Over the last 25 years, the Toyota Sienna has solidified itself as one of the most popular, versatile choices on the market. With its innovative technology and advanced safety features, the evolution of the Sienna has introduced the capabilities of vans to a whole new cohort of drivers.
Each generation of the Sienna has been an important stepping-stone that’s led to the award-winning Sienna of today. The first edition of the 1998 Sienna was assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky in Georgetown and was constructed on a stretched and modified Camry platform, giving it a car-like feel. In 2004, assembly moved to Princeton, Indiana, where the Sienna has been assembled ever since.
Over the course of four generations, the Sienna has transformed from a family-friendly favorite into a stylish, innovative adventure vehicle. As its design evolves to better suit shifting customer needs, the Sienna keeps getting better and better — ready for all kinds of drivers to take on the world.
“It’s always been the designers’ job to expand that van imagery and make it more exciting and inspiring, something you want to drive, not something you have to drive,” says Kevin Hunter, president of CALTY Design Research (CALTY). “As a result, the new Sienna looks more exciting and dynamic but still has all the functionality and spaciousness of the van.”
Since the Sienna’s debut, upgrades to both the interior and exterior have been made to support a wider array of activities and lifestyles than the typical van. All-wheel drive is now available in all grades, something that has been a key factor in expanding the vehicle’s adventurous appeal, helping to give customers the opportunity to drive confidently almost anywhere
“As customers’ tastes and needs have changed over the years, the Sienna has evolved along with them. CALTY’s goal has always been to create a more inspiring, fun van,” says Hunter. “Younger families are active and seek out more outdoor recreation with their family and friends and we wanted to reflect that more youthful exuberance.”
Other features, like the available 1,500-watt inverter, are perfect for camping and outdoor activities where drivers need to power devices on the go. Plus, an available tow hitch, which can haul up to 3,500 pounds, and available roof racks make the Sienna just as capable on a longer journey as it is around town.
The newest Sienna also looks the part with SUV-inspired styling, especially the sportier Sienna XSE.
The Latest and Greatest
The hybrid-only Sienna, introduced in 2021, is one of the most fuel-efficient seven- to eight-passenger vans on the market, with an manufacturer-estimated combined range rating of 35 miles per gallon on all-wheel drive. Informed by the needs of today’s drivers, the new Sienna combines the practical attributes of a van with a more modern, personalized driving experience.
“The all-hybrid powertrain is great for everyone who is looking to get the most from a fuel efficiency standpoint, especially for those who are going on long hauls,” says Leah Curry, president of Toyota Indiana. “The rear-seat entertainment, available second-row captain’s chairs and seven USB ports offer great functionality for everyone to enjoy the ride.”
While the Sienna has had many updates made to it over the years, technology has made a significant impact on the vehicle’s features.
And as with all Toyota vehicles, the Sienna offers many standard safety features, including driver and front passenger airbags, an anti-lock brake system, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control. In addition, the Sienna can be equipped with innovative safety features like radar detection in the cruise control system, blind-spot monitoring and panoramic cameras added to the grill, exterior mirrors and rear hatch.
“The utility of a van is incredibly important, but the Sienna offers that and so much more,” says Curry. “Being able to have one of the best-in-class miles per gallon with the standard hybrid system has been a huge advantage. That and the other premium features, the enhanced styling and the available all-wheel drive have totally set the Sienna apart.”
For more information about the Toyota Sienna, please visit here.
Originally published May 20, 2022