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2022 Review of Toyota Sienna: Efficient Design With a Strong Engine

Image Source: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

The Toyota Sienna for 2022 is an admirable minivan worthy of consideration for any family. It is a spacious, family-centric minivan that competes with the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Kia Carnival. Equipped with its standard hybrid powertrain, the Sienna is an economical choice that may not be exceptionally quick but offers a comfortable ride, adequate seating, and the option for all-wheel drive.

This year, Toyota introduces a quasi-SUV variant called Woodland, which boasts a raised ride height and a unique Cement color also found on the Toyota Tacoma pickup. The Sienna comes in seven- or eight-passenger configurations, all sharing the same sleek, aerodynamic exterior design and a modern dashboard inside. The lineup includes the basic LE, the mainstream XLE, the sporty XSE, the plush Limited, and the luxurious Platinum trims, with the Wilderness trim sitting above the XLE. All-wheel drive can be added as an option on any trim.

The 2022 Sienna stands out as a stylish minivan. While minivans are not commonly associated with sleek design, the 2022 Sienna seeks to challenge that perception. This van maintains the recognizable profile of its predecessor but features more refined contours. From certain angles, it may appear overly stylized, but it is evident that Toyota aimed to give it a distinct look, drawing inspiration from bullet trains.

With the exception of the XSE model, which features unique bumper styling and larger wheels, all versions share similar design cues at the front. Depending on personal preference, one may opt for a more sporty look with the XSE or choose the relatively conservative XLE and Limited trims for their elegant details without being too flashy. The new Wilderness variant has a straightforward design, sitting on a raised suspension but retaining the same tire size as other, lower-riding models. It is available in two colors: a gray shade shared with the Tacoma pickup and black.

The driving experience in the 2022 Sienna is almost enjoyable, thanks to its well-balanced handling and comfortable ride, despite being slightly underpowered. Toyota offers all-wheel drive as an option on every Sienna version, with the Woodland trim coming standard with it. The all-wheel-drive system in the Sienna includes an additional electric motor mounted on the rear axle, although there is no physical linkage between the front and rear wheels. It is a simple yet effective setup, suitable for most driving conditions but not intended for serious off-road use.

Generating a net power of 245 hp from its refined 4-cylinder engine and electric motor, the Sienna may not be the fastest minivan available. However, most minivans offer sufficient acceleration nowadays, ensuring that the Sienna can keep pace with traffic effortlessly. The CVT transmission operates smoothly in the background, optimizing power delivery when necessary while conserving fuel efficiently. Incorporating the Plug-in powertrain from the RAV4 Prime could enhance the Sienna’s performance with an additional 55 horsepower.

Many versions of the Sienna offer a level of sophistication in terms of ride quality that surpasses its competitors. If the Sienna were branded as a Lexus, Toyota could potentially market it as two distinct models. The steering is weighted nicely, complementing the minimal body roll in corners to deliver sharp handling that outshines many SUV rivals. The braking performance of the Sienna is strong and easily modulated, a characteristic not commonly found in most Toyota hybrids.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna stands out as the most environmentally friendly non-plug minivan on the market. Relative to other minivans, the Sienna achieves an impressive EPA rating of 36 mpg across all driving conditions with front-wheel drive. Models equipped with all-wheel drive are nearly as fuel-efficient, achieving 35 mpg city, 36 highway, 35 combined. The closest rival is the Pacifica Hybrid, which achieves a combined rating of 30 mpg, albeit through a different approach. The Pacifica Hybrid offers 32 miles of electric-only range on a full charge.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna excels in crash tests and is equipped with a range of collision-avoidance technologies. Standard safety features include 10 airbags, LATCH child seat connectors on the outboard rear seats (with an additional one in eight-passenger versions), automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. The NHTSA gives the Sienna an overall five-star rating, although it receives a four-star rating for frontal-crash tests. The IIHS designates the 2022 Sienna as a Top Safety Pick+.

Inside the Sienna, there is a low dashboard and a standard center console with ample small-item storage compartments. The addition of faux wood accents provides a warm ambience to the interior. Higher-end Platinum trims offer more upholstery choices and trim options. While not as spacious and well-thought-out as the Pacifica, the Sienna features comfortable seats, particularly in the second row, which slides easily forward and backward.

The interior of the 2022 Toyota Sienna is well-organized, although competitors offer some additional advancements. Available in seven- or eight-passenger configurations, the Sienna boasts a versatile interior design with practical storage solutions for small items. However, it may fall short in terms of cargo space and third-row seating compared to some competing models.

The front seats of the Sienna provide excellent comfort for extended periods, with optional heating (excluding the base trim) and available cooling features. While visibility is adequate in the forward direction, it is compromised slightly when looking rearward due to large roof pillars and small rear windows.

On select trims, the rear sliding doors can be opened with a foot gesture under the body, revealing a convenient low entry height and a set of captain’s chairs. In eight-passenger configurations, an additional seat placed between modified captain’s chairs may prove uncomfortable. Nevertheless, the outboard seats are well-cushioned and have the flexibility to slide back and forth on a 25-inch rail, providing more legroom or cargo space, as well as facilitating relatively easy access to the third row.

The third row offers decent legroom but features a flat bench and small rear windows, which may feel confining to individuals with claustrophobia. While the third-row seats can be folded into the cargo floor, the manual folding mechanism (unlike some competitors that offer power folding) may require some practice. The second-row seats can slide forward significantly to create additional cargo space, but they are not removable—a notable drawback. Although a 4×8 sheet of plywood can be balanced on the folded second-row seats, this cannot be achieved as easily as in competing models like the Pacifica and Odyssey.

Headroom is satisfactory without the moonroof, but models equipped with this feature, along with the rear-seat entertainment system, may feel cramped in the rear cabin. Small-item storage options are plentiful, particularly in the front area. Second-row passengers may need to search a bit more to locate suitable spots for holding beverages and other items. While the materials used offer a visually appealing cabin, there is a slight discrepancy between appearance and tactile feel. Overall, the Sienna presents a durable, easy-to-maintain interior suitable for a family vehicle.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna is well-appointed across its range, although it tends to be slightly pricier than its rivals. With a good set of standard features and a user-friendly infotainment system, the base Sienna LE may suffice for most families, offering power sliding doors, a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and a range of safety features. Priced around $36,000, it represents a competitive value proposition.

Moving up to the XLE trim, one receives synthetic leather upholstery, a sunroof (which may impact headroom), and an increased price tag of approximately $41,000. The Limited trim introduces leather seats with front cooling, along with navigation, JBL audio, and a useful intercom system projecting the driver’s voice to the third row—all for a reasonable price of $48,000. The Platinum trim can top out near $55,000, although the level of luxury does not necessarily align with the premium price point.

Remaining one of the top choices in its segment, the 2022 Toyota Sienna distinguishes itself by offering a standard hybrid powertrain, optional all-wheel drive, and a ride quality reminiscent of a luxury sedan. Its thoughtful features, combined with high safety ratings, solidify its position as the finest Sienna ever produced by Toyota.

Image Source: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

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