A family minivan, Toyota Sienna is assembled and manufactured by the Toyota Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton, Indiana, United States. In 1997, the Sienna replaced the first generation Previa van. The Sienna features a traditional front-wheel drive layout and used the substantially revised platform of the Camry. Compared to other minivans, both Previa and Sienna were reasonably smaller in sizes. However, in order to genuinely compete with other similar minivans, the company redesigned the 2004 model with increased dimensions. Currently, Sienna is considered as the only minivan in its class that offers 4-wheel drive. The third generation Sienna was redesigned as 2011 model year and offered for sale in February 2010 in the United States. Sienna has the honor of receiving a “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
First Generation (1998–2003)
The front-wheel drive, MY 1998 (model year) Sienna was introduced in the North American market by the Toyota as a replacement model for the third generation mid-engine Previa in late 1997 and was manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky. Initially, the Sienna came with a 3.0-L 1MZ-FE V6 engine producing 154 kW and torque of209 lb-ft (284 Nm). The Sienna used an extended platform of the Camry and hence advertised as the “Camry of minivans,” taking advantage of the Camry’s fame and reputation.
The first generation Sienna was offered in three different trim levels, such as CE, LE and XLE. The LE and XLE models featured second row captain’s chairs whereas the CE model offered with a second row 2-passenger bench seat. The LE and XLE received a driver side sliding door and roof rack as standard, while CE models received these features as options. Honda released its revised Odyssey minivan as a competitor to Sienna a year after.
In 2001, an updated version of Sienna was introduced in which the power was increased by introducing Variable Valve Timing (VVT) to increase the engine power to 210 hp (157 kW) and 220 lb-ft (298 Nm) of torque. The driver side sliding door became standard for all models except for roof rack that was still optional for CE.
Second Generation (2004-2010)
The second generation Sienna was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2004. The production of new models shifted to Princeton, Indiana, while the previous Georgetown facility was assigned to the production of second generation Camry Solara. Yuji Yokoya took over his responsibilities as chief engineer on the new project.
Apart from previous three trim levels, i.e. CE, LE, and XLE, a new trim level was introduced as XLE Limited which was an upmarket, luxurious model. An updated ULEV certified 3.3-liter 3MZ-FE V6 engine mated to a new 5-speed automatic transmission was offered in all the available models. For the new models, the gear-shift lever was also moved from steering column to the lower center console area.
Some of the standard features offered include remote keyless entry, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, high solar energy-absorbing glass (HSEA) on the windshield and front windows, rear climate control, and run-flat tires standard with all-wheel drive.
Third Generation (2011-Present)
The third generation Sienna is a completely redesigned version appeared for the first time at 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The design of the new Sienna was prepared at Calty studios and the engineering had been done at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Five trims levels of Sienna are offered including Sienna grade, LE, XLE, Limited and the SE trim. The SE trim features 19-inch wheels, firmer suspension and revised steering tuning for a sportier ride. The LE, XLE, and Limited model trims are available with V6 engine in all-wheel drive.