$20,910 - $29,609

2017 Toyota Sienna Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Toyota Sienna was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2017 Toyota Sienna offers a comfortable ride with surprising power for a minivan. The new eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and its brakes are strong. It has composed handling and good suspension. Responsive steering makes for a controlled ride. However, the ride is rough with the sport-tuned SE trim, and the engine can get noisy when pushed hard. The Sienna is the only minivan that offers all-wheel drive.

  • “The Sienna has always felt surprisingly potent and even, yes, relatively sporty to drive for a minivan." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The standard Sienna's suspension is soft and accommodating, successfully filtering out impact harshness even for rear occupants. This is a large minivan, so it's not exactly nimble, but the light steering and good visibility make it more pleasant to drive than most vehicles its size." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "The loaded all-wheel drive Limited model we tested on the Sienna press preview event delivered ample acceleration, a comfortable ride, and predictable handling." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Toyota Sienna comes with a new 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 296 horsepower, an increase of 30 horses from the 2016 model. An eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the six-speed automatic of previous models and works smoothly. The Sienna gets 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which are typical numbers for a minivan.

The V6 engine may have more power, but it can get loud when it's pushed hard due to the heavy weight of the vehicle. The Sienna has energetic acceleration around town and can hold its own on the highway. The SE model feels relatively sporty with improved driver feedback. However, the SE's suspension is more rigid, which can increase road noise.

  • “We've long been impressed by the Sienna's V6 engine and how it delivers lively acceleration around town or getting up to cruising speed on the highway. The V6's upgrades for 2017 bring a healthy increase in performance along with mildly improved fuel mileage." -- Edmunds
  • "Of course, no one expects you to be drag-racing this minivan, but the standard 296 horsepower Toyota's van now packs helps in real-life driving situations like passing that slow-moving truck or quickly accelerating up that notoriously short freeway onramp." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Sienna's V-6 and six-speed automatic have delivered praiseworthy power over the years, lending it class-leading acceleration." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

The 2017 Sienna has proficient handling and accurate steering on all models, which make for a comfortable ride. The SE model’s sport-tuned suspension is firm and has superior handling over bumps, turns, and windy roads. However, it does give way to more road noise inside the cabin.

Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. The Sienna offers all-wheel drive, which can be helpful in snowy or icy conditions. However, some critics don't notice much, if any, improvement in handling between the front-wheel drive and AWD systems. Off-the-line acceleration is the most notable improvement with AWD. Some reviewers also claim that the ride is harsher due to the run-flat tires that come with AWD models.

  • All trim levels offer competent handling that most passengers will find agreeable. Still, the SE's firmer suspension (a relative term) provides more confidence around turns and greater body control over big bumps and undulations without giving up an appreciable amount of comfort. The marginally heavier steering is also more natural than the slightly numb feel on other trim levels. If you're accustomed to driving a car, the SE should make the switch to a minivan a bit easier." -- Edmunds
  • In general the Sienna is a quiet highway cruiser that's manageable to maneuver in the city. If you're looking for a sportier experience, try the Sienna SE, which comes with a sport-tuned suspension and larger, 19-inch wheels. These features improve handling, but the flip side is a harsher ride and added road noise inside the cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The SE model deserves special mention for its sport-tuned suspension, which actually changes the character of the van for the better in our opinion. It makes the Sienna feel more hunkered down and in control without compromising the ride quality much, if at all. We think Toyota could simply make this the standard suspension without ruffling any feathers." -- Autotrader (2016)

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