2010 Toyota Sienna Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 31, 2010

Pros

  • The Camry of minivans
  • Most of the comforts of home
  • Good acceleration

Cons

  • Needs the expected 2011 redesign to stay cutting-edge
  • Top-line versions are pretty pricey
  • Removing the second-row seats requires muscle

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2010 Toyota Sienna Buying Advice

The 2010 Toyota Sienna is the best car for you if you recognize the advantages of a minivan and are self-assured enough to drive one.

The Toyota Sienna won’t be all-new for model-year 2010. Those rumors were off by a year: Toyota has extended the life of this second-generation Sienna through model-year 2010. The redesigned version is due as a 2011 model and could launch as early as January 2010.

Should you buy a 2010 Toyota Sienna or wait for the 2011 Toyota Sienna? Radical change isn’t part of any manufacturer’s minivan plan, so expect the 2011 Sienna to reprise the basic layout and general look that’s served this Sienna generation well since 2004. That said, minvans lead hard lives at the hands (and feet, elbows, knees, and sometimes paws) of their young occupants. Timing of a minivan purchase seldom hinges on the latest fashion or gizmos. It’s based on life-stage and vehicle attrition. If your minivan’s in good shape, wait for the 2011 Toyota Sienna. If it’s worn and frayed, buy a 2010 Sienna. This Toyota is still a solid example of the breed, and great deals should materialize as dealers clear inventory in advance of the redesigned 2011.

2010 Toyota Sienna Changes back to top

Styling: Carryover styling inside and out is the rule for 2010. An elongated form without sharp edges, Sienna’s shape seems inspired by a hot-dog bun – apt, given this minivan’s friendly nature. Size wise, the 2010 Toyota Sienna is a nice combination of generous wheelbase and relatively short body. Indeed, its wheelbase -- the distance between the front and rear axles – is among the longest in the minivan class. And its overall body length is among the briefest. That maximizes interior space without saddling Sienna with excess sheetmetal. Look closely to distinguish Sienna’s four trim levels. The 2010 Toyota Sienna CE is the base model and it comes with 16-inch tires, wheel covers, and no roof rack. The 2010 Toyota Sienna LE adds roof rails and darkened rear privacy glass. The 2010 Toyota Sienna XLE has 17-inch alloy wheels. The top-of-the-line XLE Limited has a sunroof, fog lamps, and outside mirrors with turn-signal repeaters. Additional details follow in the “2010 Toyota Sienna Prices” section of this review.

Mechanical: Every 2010 Sienna uses Toyota’s 265-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, a strong engine that’s done yeoman duty in this minivan since model-year 2007. It remains hooked to a five-speed automatic transmission. Sienna’s default drivetrain is front-wheel drive, which places the engine’s weight over the tires it’s powering. This enhances traction in snow and makes possible compact component packaging that maximizes interior space. The 2010 Toyota Sienna is again the only minivan in the U.S. to also offer all-wheel drive (AWD). In normal driving, this system maintains front-wheel drive. It automatically apportions power to the rear tires when the fronts begin to slip. AWD is available on all Sienna trim levels except the CE. Its role of course is not off-roading but furnishing an extra dimension of traction on wet or snowy roads and on gravely surfaces. It’s also an aid on slimy boat ramps. Sienna can in fact pull trailers weighing up to 3,500 pounds when equipped with the towing package, an option reasonably priced at under $250. Siennas come with an antilock four-wheel disc brake system that applies full stopping power in emergencies even if the driver doesn’t fully depress the brake pedal. Included as well is an antiskid system. Also known as electronic stability control, this combats sideways slides that can contribute to rollovers. It does this by applying individual brakes and modulating engine power.

