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3/4 Front Glamour 2012 Toyota Sienna

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Expert's Rating


MPG 18 City / 24 Highway
  • Engine produces smooth, seamless torque
  • Comfortable and roomy interior
  • Excellent reliability history
  • Handsome styling
  • Exceptional Navigation system
  • Many options only available as packages
, Automotive Editor -
Toyota's Sienna incorporates everything minivan shoppers want in a family vehicle. It's a large vehicle with a vast interior, flexible seating and loaded with safety features. On top of that, it has a smooth powertrain and the available security of all-wheel drive, a class-exclusive. For minivan buyers who live in areas with severe winters, this is the choice for you.


For 2013, all Siennas get the 3.5-liter V6 with 266 horsepower and a six-speed automatic. The four-cylinder has been dropped. The Sienna is rated to get up to 25 MPG on the highway, pretty reasonable for a seven-passenger vehicle. Base models and LE, XLE and Limited models equipped with optional all-wheel drive can seat up to 8 passengers, with LATCH child seat connectors in both second and third rows. Also standard across the board are full-length curtain airbags, front and side airbags for front seat occupants and a driver's knee airbag.

The base Sienna comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, power windows, locks and mirrors, three-zone air conditioning, SiriusXM satellite radio and a tilt- and-telescoping steering wheel. LE adds an 8-seat option, power sliding doors and privacy glass, as well as opening up the option of all-wheel drive and touchscreen navigation with Toyota's Entune system. XLE adds fog lights, power liftgate, leather seats and offers a DVD Rear Entertainment System. The SE is the sportiest Sienna, with a ground- effects kit, 19-inch alloy wheels and sports suspension. The Limited is the most luxurious, with JBL audio and second-row lounge chairs. All 2013 Siennas get ToyotaCare complementary maintenance.

Compare the best minivan models of the last year with our 2012 Minivan Buying Guide

The Honda Odyssey is the chief competitor to the Sienna. It also offers 8-seat capabilities on all but the base model and has a smooth V6. The Odyssey also offers features such as 5.1 surround audio and a refrigerated cubby to cool drinks. But no Odyssey is available with all-wheel drive and safety features like blind-spot monitoring are only available on the most expensive version. The Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan twins come with Stow 'n Go, the company's novel second and third-row seat folding system. These vans are also available with cross-path detection and two DVD screens. But no Chrysler Group minivan will seat eight people, the quality isn't quite as high as the Sienna and certain features drive the Town & Country's price high.

The Sienna remains one of, if not the, best choice for minivan shoppers. A wide variety of trim levels and available all-wheel drive mean it's a smart buy for most shoppers.

Which Style To Buy?

2012 Toyota Sienna
Starting price

2012 Toyota Sienna Base 7 Passenger

Recommended for: People looking for seats and space for a low price

The base trim Sienna comes with power windows, locks with remote keyless entry and mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels and seating for seven. It also comes with SiriusXM satellite radio, AUX input, a split-folding third-row seat, cruise control and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

2012 Toyota Sienna
Starting price

2012 Toyota Sienna LE 8 Passenger

Recommended for: Buyers who want all of the standard creature comforts in a modern minivan

The Sienna LE upgrades the standard minivan with popular features such as dual power sliding doors and heated outside mirrors. Privacy glass, roof rails and a chrome grille surround distinguish the LE. Inside, the LE gets easy-clean fabric seats for 2013, along with an 8-way power driver's seat and automatic climate control. The upgraded six-speaker audio system adds Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. A 3.5-inch information display on the dash shows the image from the standard backup camera, as well as trip computer information. Steering wheel controls are also standard, as is an overhead console with a conversation mirror and Homelink. A fixed console between the front seats is standard and adds two cupholders. A 6.1-inch touchscreen with navigation and Toyota's Entune infotainment system is optional, along with an anti-theft system, all-wheel drive and 8-passenger seating.

2012 Toyota Sienna
Starting price

2012 Toyota Sienna Limited 7 Passenger

Recommended for: For buyers who want every toy

For buyers looking for a minivan that rivals a luxury car in terms of equipment and technology, the Limited comes furnished with features such as auto-dimming outside mirrors that dip down when you select reverse. The Limited gets 18-inch alloy wheels as standard and a satin-finish grille. A premium JBL audio system is standard, as are two-tone seats and the blind-spot warning system. Second-row seats are two lounge chairs that incorporate footrests and slide back further than the standard captain's chairs. A keyless entry and start system is standard. The Limited Convenience Package gets HID headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. The Limited Advanced Technology Package includes radar-guided cruise control and a pre-collision warning system. The Limited Navigation Package includes a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with a Panorama Camera. The Limited Premium Package adds rear DVD Entertainment to the Navigation Package.

2012 Toyota Sienna
Starting price

2012 Toyota Sienna SE 8 Passenger

Recommended for: People who want to prove a minivan isn't just a car for soccer moms

The SE is the sportiest Sienna, trying to prove you don't have to lose all of your street cred by driving a minivan. The SE comes with front- wheel drive and eight seats. Outside, it rides on 19-inch alloy wheels and sports a ground-effects kit and mesh gray grille. This Sienna also has a sports-tuned suspension. Inside, the seats are covered in leatherette with fabric inserts and the instruments have white faces. A power moonroof and blind-spot warning system are optional, as is the DualView DVD Entertainment System. The Navigation with Entune Package includes Toyota's Entune and a 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system.

2012 Toyota Sienna
Starting price

2012 Toyota Sienna XLE 7 Passenger

Recommended for: Buyers who need the option of a DVD Rear Entertainment system

Moving to the XLE brings standard equipement like automatic headlamps, fog lights, power liftgate, power moonroof and leather seats with woodgrain trim and heated settings for front passengers. Eight-passenger seating is standard on front-wheel drive XLEs – opting for all-wheel drive limits seating to seven. The optional Entertainment Package adds a DVD screen with the ability to split the screen to show two different images. The XLE Premium Package includes the Entertainment Package, along with a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, rear parking sensors, Toyota's SafetyConnect telecommunications and keyless entry and start. Toyota's Entune system and blind-spot warning system are also options.

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