and it drives and handles more like a sports sedan. At the opposite extreme is the luxurious Sienna Limited, which has the nicest interior, and low-effort steering tuned for ease of operation, with 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.
All Sienna models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 266 horsepower and come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional. The V6 runs smoother at highway speed, with more reserve power for passing. Fuel economy is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 18/25 mpg City/Highway.
The Toyota Sienna is made in America, designed in California, developed at Toyota's technical center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and assembled in Indiana.
The 2013 Toyota Sienna ($26,585) comes standard with cloth upholstery, tri-zone manual air conditioning with air filter and rear-seat control panel, seven-passenger seating, power windows with auto up/down and jam protection in all positions, 60/40 split and stow third-row seat with one motion stow, removable second captain's chairs with tip-up and long-slide feature, cruise control, windshield de-icer, integrated color-keyed rear spoiler, AM/FM/CD with four speakers, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 235/60R17 tires.
Sienna LE ($30,135) gets automatic three-zone climate control for 2013. Other upgrades relative to Sienna L include eight-way power adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, second and third-row sunshades, six-speaker audio, XM Satellite Radio, steering wheel controls for audio and telephone, Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone operation and music streaming, compass and outside temperature displays, dual power sliding doors, HomeLink garage door opener. LE AWD ($32,465) adds all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels with 235/55R18 run-flat tires.
Sienna XLE ($33,510) and XLE AWD ($35,950) upgrade further with leather upholstery, power liftgate, power moonroof, heated front seats, four-way power passenger seat, anti-theft system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood trim, towing package, power rear quarter windows, and auto on/off headlights. A sound-deadening acoustic windshield has been added for 2013.
Sienna Limited ($40,105) and Limited AWD ($41,475) get upgraded 6CD JBL audio with 10-speakers, overhead console, integrated antenna, chrome door handles, push-button start, smart key, deluxe mirrors, dual panel moonroof, sonar parking system, third-row seats that power stow in floor, memory for driver's seat, leather with wood steering wheel, 18-inch wheels with 235/55R18 all-season tires. Added for 2013 is a blind spot monitor with cross-traffic alert.
Sienna SE ($33,725) features special body trim, 19-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, and comes with exclusive instrumentation and unique interior colors and trim.
Options are too numerous to list. Navigation is available on all but Sienna L, but only in packages that bundle it with Entune (Toyota's package of popular mobile apps and information services), audio upgrades, and other features.
Safety features include Toyota's Star Safety System with anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), and Traction Control; the mandated tire pressure monitor system; three-point seatbelts in all seating positions with adjustable seatbelt anchors on front and second row seats, driver's seatbelt Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR), and Automatic Locking Retractors (ALR) on all other seatbelts; front seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters; driver and front passenger Active Headrests; driver and front passenger airbags with Advanced Airbag System; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags; driver knee airbag; three-row side curtain airbags; side impact beams in front and sliding side doors; LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children); child protector sliding door locks; jam protection for power windows. Optional all-wheel drive enhances safety in adverse conditions. The Pre-Collision System is optional with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control,Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM), and Hill Assist Control (HAC). Blind Spot Monitor with Cross Traffic Control, Safety Connect, and front and rear sonar are optional or included on premium models. All of this stuff is a very good idea. All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP), which may change without notice at any time. Prices do not include destination charges.