Features: True to the minivan code, Sienna’s focus is on seating and technology. In fact, this Toyota and its arch-rival Honda Odyssey are the only minivans with seats for eight passengers. Eight-passenger capacity is available on 2010 Sienna CE and LE models courtesy of a pair of front bucket seats and second- and third-row benches wide enough to seat three. Otherwise, Sienna uses two second-row bucket seats for seven-passenger capacity. Buckets or bench, Sienna’s second-row seating folds and flips forward to expand cargo room. The second-row seats can’t be stowed beneath the floor but can be removed. Sienna’s third-row seat does drop into the floor to create a flat rear load surface. Exclusive to front-drive Limited models is a power mechanism that folds the third row at the touch of a button. As for technology, mixing and matching models and options makes possible an array of comforts and conveniences. These include leather upholstery, rearview camera, obstacle detection, Bluetooth phone link, radar cruise control, and 115-volt power outlets. A navigation system is available, as is rear-seat DVD entertainment and upgraded audio. All Siennas come with an auxiliary jack for iPods and other MP3 devices. USB connectivity isn’t available. Every 2010 Toyota Sienna has front torso-protecting side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags that cover all three seating rows. The curtain bags are designed to deploy in side collisions and when sensors detect an impending rollover.

2010 Toyota Sienna Test Drive back to top

From behind the wheel:  Minivan owners realize they’re not so much drivers as transportation coordinators. The true measure of minivan speed isn’t 0-60 mph but how rapidly you can load the brood at gymnastics practice and unload it at Chuck E. Cheese.

Certainly, there are instances in which sheer acceleration is an asset and in those cases, Sienna won’t let you down. It delivers smooth thrust off the line and rapid enough response to merge easily onto a freeway or overtake slower traffic. If you’re wondering, the 2010 Toyota Sienna can go from a dead stop to 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds. That’s on par with most V-6 crossover SUVs that seat just five and have far less cargo space than this minivan.

The Honda Odyssey is the only minivan with handling that might be considered entertaining. But the Sienna corners with confidence once you come to terms with steering that’s a touch too light and a tad too dull. Noseplow is evident as cornering speeds increase, but like body lean, it’s more a reminder to slow down than a hindrance to going faster. Vitally for a minivan, straight-line stability is good: Sienna easily swallows long stretches of Interstate and has fine crosswind resistance. AWD represents just a fraction of Sienna sales, but it makes this Toyota a palatable alternative for buyers who might otherwise purchase an SUV.

Dashboard and controls:  Main instruments are unobstructed and marked with exceptional clarity. Controls for the power mirrors are a little low and to the left of the steering wheel, but most other buttons and switches are in the center of the dashboard. This invites the front passenger to participate in adjustment of the climate, audio, and navigation systems, but it also puts a few controls out of the driver’s easy reach. In contrast, the gearshift lever sprouts from the base of the dashboard, near the driver’s right knee, a handy location that frees up valuable storage space.

The tri-zone climate system in the XLE and Limited is a convenience, though its settings display in pale blue on a shiny black panel and are difficult to decipher in certain light conditions or through polarized sunglasses. Sienna’s navigation screen is near eye-level, but the driver still must look well to the right to read it. And by assuming control of numerous audio functions, the system requires several steps to make adjustments you haven’t preset. Sienna buyers must order the nav system to get the useful rearview camera. Some rivals’ newer and less-expensive setups can project a rear view on a small section of the inside mirror.

Stretches of nicely grained, conservatively colored plastic and vinyl joined with minimal cut lines imparts a sense of orderly calm to Sienna’s cabin. Anything that promotes serenity in a minivan is welcome, and most of the materials feel sturdy enough to survive years of knees, feet, and paws. Still, Siennas we’ve tested have suffered a creaking trim piece or two and the occasional rattle from a seat mount.

Room, comfort, and utility:  First- and second-row accommodations are spacious and generously cushioned. Take advantage of the second-row’s ability to slide aft a few inches if you want good leg room for adults in those seats. The second-row buckets anchor adjacent to each another to form a mini-bench seat or mount apart to create a center aisle. The third row is the least-spacious seat in the Sienna. And its cushion is too thin and hard for best comfort.

