Almost 300 HP Of Family Power in Updated 2018 Toyota Sienna


The Toyota Sienna was introduced to replace the first-generation Previa in 1997, despite getting a little staid and long-in-the-tooth, it sells well, although numbers have been dropping off over the last couple of years. Toyota will be giving the new 2018 Sienna some serious work to make it more attractive than the competition.

Let’s be honest… minivans aren’t pretty – the aerodynamics of a brick, the styling to match… owning a minivan is more about a need than a want, but having said that, the market is buoyant – both Chrysler and Honda will be bringing new models to market in the form of the Pacifica and Odyssey. Toyota are trying to make their Sienna just that little bit better than the competition.

Exterior Styling


1. Exterior Styling
2. 296 HP – Yes Please
3. Plenty of Equipment
4. The Financials
5. Other Updates

On the outside, we will see a few updates, including some new colors – these include Toasted Walnut Pearl, Parisian Night Pearl and Alumina Jade Metallic. No, we don’t know who thinks up these names either.

Also, all Sienna models will now have the ‘sporty’ flared sills as standard (only available previously on the SE model), in a bid to make the Sienna look … less dull is probably the best way to describe it.

Well also see updated bumpers and larger, reshaped front grille opening with different headlights – that will be about it for the styling, but as we’ve already said – minivans don’t tend to get style or styling updates – they’re made to look acceptable.

Look at the 2018 Toyota Camry new design

296 BHP – Yes Please

Under the hood, we’ll get the same 3.5 liter V6 as the predecessor, meaning 296 BHP and 263 lb/ft of torque – the engine was updated for the 2017 Model Year and was about 10% more fuel-efficient over the existing V6. The engine is coupled up to an 8-speed auto transmission and drives the front wheels as standard, although there is an all-wheel drive option – the Sienna is the only vehicle in this segment to offer an all-wheel version.

There is no talk of any other engine choices, but maybe later in the production cycle, we’ll see a hybrid? That would make perfect sense for this segment – and it’s not like the Sienna doesn’t have the room to accommodate it.

Plenty of Equipment in 2018 Toyota Sienna

Perhaps the biggest thing about the new Sienna minivan is the equipment offered as standard – it’s quite an impressive list.

Toyota have fitted the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS-P) as standard on all Sienna minivans, this includes: pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering guidance, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam headlights.

Next up as standard equipment is the Toyota Entune 3.0 multimedia interface (although this does come in three different levels). On the base L model is the standard Entune 3.0 which includes an app based navigation system, the LE, SE and XLE get the Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 5 devices to the on-board 4G LTE Wi-Fi and the Limited trim gets the Entune 3.0 Premium which gets an upgraded stereo and in-dash navigation.

Optional equipment includes a surround-view system and on the Limited with the premium package, you can also get rear seat entertainment systems that are capable of streaming from an Android device – it all sounds very high-tech and very well-equipped.

The Financials

Toyota have even fitted acoustic side glass to the top-of-the-range flagship Limited to improve the NVH characteristics. With prices starting around $31,000 (the current range starts at $30,710) the Sienna minivan seems great value-for-money. Having said that, it’s doubtful that you’ll get much change from $50,000 for the flagship and that’s a lot of money for a funked-up minivan.

The interior will get some attention too – after all, that’s where you’ll be spending most of your time! On the whole, the interior will feel more-roomier, although in actual fact, the size inside hasn’t changed, but it has benefitted from a redesign with better ergonomics – giving the impression of more space – it’s a neat trick if you can pull it off.

The trim materials will also be upgraded – more soft-touch plastics, and depending on trim level, higher-grade leather or wooden accents – the cabin is nice place to be, and thanks to the overall styling, it feels comfortable and well-thought out. Toyota are going all-in to make the Sienna better than the competition.

Other Updates of the Toyota Sienna 2018

No word has come from Toyota regarding any mechanical updates or redesigns, we don’t think that Toyota will be upgrading much else, it’s more about a redesign and update rather than full-on brand new vehicle. It’s definitely more than a face-lift but not quite a full model refresh.

But with sales numbers good, Toyota aren’t being forced to pull-out all the stops to make it that much better – maybe they are saving a full-on update for the 2019 Model Year – Toyota are remaining tight-lipped on this.

So far, the only information that Toyota have officially released is that the production run should start around October of this year – 2017, with a full dealership roll-out possibly a month later – the 2018 Sienna will definitely arrive in the showroom before 2018, but not by much.

The price won’t rise much from this year’s model, we doubt that it will break through the $31,000 barrier, although we do expect a small increase – if nothing else, think of all that technology fitted.

What do you think of the new 2018 Toyota Sienna? Are you a fan of minivans, or do you see them as a necessary evil? Let us know in the comments – your opinion is important to us.

Also read about the 2017 Chrysler Town and Country
Editor's rating
4.4 overall
  • Safety4.5
  • Performance4.5
  • Design4.3
  • Features4.4
  • Fuel economy4.5

Despite outdated look, the recent powerplant and transmission update will breathe a new life for Sienna, make it a proper van to buy for the next couple of years.

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