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Toyota Sienna 2022 Review: Efficient Style With A Powerful Engine

Image Source: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

The 2022 Toyota Sienna is an impressive minivan worthy of a place on any family’s shopping list. The Sienna is a spacious, family-oriented minivan that competes against the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Kia Carnival. With its standard hybrid powertrain, the Sienna is a frugal, if not exactly fast, choice with a plush ride, decent seats, and the flexibility of optional all-wheel drive.

This year, Toyota adds a quasi-SUV trim called Woodland that features a raised ride height and an exclusive Cement color shared with the brand’s Tacoma pickup. The Sienna comes in seven- or eight-passenger variants, all of which share the same sharp, windswept styling outside and a car-style dashboard inside. The lineup ranges from basic LE to mainstream XLE, vaguely sporty XSE, somewhat plush Limited, and fairly decadent Platinum trims, with the Wilderness perched above the XLE. All-wheel drive is optional across the range.

The 2022 Sienna is a stylish, standout minivan. Minivans aren’t known for their sexy lines, but the 2022 Sienna aims to change that. This van retains the familiar profile of its predecessor, but features more sculpted lines. It may appear overstyled from some angles, but at least it’s clear Toyota tried to make it unique. In fact, Toyota used bullet-trains as its styling inspiration which we can easily see.

All versions except the XSE share most styling cues up front; that sporty model has its own bumper treatment and larger wheels. If the look is for you, go for it; we prefer the comparatively conservative XLE and Limited for their nice balance of smart details that don’t go over the top. This year’s new Wilderness is simple enough: it rides on a raised suspension, though its tires are the same size fitted to other, low-riding models. It also comes in just two colors: a gray shade shared with the Tacoma pickup and black.

The 2022 Sienna is almost fun to drive thanks to balanced handling and a supple ride, though it can be a little slow. Toyota offers all-wheel drive on every version of the Sienna, though it’s standard on the Woodland. The Sienna’s all-wheel-drive system consists of a second electric motor mounted on the rear axle, though there’s no physical drive connection from front to rear. Simple, effective, and not exactly off-road-ready.

With 245 hp net from its well-muffled 4-cylinder and electric motor, the Sienna is the slowest minivan on the market. Still, all vans are pretty peppy these days, so the Sienna rarely struggles to keep up with traffic. The CVT largely works in the background to keep the engine in its powerband when needed and well away from it to save fuel otherwise. We would love to see the Plug-in powertrain from the RAV4 Prime offered, at least for the additional 55-ish horsepower.

Most versions ride with a level of sophistication not matched by rivals; slap a Lexus badge on the Sienna and Toyota could sell two versions. Similarly, the van’s steering has a nice heft, which works well with limited body lean in corners to deliver crisp handling that bests any competitive SUV. The Sienna’s brakes are strong and easily modulated, too. That’s something we can’t say about most Toyota hybrids.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna is by far the greenest minivan without a plug on the market. By minivan standards, yes it is. The EPA rates the Sienna at 36 mpg in any driving condition with front-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive models are nearly as impressive at 35 mpg city, 36 highway, 35 combined. The only van to come close is the Pacifica Hybrid, though it gets to its 30 mpg combined rating a bit differently. The Pacifica Hybrid delivers 32 miles of electric-only range on a full charge.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna boasts excellent crash-test scores and lots of collision-avoidance tech. All versions come with 10 airbags, LATCH child seat connectors in outboard rear seats (plus a fifth one in eight-passenger versions), and a host of crash-avoidance features including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. The NHTSA rates the Sienna at five stars overall, albeit with a four-star frontal-crash score. The IIHS says the 2022 Sienna is a Top Safety Pick+.

Inside, the Sienna has a low dash and a standard center console with plenty of small-item storage bins. A smattering of fake wood trim gives a warm look inside. Platinum versions pile on more upholstery and trim hues. The Sienna isn’t quite as spacious and thoughtfully laid-out as the Pacifica, but its seats are comfortable, especially in row two, where dual thrones slide fore and aft with ease.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna has a well laid-out interior, though competitors inch forward in a few ways. Available in seven- and eight-passenger configurations, the 2022 Toyota Sienna has a flexible interior with a pleasing design and good use of small-item space. It’s not quite as impressive for cargo or third-row seating as some competitors, though.

The front seats are the best in the house, with good all-day comfort, heating on all but the base version, and optional cooling. Outward vision is good forward, less so rearward due to enormous roof pillars and small back windows.

The rear sliding doors can open with the kick of a foot under the body on some trims, revealing a low step-in height and a pair of captain’s chairs. Eight-passenger versions have an extra seat between modified captain’s chairs that, frankly, isn’t very comfortable. At least the outboard seats are well-padded, and they can slide forward and backward on a 25-inch rail to open up more leg or cargo space, as well as to facilitate relatively easy third-row access.

Row three has good leg room, but the bench is flat and the tiny rear windows will leave claustrophobic types itching to arrive at their destination. The third row folds into the cargo floor, though its manual mechanism (not power, unlike some competitors) can take some time to master. The middle seats slide way forward to create decent cargo room, but can’t be removed, a big miss in our opinion. A 4×8 sheet of plywood can be balanced on the folded second-row seats, but not on the ground as in Pacifica and Odyssey competitors.

Head room is fine without the moonroof, but versions with that option as well as the rear-seat entertainment system can feel cramped in the rear. Small-item storage is good, especially up front. Second-row riders will have to look a little harder to find places to stash drinks and other items. Materials look better than they feel for the most part, but overall the Sienna has the durable, easy-clean cabin we like to see in a family car.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna is well-equipped in any form, though it’s generally more expensive than rivals. Its standard feature set is good and so is its infotainment. The base Sienna LE is probably good enough for most families thanks to its power sliding doors, its 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and all of its crash-avoidance gear. At $36,000 or so, it’s a deal—and that scores it one more additional point.

The XLE swaps cloth for easy-scrub synthetic leather, though it also includes a sunroof that can rob some head room. Toyota wants around $41,000 for a base XLE, which starts to get a little pricey. With the Limited, Toyota swaps in leather seats that are cooled up front, plus a navigation system, JBL speakers, and a useful intercom that projects the driver’s voice to the third row.. For a semi-plush model, it’s priced decently at $48,000. The Platinum can top out around $55,000, but it definitely doesn’t feel as luxurious as that price tag suggests.

The 2022 Toyota Sienna remains one of our top choices in the minivan class by taking a slightly different approach. A standard hybrid powertrain, optional all-wheel drive, and luxury sedan ride and handling all contribute to its leading position. Thoughtful features and impressive safety scores solidify that this is the best Sienna Toyota has ever made.

Image Source: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

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