In the kid-friendly, parents-rule world of family vans, The Toyota Sienna remains the only model available with all-wheel drive. But that’s just one of the many compelling qualities that make the Sienna a standout. For 2016, upgraded multimedia features augment the parents’ side of the equation.
Toyota has made across-the-board enhancements to the Entune multimedia head units in the 2016 Sienna. The new Connected Navigation Scout® GPS App Link for Entune® Audio Plus uses the customer’s smartphone to provide navigation functionality through the head unit. And iPhone® users will be pleased to know that all available head units now integrate Siri® Eyes Free mode.
The new Sienna Outdoor Package introduced for 2015 returns for 2016, bundling roof rack cross bars, all-weather floor mats, mud guards and door sill protectors.
The Sienna conquers that obstacle course called the everyday with a silky-smooth 266-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. This combination gives the Sienna confident power for urban trekking or highway merging while using fuel efficiently. The standard Tow Prep Package allows the Sienna to pull a 3,500-pound trailer. Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and a wide stance help deliver a solid, direct on-road feel. Aerodynamic under-body elements may seem a bit naughty to mention for a family vehicle, but they do enhance Sienna’s dynamic performance.
When was the last time you heard “lowered, sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, side skirt body elements and smoke-look sport trim mentioned in the same sentence as “family van?” The Sienna SE combines those features to make this van more like a sport sedan. Low-profile headlights with LED daytime running lamps (DRL) complement the muscular style. Inside, exclusive instrumentation and unique black leather-trimmed heated and powered front seats with white stitching complete this comprehensive transformation.
Space Shuttle with Limousine Aspirations
The 2016 Sienna is available in five grades: L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited, with optional all-wheel-drive available on LE, XLE and Limited, the latter a family luxury vehicle that will spoil children and parents alike.
The Sienna offers a choice between seven- and eight-passenger configurations and comes chock full of versatile features for shuttling passengers comfortably or hauling lots of their stuff. With the third-row seat stowed and the second-row seat removed, the Sienna provides up to 150 cubic feet of available space, and it will carry 4×8-ft. sheets plywood should you be inclined to do so. Sienna is easy to load, thanks to a wide tailgate and wide side doors, low floor height and Tip-Up and Long Slide second-row seats. Numerous storage bins, spaces and cupholders are located throughout the cabin.
In seven-seat cabins, the second row captain chairs slide 23 inches rearward to create legroom for the tallest passengers and easier ingress and egress. Or, the seats can be moved forward, closer to the front seats, to make it easy to reach a child passenger, while also allowing easy access to the third-row. On the FWD Limited grade, a sliding center console can be shared between the front seats and second row passengers.
For even greater passenger comfort, the Limited FWD grade’s standard second-row Lounge Seating includes leg and foot support. For chauffeuring tomorrow’s captains of industry, the second-row captain chairs have dual armrests, and an easy release mechanism facilitates seat removal.
On eight-passenger models, the second row center seat can be removed and stowed in the left side of the rear-storage area, leaving a cupholder and storage tray between the two remaining seats. The Tip Up and Long Slide feature lets you slide the seats forward and back on extended rails, adjusting room as needed for passengers or cargo. Sliding the second-row seats all the way to the rear creates a walk-in aisle, making it easier to enter, exit, install a child seat, or place a child in a seat. Regardless of cabin configuration, all second-row seats provide easy access to the third-row.
The third-row seat shows special talents, too. The 60/40 Split and Stow third-row seat folds flat with one motion, with the Limited FWD model receiving a power seat-lowering feature. Even with the third-row seat in use, there’s enough storage room for five golf bags or four large suitcases. Handy grocery hooks in both rows add storage convenience.
Mothers’ and Fathers’ Little Helpers
Taking advice from people who actually use family vans every day, Toyota designed a number of features that help make parenting on the road a little easier. For example, the Sienna is equipped with four LATCH locations for securing child seats.
