Test Drive: 2015 Toyota Sienna XLE Review

2015_Toyota_Sienna_LTD_007

Today we are driving the Toyota Sienna. It’s a minivan. It’s all about comfort and function, and it does not disappoint. Our test model is the XLE 8-passenger FWD version. The XLE is second from the top of the 5 trim levels, and it starts at just about $35,000. This particular XLE also includes a Navigation Package, which brings the price to just over $37,000. There are a ton of features on this version, so let’s just start there.

We have leather seats and a leather trimmed steering wheel. 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar and 4-way power passenger seat, both of which are heated. We have a 3-zone climate control, meaning driver, front passenger and 2nd row have their own settings. You can either control the rear settings here on the dash or above the 2nd row seats.


You have 1-touch power up and down front and rear windows, with manual sunshades in the back for both rows. There is also a Smart Key entry with push-button start. There are also power sliding side doors that can be opened using the key fob, the buttons overhead, or simply touching the door handles. You also have a power lift gate.

There are a total of 12 cup holders in this version, and the front ones are illuminated. Why should you care? Think about this: really early morning, you’re just getting started on your cup of coffee…not quite awake… it’s really easy to see where to set it back down so you don’t spill it.

You have the Navigation system with voice commands that provides real-time traffic and weather conditions, Bluetooth for handsfree cell phone use and audio streaming, HD Radio, Sirius radio, and a USB port. The Entune Radio with App Suite gives you access to favorite apps such as Pandora, iHeart Radio, MovieTickets.com, Yelp and OpenTable. You can plan an entire evening out through the Navi!

You get so much technology, and it’s extremely easy to use. The system is user-friendly, and everything is in reach. Although, if I had one criticism of this dashboard, I think it looks a little cartoonish. The rest of the dash is sleek with wood trim and metallic accents, but something about the console just says outdated video game to me.

So that’s all your comfort and convenience, let’s talk about functionality. This Sienna is amazing! It makes me downright giddy! As equipped, it can seat 8 people. To be honest, the middle seat in the 2nd row is not going to be comfortable for adults, but it can certainly accommodate a child for road trips. But if you don’t need it, you can pull that center portion out, and store it conveniently in the back.

So that’s all your comfort and convenience, let’s talk about functionality. This Sienna is amazing! It makes me downright giddy! As equipped, it can seat 8 people. To be honest, the middle seat in the 2nd row is not going to be comfortable for adults, but it can certainly accommodate a child for road trips. But if you don’t need it, you can pull that center portion out, and store it conveniently in the back.

The rest of the seats are extremely comfortable and versatile. The second row slides forward and back and can be locked into multiple positions for varying amounts of legroom. The seats can also be reclined. A lot.

To access the 3rd row, you can either climb through the middle, or simply pull this handle, and the seats will fold and slide forward. The 3rd row can also recline a ton. I mean you can get a good nap in this car!

And if you’re not using the 3rd row, they can fold right down out of your way. With the “Split and Stow” function, the seats split and fold to be stowed underneath the floor panel. Now, they say it’s a super easy function, which it is…if you’re tall. I can do this pretty easily because I’m 5’11” and have long arms…some of you more petite moms (or dads) may find it a little bit more challenging. And I have to say, the first few times I tried it, it felt pretty awkward, but it does get easier and easier. And honestly, once I figured it out, I was tickled pink. Seriously, Toyota knows how to give you space and function!

When it comes to cargo space numbers, behind the third row is 39 cu ft of space, which is more than the trunks of some small sedans, and that amounts to a whopping 10 suitcases in our suitcase test. That’s impressive, considering that you can still seat 8 passengers! AND, if you’re using the Sienna just to haul, you will have 150 cu ft of space, which amounts to way more suitcases than we have on hand here today.

Finally, I do want to mention the engine. It’s a 3.5 L V6 that delivers 266hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. It’s no performance vehicle, but it’s not meant to be. It’s a minivan. It’s all about space, function and comfort. And it is a quiet, comfortable ride. But it does feel solid and capable. And easy to maneuver.

Toyota advertises this as the original “Swagger Wagon”, which amuses me to no end. “Swagger” may not be exactly what I have when I drive this car, but I certainly have all the convenience I need. The functionality of this car is amazing. For families, for people who have to haul a lot (musicians, realtors, “antique-ers”), for anyone with a disability using a wheelchair, I don’t know what other kind of vehicle would be as a convenient as this.

For what it is, the Sienna is awesome. My only complaint is the look of the dash, and that’s so minor I can overlook it. Overall, I give the Toyota Sienna a solid 5 out of 5 stars.

  • What I liked most: Function, function, function!
  • What I would change: Center-mounted controls look cheap
  • MSRP: Base price $28,600. As equipped $37,050.
  • Fuel Economy: 18 City/25 highway/21 combined
  • Weight: 4540 Pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height: 200.2” long/78.1” wide/70.7” High.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gallons
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 pounds
  • 2015 Sienna in a few words: Amazing space, comfort, and convenience
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain, plus Toyota Care no-cost maintenance 2-year/25,000 mile, and Roadside Assistance 2-year/unlimited
  • Car Pro Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
  • Dealers: We have great Toyota dealers in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Phoenix, Sacramento, and San Antonio.
  • Manufacturer’s website: Toyota

Photo Credit: Toyota
Copyright ©2017 Car Pro. All rights reserved.                                                      Team Access          Privacy          Terms of Service          Contact Us
or

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

or

Create Account