Most critics rubber-stamp the notion that the Sienna’s ride quality is always pillow-soft. It isn’t. Sharp ridges can ripple through the structure, and potholes register with a solid thump -- particularly to those in the third-row seat. The ride is really no worse than in most minivans, and is certainly no deal-breaker. But it does counter the perception that this is yet another Toyota with a super-absorbent suspension. 

Sienna’s third-row bench is divided 60/40 and its sections can drop into a full-width floor well at the rear of the van. With all seats in place, the well is deep enough to hold bundles of luggage, making Sienna a viable hauler even with eight aboard. By contrast, Sienna’s second row seats merely tumble forward, and removing them is tough. The buckets weigh about 60 pounds apiece. The bench is heavier still so removing it is a two-person job. We’re fond of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan “Stow ’n Go” second-row buckets that accordion neatly into the floor. They aren’t as thickly padded as they might be, but you don’t have to leave them behind if you want maximum cargo space. Sienna scores well for small-items storage, supplementing various bins and nooks with 10 cupholders, four bottle holders, three power outlets, and 11 grocery bag hooks.

2010 Toyota Sienna Prices back to top

Base prices for the 2010 Toyota Sienna are unchanged from model-year 2009, though Toyota’s mandated factory destination fee increases by $55, to $800. All prices listed in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee. Toyotas in several Southeastern and Gulf states are delivered by independent distributors and may carry different destination fees.

The 2010 Toyota Sienna CE starts at $25,340 with seats for seven and at $25,490 with seating for eight. Standard equipment includes such family-friendly basics as a separate rear air conditioning system with its own controls. Power mirrors, locks, and front windows, remote keyless entry, and a tilt/telescope steering wheel are also standard on the Sienna CE.

The 2010 Sienna LE starts at $26,865 with seven-passenger seating and at $27,015 with eight-passenger seating. To the CE’s standard equipment the LE adds cruise control and heated mirrors, a six-disc CD changer and steering wheel audio controls. The windows in its sliding side doors power up and down, and the rearmost side glass powers open a few inches for ventilation.

The 2010 Sienna LE with all-wheel drive is priced at $30,035 and substitutes 17-inch alloy wheels for the front-drive LE’s 16-inch steel wheels. AWD Siennas are available only with seven-passenger seating and use run-flat tires designed to remain inflated after a tread puncture long enough to get you to a service center. As a weight-saving measure, Toyota doesn’t supply a spare tire on AWD Siennas, though you can purchase one on your own. AWD Siennas also come with an electric windshield-wiper deicer.

The 2010 Toyota Sienna XLE begins at $30,525 with front-drive, $33,285 with AWD. It adds power operation for both sliding side doors and for the liftgate. Tri-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, rear audio controls, and a removable front center console are also included.

The 2010 Sienna Limited is priced from $36,465 with front-drive, $38,665 with AWD. Leather upholstery, heated front seats with driver-seat memory, and second- and third-row sunshades are among its standard equipment. So are a power sunroof, power folding heated mirrors, and Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity. Sienna Limiteds also have front and rear parking assist and Toyota’s Dynamic Laser Cruise control, which can maintain a set following distance from traffic ahead.

Among 2010 Toyota Sienna options, a navigation system is available on XLE and Limited models, and rear DVD entertainment is offered on all but the CE. A smart buy for the 2010 Sienna is the Extra Value Package 2, which equips the LE model with such useful features as dual power sliding side doors and an eight-way power driver’s seat for around $425, or around $600 with AWD.

Families ought to consider equipping a Sienna LE with the Extra Value Package 3. It sounds steep at around $4,300, but includes all the stuff in the Value pack 2, plus DVD entertainment, the JBL sound system, Bluetooth, and 115-volt power outlets. It creates a vacation-ready Sienna for under $32,000.

