FIRST DRIVE: 2015 Toyota Sienna
The swagger wagon lives up to its ridiculous name.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: October 31st, 2014
Stepping out of the 2015 Camry, my driving partner and I made our way to the 2015 Toyota Sienna.
"You can drive first," I said. "I'm not really into minivans."
I was immediately called out by a Toyota employee. "You're not into them?" He asked.
"Well, not yet," I said. "But I'm working on it."
And it's true.
On my initial walk-around of the 2015 Toyota Sienna I was extremely impressed with the dark chestnut-brown leather interior on the Limited grade with an enormous 16-inch drop-down video monitor and the large amount of legroom. Toyota has turned what was once deemed only for soccer moms into a rolling man cave complete with premium sound and Blueray (should you spring for it).
The "swagger wagon" certainly has some serious swagger now.
The outside of the Sienna is what you've come to expect from a minivan although it's a vast improvement over the previous generations. The LE, XLE, and Limited grades sport an updated grille. The SE and Limited also have a new headlamp design that flows nicely with the drooping grille. The new taillight design flares to give the rear end a little visual pop. The SE I tested also rocked some 19-inch alloy wheels, which looked surprisingly small.
The Sienna is sleek with almost no hard lines. But keep in mind, it's still a minivan.
With the Sienna, it's all about what's on the inside.
The soft touch materials on the wrapped dash and glove box are awesome. The new instrument panel design has a blue backlighting that looks great (way better than white). The chrome and satin accents around the inside made you forget you're actually in a vehicle designed for carpools.
There is more than enough legroom for you and your six children, or friends. The second-row reclining seats are easy to fall asleep in while watching the 16-inch drop-down video screen that has a split-screen mode to accommodate multiple video sources (on the available premium entertainment package).
Our Sienna SE was complete with Blueray and a fancy new feature called Driver Speak, which broadcasts the driver's voice to the rear of the van so the driver won't have to shout (presumably at unruly children).
I wasn't a huge fan of Toyota's Entune 7-inch touch-screen navigation system. Although the piano-black finish looked good, it was a bit tricky to use on the fly when trying to navigate unfamiliar roads.
The Limited version also has optional dual moon roofs. Who doesn't want that
If you want to complete the man-cave experience, opt for Toyota's Entune Premium JBL audio system.
On the Road
The 2015 Toyota Sienna SE handled well given its heft. The sport-tuned suspension kept the rolling to a minimum. There was enough pick-up from the 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine. Toyota added 20 percent more carpet insulation to cut down on road noise, which is definitely noticeable when cruising down the causeway.
If you need to tow anything, the L and LE all-wheel-drive are both rated at 3,500 pounds but who knows what'll happen to that combined 19-21 mpg.
Specs & Prices
Engine: 3.5-Liter 6-Cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Horse Power: 266 horsepower
Base Price: $28,000
Price as tested: Varied
MPG: 18 city/ 25 highway
Optional Equipment: Plenty of features to choose from. Available grades are L, LE, LE AWD, SE, XLE, Premium, and Limited. Multiple entertainment and audio systems and trim packages.
The 2015 Toyota Sienna is everything a minivan should have been from the start. It isn't overly sporty, but what do you expect? The higher grades are chalk-full of whatever amenities a family could want. You won't find a better road-trip vehicle once it's been outfitted with the entertainment system and JBL sound system.
The van handles well, is responsive, and makes for an overall confident driving experience.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 Toyota Sienna, click here: 2015 Toyota Sienna.