The Toyota Sienna Van won’t be dubbed as “Mommy like” for nothing. It is designed to provide the family’s much-needed comfort and versatility while travelling. In short, it really cares like mommies do. Year after year, Toyota goes all-out in refining an already winning formula to be able to come up with the best minivan in the market. No wonder the 2014 Toyota Sienna made it to Kelley Blue Book’s 12 Best Family Cars of 2014.
1998 – 2003: First generation Sienna (the Camry of minivans)
It was in late 1997 when Toyota introduced the front-wheel-drive 1998 Sienna in the North American market. It replaced the mid-engined Toyota Previa. Built in Georgetown, Kentucky using Camry’s extended platform, it earned the moniker "Camry of minivans." It was offered in CE, LE, and XLE trim levels.
The first Siennas were advertised to offer best-in-class fuel economy of 16 city/22 highway mpg. They took pride in being one of the few minivans in the market to have optional front seat-mounted side torso airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, and standard Anti-lock brakes. They earned "Good" in all six frontal crash test measures of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
2004 – 2010: Second generation Sienna (low, aerodynamic styling)
Unveiled at Detroit Auto Show in January 2004, the second-generation Sienna was redesigned by Toyota’s chief engineer, Yuji Yokoya. This low, aerodynamic-looking generation of Siennas, which was produced in Princeton Indiana, was still available in CE, LE, and XLE trims, but a new and well-appointed leather-trimmed XLE Limited model was added to the lineup. These new Siennas boast a fuel economy of 17 city/25 highway (16 city/22 highway for AWD) mpg.
When it comes to safety, the redesigned Siennas come standard with brake assist, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution, and a tire-pressure monitor. No wonder they garnered an overall "Good" score in their frontal offset crash test.
In 2004, the Toyota Sienna Van got Car and Driver’s Five Best Trucks Award, Edmund’s Editor’s and Edmund’s Consumer’s Most Wanted Van, and was rated “Double Best Pick” by IIHS.
2011 – Present: Third generation Sienna (Mommy-like van)
The 2011 Sienna, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, came in five trim levels—base, LE, XLE, Limited, and the new SE trim. Save for the base and the new SE trim, All-Wheel-Drive system is still available in the Sienna, making it the only North American van to offer an AWD drivetrain.
Among the new features in this generation of Siennas are “Lounge Seating”, Toyota’s keyless Smart Key System, and rear-seat entertainment option. Toyota’s “Display Navigation with Entune” connected navigation system was available for 2012 models. Driving safety was enhanced with the addition of the back-up camera with 180 degrees panoramic view, driver’s knee airbags, optional Pre-collision System, automatic high-beam dimmer, Safety Connect, and Vehicle Integrated Dynamic Management.
The new 2014 Sienna boasts a Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, a 3,500-lb towing capacity, and 5-Star Overall Safety Rating given by NHTSA. Its choice of 7- to 8-passenger capacity makes it perfect for families that need enough room during travels. It is advertised as “Mommy like” because its design and features aren’t just ideal for kids but are even better for parents.