The XLE Extra Value Package 4 essentially equips an XLE like the plush Limited but at a bottom line a few hundred dollars friendlier. It includes leather upholstery, sunroof, navigation and DVD entertainment systems, and other goodies and runs about $5,600.

2010 Toyota Sienna Fuel Economy back to top

The 2010 Toyota Sienna’s fuel economy is about minivan mid-pack. EPA ratings are 17/23 (city/highway) with front-wheel drive and 17/21 with AWD. Sienna uses regular-grade 87-octane gas.

2010 Toyota Sienna Safety and Reliability back to top

Government crash-test ratings award up to five stars for occupant protection in frontal and side collisions (www.safecar.gov). With four stars, the Toyota Sienna is the only minivan that does not score the full five stars for driver protection in a frontal impact. It does score five stars for passenger protection in a frontal impact and for both front- and rear-occupant protection in side impacts.

J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer-survey firm (jdpower.com), ranks the Toyota brand slightly above the industry average in overall initial quality in the first 90 days of ownership. It ranks the Toyota brand among the best for dependability in surveys measuring problems experienced by original owners of three-year old (2006 model year) vehicles.

The Toyota Sienna was the highest-ranked minivan in J.D. Power’s survey of overall initial quality. Owners give it highest possible marks for mechanical, powertrain, and interior quality. It ranks average or above average in all other initial-quality categories. For overall dependability in surveys of original owners of three-year-old models, the 2006 Toyota Sienna ranked about average.

2010 Toyota Sienna Release Date back to top

The 2010 Toyota Sienna went on sale in May 2009.

What's next for the 2010 Toyota Sienna back to top

The redesigned 2011 Toyota Sienna kicks off the third-generation of this minivan and gives Toyota an opportunity to advance its game on several fronts.

There’s no excuse for not achieving a five-star safety rating in driver protection in a frontal impact. And on a less-critical note, little reason to exclude such conveniences as USB iPod connectivity. Expect the 2011 Sienna to wear an evolution of the 2010 Sienna’s styling but on a slightly longer wheelbase. That stretch of the structure between the front and rear axles would allow Toyota to give the third-row seat a bit more leg room. Interior versatility would be further improved with second-row seats that fold into the floor.

A V-6 engine and front-wheel drive will again define the powertrain. No word on whether Sienna will remain the only minivan that offers all-wheel drive. But a six-speed automatic in place of today’s five-speed is likely for improved fuel efficiency. A Sienna Hybrid probably won’t be available until at least model-year 2012.

2010 Toyota Sienna Competition back to top

2010 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan: They’re not much to look at, but these corporate cousins set the minivan-class benchmark for affordability, ease of use, and features – among which are table-and-chairs seating, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi capability. They offer engines of 175 horsepower rated at 17/24, 197 horsepower at 16/23, and 251 horsepower at 17/25. Base prices roughly span $25,500-$37,500. The Town & Country and Caravan won’t be drastically altered until model-year 2013 or so.

2010 Honda Odyssey: Like our swan-song Sienna, this popular Honda is set for a model-year 2011 redesign. The 2010 Odyssey is still a class leader for styling, handling, and fuel economy. Here’s hoping the 2011 redesign brings a slightly softer ride and a dashboard with fewer buttons and switches. Base price range for 2010 is roughly $27,000-$42,000, horsepower is 244, and fuel economy is 17/25 on versions with Honda’s cylinder-deactivation feature, 16/23 on those without.

2010 Ford Flex: OK, it isn’t a minivan, but this new-for-2009 crossover wagon assumes that role in Ford’s lineup. Flex doesn’t have sliding side doors but has minivan-like three-row seating and near-minivan cargo versatility. It also applies industrial-art-inspired styling to a long body with a relatively low center of gravity. Ford’s EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 with 355 horsepower augments the base 262-horsepower V-6 and there’s a choice of front-wheel drive (17/24 mpg) or all-wheel drive (16/22). Base price range is around $29,000-$42,000.