2018 Toyota Sienna Preview
Toyota’s minivan gets a fresh face
Standard Toyota Safety Sense technologies
Safety Connect subscription service is more widely available
New family of Entune infotainment systems
Android-based movie streaming to rear-seat entertainment system
Available top-down view park-assist camera
Steps taken to reduce interior noise while driving
New colors: Toasted Walnut Pearl, Parisian Night Pearl, Alumina Jade
Toyota’s aging Sienna minivan receives an update for the 2018 model year, the company hoping the changes will shore up interest in the family hauler in the face of more modern competitors such as the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Kia Sedona.
The 2018 Toyota Sienna will continue in L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited trim levels, with a Premium option package adding maximum luxury to the Sienna Limited. The Sienna remains the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive (AWD) as an option.
The most noticeable change to the 2018 Sienna is a revised nose incorporating a new grille and front bumper. It adopts the more aggressive themes seen on other recent Toyota model styling updates. Additionally, all Sienna minivans now have the racy-looking rocker panel extensions that have always been offered for the SE trim level.
Inside, the 2018 Sienna receives updated infotainment technologies, which are detailed in the sections below. Otherwise, the cabin remains the same as it has been since the Sienna’s last freshening for the 2015 model year.
By choosing the Sienna LE, Toyota’s minivan adds nicer trim, dark-tinted privacy glass, power-sliding side doors, easy-clean seat fabric, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, fixed center console between the front seats, manual window shades in the second- and third-row seats, and an infotainment system with Wi-Fi access and Safety Connect services.
The Sienna SE is the sporty version, equipped with unique design details and interior trim, as well as 19-in. aluminum wheels, sport-tuned suspension, power rear liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and more.
Sienna XLE versions have extra brightwork, fake wood trim in the cabin, unique 17-in. aluminum wheels, blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, power rear quarter vent windows, and hands-free keyless entry.
For luxury, look to the Sienna Limited. It has 18-in. multi-spoke wheels in a machined finish, extra chrome, fancier power-folding mirrors with puddle lighting, dual-panel sunroof, premium leather seating, 7-passenger capacity with second-row captain’s chairs, heated steering wheel, and the top infotainment system with premium sound, navigation, and more.
Under the Hood
In 2017, the Sienna received a new engine and transmission. It continues for 2018 and is a 3.5-liter V-6 with direct injection making an impressive 296 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, powering the front wheels. An AWD system is optional.
For 2018, the Sienna gets an infusion of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies as standard equipment. They’re grouped together in a Toyota Safety Sense package and include adaptive cruise control with full-speed-range operation, forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Separately, a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert is offered for most trim levels. This year Toyota also expands availability of its Safety Connect subscription service package, which includes automatic collision notification and other useful features. It is available for all trim levels except for the base Sienna L.
Toyota has not made any structural changes to the 2018 Sienna. That means it is likely to continue without earning a “Top Safety Pick” crash-test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
A new family of Entune infotainment systems debuts in the 2018 Sienna. Highlights of this next-generation version of the technology include a Scout connected navigation app in all vans that do not have an integrated navigation system, as well as an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection.
Toyota also installs a total of 5 USB ports within the 2018 Sienna, providing access for occupants sitting in all 3 rows of seats. The available integrated navigation system is improved, and the optional JBL premium sound system adds music-restoration technology and new “sound-stage” speakers.
With the Wi-Fi hotspot, parents can stream movies to the optional rear-seat entertainment system, provided they’re using an Android device. Also, a new top-down view park-assist camera makes it easier to maneuver the Sienna at the local mall or baseball field parking lot.