$8,970 - $17,038

2012 Toyota Sienna Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Toyota Sienna was new.


Interior: 8.3

Toyota built a lot of goodies into the interior of the 2012 Sienna, and for the most part, reviewers like what they find. The list of kid-friendly options is long, cargo space is average for the class and the seats are comfortable. A few reviewers complain about some cheap-feeling materials, but most like the design.

  • "The Sienna's dashboard has been designed so both the driver and front passenger feel a majority of the space is theirs, Toyota says. Its swoopy lines convey separate spaces for both occupants, with large dials for major functions like temperature adjustment and stereo volume." -- Cars.com
  • "Modern without being annoying, spacious without feeling vast. The Sienna's insides offer a healthy dose of Toyota's buttery leather and soft-touch plastics." -- Jalopnik
  • "The quality of the Sienna's interior isn't as nice as we'd like, but what it lacks in materials quality it more than makes up for in design." -- Edmunds


The Sienna actually gets good reviews for its third-row seat, with a few reviewers even saying it’s comfortable for adults over long distances. The second- and first-row seats are also well-received. The only seat reviewers dislike is the optional eighth seat, which is collapsible and fits in between the two second-row captain’s chairs. Reviewers say it's hard, tight and not fit for anyone to sit in.

Otherwise, most reviewers say the Sienna's seats are comfortable. They especially like the second-row lounge chair feature. With it, the second-row seats recline and the footrests fold out, just like a recliner. Reclining the seats makes the third row unusable, but reviewers don't seem to think those relaxing in the second row will care.

  • "I found the front seats comfortable, with durable, high-rent fabric in the Sienna LE that I spent the most time in." -- Cars.com
  • "We positioned ourselves [in the third row] for a spell and have to say, this is where minivans shine. Compared to a third row in an SUV, we wouldn't have nearly as many reservations about riding back there on long trips. Heck, the seats even recline now and getting to that comfy bench is a whole lot easier thanks to the new second row Tip-Up and Long-Slide feature." --  Autoblog
  • "Eight-passenger versions of the Sienna come with a tiny "jump seat" that fits between the second-row seats. Uncomfortable, cramped, and perhaps only suitable for a child, the center seat is-thankfully-easily removed and stores in the wall of the cargo compartment." -- Car and Driver
  • "The new Sienna Limited offers second row ‘Lounge Seating’ that features rising ottomans for leg support when the two seats are reclined for comfort. Toyota should have struck a co-branding deal with La-Z-Boy." -- Popular Mechanics

Interior Features

The Toyota Sienna comes with the type of interior features you'd expect in a minivan. The base model comes with the basics: manual seats, air conditioning and a stereo, but it’s when you start adding options to the higher trims that reviewers get impressed. 

A favorite feature for most car reviewers is the 16.4-inch rear seat DVD screen. The screen can show one DVD in a widescreen format, or show two DVDs in a split-screen format. Either way, reviewers are impressed with the image and sound quality, and the dual-view mode's possibilities for ending sibling squabbles. Wireless headphones are an extra-cost option that families with young kids may want to spring for. 

However, while reviewers on the whole like the system, a few point out that each passenger can get a handheld DVD player or other media device, so opting for the Sienna's DVD system may not be worth it.

  • "The available rear-seat entertainment system can now play two DVDs at once, meaning less fighting over who watches what." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Let's face it: Most children are horrible, spastic beasts with five-second attention spans and the manners of a stoned rhinocerous. They need constant distraction, and if you're going to properly neglect your parenting duties, you need to bombard them with as much digital entertainment as possible. Enter the Sienna's available split rear video screen." -- Jalopnik
  • "As intriguing and tempting as these built-in, on-board entertainment options are, however, why get them at all? So much digital media is now available for handheld devices like iPods and PSPs that it's likely your kids are going to be bringing their own entertainment on board. It may well be that technology has made things like built-in DVD players obsolete." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Dual View is nifty, but I find Chrysler's dual-input screens more functional." -- Cars.com


Cargo space in the Sienna is about average for a minivan. There’s 150 total cubic feet of space, 87.1 cubic feet behind the second row and 39.1 cubic feet behind the third-row seat. Most in the class have one or two cubic feet of storage more or less than the Sienna. However, competitors like the Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town & Country have second-row seats that fold into the floor; on the Sienna you have to remove and store the second row seats to get maximum cargo space. The Dodge and Chrysler vans also have under-floor storage bins when the seats are up, which can be handy places to stow kids' gear. However, reviewers say that the Sienna's second-row seats are more comfortable than the collapsible ones in the Grand Caravan and the Town & Country.

  • "A 60/40 split third-row bench collapses easily into the floor and only requires one hand to fold or deploy." -- Car and Driver
  • "Second-row seats fold and slide all the way forward but still don't fold down into the floor. Removing and carrying them is not hard -- if you can find a place to stow them outside the vehicle, or course." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "As in all minivans and most crossovers, the Sienna's third row folds flat into the floor. It's easier to do than in the Odyssey - ironic, given Honda was one of the pioneers of stow-in-the-floor third rows; on the Sienna Limited, it powers down with the push of a button.” -- Cars.com

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