Toyota Highlander vs. Sienna

By

Automotive Content Editor

Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, Automotive Content Editor - March 28, 2024
2024 Toyota Sienna front three-quarter view

Midsize SUVs like the Toyota Highlander have usurped minivans as the go-to options for families. Consumers can't get enough of SUVs and automakers have made them bigger, more efficient, more comfortable, and safer than ever before. So, it’s not surprising to see the body style become a popular choice for families.

In the midsize class, the Highlander is a competitive option thanks to its available hybrid powertrain, upscale models, and standard tech features. Lower Highlander trims can seat up to eight people, while higher trims come fitted with second-row captain’s chairs for easier access to the third row, and seating for seven.

Toyota continues to offer a proper people carrier with the Sienna. The Sienna arrived as a fully redesigned minivan in 2021 and is more rugged than ever before. It’s available with all-wheel drive (AWD), has relatively high ground clearance for a minivan, and is available in a rugged Woodland Edition trim. The Sienna’s ruggedness makes it more comparable to midsize SUVs than ever before.

With the Sienna moving to be a rugged option, some shoppers will choose to cross-shop it against the Highlander. If you're trying to choose between the Highlander and Sienna, we can help you decide by briefly comparing these two vehicles in pricing, size, fuel economy, and cargo capacity.

Highlander vs. Sienna Price

2024 Toyota Sienna rear three-quarter view

The most affordable Toyota Sienna is the LE trim which costs $39,080, while the cheapest Toyota Highlander starts at $40,665. There’s only a $1,585 difference in price between the two models.

Comparing range-topping trims to one another reveals a more significant difference between the two. The most expensive Toyota Sienna costs $55,300 and the priciest Toyota Highlander starts at $53,070. For shoppers looking to get into a range-topping model, they can save $2,230 by going with the Highlander.

Discounts on the Toyota Highlander tend to be larger than the ones offered on the Toyota Sienna. Toyota Highlander deals are usually available on the mid-level XLE trim. Lease deals and rebates tend to be scarce for the Toyota Sienna.

Compared to its rivals, the Sienna is slightly more affordable than options like the Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey. In the midsize SUV segment, the Toyota Highlander is one of the pricier SUVs, costing more than the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Chevrolet Traverse, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, and Volkswagen Atlas.

Toyota Highlander vs. Sienna Dimensions

2024 Toyota Highlander Interior

While both the Toyota Highlander and Toyota Sienna offer seating for up to eight people, they do so in different ways. The Highlander is roughly nine inches shorter in length than the Sienna. Other than that, the two vehicles are similarly sized to one another. The Sienna measures 2023.7 inches long, 78.5 inches wide, and 68.5 inches tall. Compare this to the smaller Highlander which is 194.9 inches long, 76.0 inches wide, and 68.1 inches tall.

Because of its longer body, the Sienna offers more passenger volume than the Highlander. The Sienna has 20 more cubic feet of passenger space, which results in roughly 10 more inches of third-row legroom. Additionally, the minivan also has one extra inch of second-row legroom.

Toyota Sienna vs. Highlander Fuel Economy

2024 Toyota Highlander front three-quarter view

The Toyota Highlander is available with a hybrid powertrain, while the Sienna is only available with a hybrid engine. Both models share a similar hybrid powertrain that consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Where the two models differ is when it comes to the number of electric motors. The Sienna comes with two electric motors as standard, while the Highlander comes with one as standard and is available with two.

With the two vehicles sharing a similar hybrid powertrain, it’s not surprising to see both models have a similar fuel economy rating of 36 mpg combined. The Sienna pulls out a 1 mpg advantage over the Highlander Hybrid on the highway, but these two vehicles are evenly matched when it comes to fuel economy.

The non-hybrid Highlander comes with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. With front-wheel drive, the SUV can get up to 25 mpg combined.

Highlander vs. Sienna Cargo Space

2024 Toyota Sienna Interior

Minivans are known for being able to hold a lot of cargo capacity. While the Sienna doesn’t offer the same cargo capacity as its rivals because of its second-row seats that don’t fold flat and can’t be removed, it’s still roomier than the Highlander.

With the rear seats in place, the Sienna has 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the third row opens cargo capacity up to 75.2 cubic feet of space. In total, the Sienna offers up to 101 cubic feet of total cargo capacity.

The Highlander can’t keep up with the Sienna, offering just 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. With the third row folded, the Highlander has 48.4 cubic feet of space behind the second row and a total of 84.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats.

Highlander vs. Sienna: Which Is Better?

Consumers who want the high seating position of an SUV will find the Toyota Highlander to be the better choice. In every other category, the Toyota Sienna minivan is a better option. It has a roomier third row, is incredibly fuel efficient, and can hold more cargo. Plus, with available AWD and up to 6.9 inches of ground clearance, the Sienna can tackle light dirt trails and inclement weather nearly as well as the Highlander.

In this comparison, the best thing the Highlander has going for it is the fact that it’s not a minivan. But that’s exactly what lets it down in this comparison. The Highlander is more affordable than the Sienna, especially when you compare range-topping trims, is available with more powertrains, and has an extra inch of ground clearance, but these qualities aren’t enough to win against the Sienna.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Content Editor

Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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