Being a minivan owner in today’s market takes a special type of person. Most consumers prefer SUVs and crossovers, possibly because these vehicles are seen as more versatile. In addition, there is always the stigma of using the same type of vehicle that your parents drove. However, people nowadays do not realize how much minivans have changed. Only the name remains the same.
What is the 2015 Toyota Sienna?
The Toyota Sienna is a 7- or 8-passenger van that, in the past, brought luxury to the minivan world, and now combines driving fun with practicality. Changes for 2015 have ensured that consumers can choose the level of luxury and handling they want along with all-wheel drive. There are eight models and several packages that cover a full spectrum of options.
Prices and Specifications for the 2015 Toyota Sienna
The Sienna utilizes a single powertrain consisting of a 266-horsepower, 3.5L V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission for all eight models. Under the new 5-cycle testing system, fuel economy for the Sienna in front-wheel drive configuration is 13.0/9.5/11.4L/100km (city/hwy/combined). With AWD, fuel economy ratings change to 14.4/10.2/12.5L/100km (city/hwy/combined).
There are five FWD models:
- Base Toyota Sienna $30,690;
- Toyota Sienna LE $33,790;
- Toyota Sienna LE 8-passenger FWD $33,950;
- Toyota Sienna SE 8-passenger $37,495;
- Toyota Sienna Limited 7-passenger $45,875.
- There are three AWD models:
- Toyota Sienna 7-passenger LE $36,775;
- Toyota Sienna 7-passenger XLE $41,380;
- Toyota Sienna Limited 7-passenger $48,700.
Driving the 2015 Toyota Sienna
With an elevated driving position comes the exaggerated feeling of body roll. Once drivers and passengers get used to this feeling, the Sienna turns out to be quite nimble. The biggest temptation when swaying around is to over-correct the steering making the move even more complicated. Actual cornering (such as going too fast on an on-ramp) will cause the front to slide out and the tires to howl in protest. All you have to do is slow down slightly and everything comes back to normal, although if you have passengers, you will hear about it for months.
Going fully loaded with kids or adults, in a straight line, is what the Sienna does best. With the variable seating arrangements and the optional entertainment systems in various models, as well as the comfortable seats in all rows, everyone wants to go on a road trip, even if it’s just to the mall.
Shopping means parking, and the Sienna comes with a backup camera so parallel parking is a bit easier and visibility from the driver’s seat is very good. Of course, the mall spaces are just a straight-in drive, but they tend to be a touch on the narrow side, so the (power) sliding doors make entry and exit from the rear seats very easy
A power rear liftgate also makes stowing your purchases an easy task. Your toughest chore will be deciding which seat to fold down if you went to the antique store instead of the supermarket. Your Sienna may not hold a sheet of plywood flat on the floor, but it will hold one line of your child’s hockey team and their hockey bags. The caveat is that you will have to work hard to make everything fit, and if one of them is a goalie, all bets are off!
Inside and Out of the 2015 Toyota Sienna
With so many trim levels and option groups, what you really need to know about the Sienna is that every seat in the vehicle is comfortable and adjustable. As you move up through the trim levels, you progress from cloth to leather to perforated, heated and cooled leather. Navigation systems, storage for music, contacts and such from your phone are added in. Bluetooth™ and power outlets front and rear are strategically placed. Up front, USB and entertainment device ports are available, but with Bluetooth™ nearly everything is done wirelessly.
Second- and third-row seats now have four child seat anchors between them, and for the older set a built-in entertainment system utilizing Bluetooth™ is available.
Safety never takes a back seat with Toyota and the Sienna is no exception. The STAR Safety System is standard in every Toyota, and in the Sienna includes roll-over protection in the form of full-length side curtain airbags, roll-over sensors, and a roll mitigation program to help prevent the problem in the first place
Comparing the 2015 Toyota Sienna
Minivan buyers normally restrict their cross-shopping to the Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey, Mazda5, and Kia Sedona. An AWD Sienna tends to be compared to SUV/CUV products such as the Buick Enclave, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.