The Driver Easy Speak option introduced in the previous model year reduces the need to shout commands from the helm. Using the microphone from the Sienna’s voice-command multi-media system, Driver Easy Speak conveys your voice through the audio system’s rear speakers. Combined with a standard conversation mirror integrated into the overhead console, Driver Easy Speak is about as close as you can get to having eyes in back of your head and is more convenient than using a bullhorn.
The center console and dash design group the air conditioning, shifter and multimedia controls into a single unified panel. A Tri-Sync switch for the air conditioning lets the driver easily control the three climate zones.
Getting vehicle information at a glance is easy with the multi-information display in the instrument panel, directly ahead of the driver. There’s a base 3.5-inch dot-matrix LCD version or a 4.2-inch color TFT (thin film transistor) display on up-level models. With either, you can toggle to audio controls using the four-way switch on the steering wheel. The TFT version is linked to the multi-media system and can also display navigation information. (On AWD models, this version can also show all-wheel drive operation).
Sienna also caters to the captain’s and co-pilot’s comfort with an available pushbutton driver’s seat center armrest that can be adjusted to many positions. It even remembers the last position after the armrest has been stowed. The heated steering wheel is available as a premium leather option.
Perhaps the ultimate parents’ helper is the available Dual View Entertainment Center, which uses two viewable displays within a seamless 16.4-inch widescreen image. The system features Blu-Ray capability, an HDMI input, and an SDXC card reader that can play 10 different audio and video formats, and it can play from one or two separate sources.
Used as a single screen, it can be easily seen from the third row, and it can be operated from any seat via remote control. The option also includes a pair of wireless headphones.
The Sienna introduced standard Display Audio Entune™ multimedia system with subscription-free App Suite for model-year 2015; the upgrades for 2016 make it more versatile. There are four systems available:
- Entune Audio
- Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation App
- Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite
- Entune JBL Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite
Each is equipped with SiriusXM Radio (with three-month complimentary trial), Siri® Eyes Free, HD radio, HD traffic and weather in major metro areas, and integrated backup camera display.
Using Bluetooth® wireless or a USB cable, you can pair a compatible smartphone to access popular mobile applications and data services. Then, use the Sienna’s controls to operate the apps. The Entune App Suite includes mobile apps for Bing™, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, and Pandora®. Entune data services include a fuel price guide, sports scores, stocks, traffic and weather.
Launch Entune apps by pressing a switch on the steering wheel and speaking the name of the app, then using voice commands to operate it. The audio unit can download new Entune apps as they’re developed, including the necessary voice recognition components.
The Toyota Safety Standard
The standard Toyota Star Safety System™ equips the 2016 Toyota Sienna with Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
The Sienna is equipped with eight airbags, including dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, side curtain airbags from the front seats to the third row, a front passenger seat cushion airbag plus a driver’s side knee airbag. Active headrests in both front seats help to reduce the possibility of whiplash in certain types of collisions.
The available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert on SE, XLE and Limited grades uses sub-millimeter wave radar designed to detect vehicles that are in the vehicle blind spot. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver using indicators on the side mirrors. If the turn signal is activated when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will flash. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can be especially helpful when backing out of a driveway or parking space.
A Pre-Collision System (PCS) is available on the Limited grade, as is Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM). The VDIM system coordinates brake control with engine output and steering inputs. Unlike reactive traction systems, VDIM operates proactively. During normal driving, the system works smoothly to enhance control even before the vehicle reaches its limits.
Connected for Safety
For additional safety assurance, the Safety Connect™ telematics system comes standard on the Sienna Limited. Its one-year complimentary trial subscription covers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Roadside Assistance.
Created specifically for the North American market, the Sienna was primarily designed by Toyota’s Calty Design Research Center in Newport Beach, Calif., developed in part at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.
Standard Toyota Care is a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Recommended retail price (MSRP) starts from $28,850