The 2015 Toyota Sienna has quickly stepped to the head of the minivan segment as it continues to be recognized by various media and industry organizations for a wide array of new or enhanced features and functionality that are either included or available.
Some of that recognition for the new 2015 Sienna just this spring includes:
- 2015 Family Car of Texas and 2015 Minivan of Texas at the Texas Automotive Writers Association’s (TAWA) annual Auto Roundup event.
- 2015 Best 3-Row Family Vehicle by the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) at the association’s annual Family Choice Challenge
- A “15 Best Family Cars” selection for 2015 by KBB.com
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick + for 2015 when equipped with optional front crash prevention system (the only minivan awarded this level)
Features and functionality elements that are being universally acclaimed (including us) – in addition to the fresh new styling inside and out and the use of premium soft touch materials and stitching on the interior complemented by enhanced (and quieter) riding dynamics – include:
- Segment exclusive All-wheel Drive (AWD) system
- Dual View Blu-Ray capable Entertainment Center with two separate displays on a 16.4-inch wide screen viewable from the second and third rows
- Toyota’s Driver Easy Speak system, which uses the vehicle’s built-in microphone to amplify the driver’s voice through the rear speakers (unruly children beware)
- Second-row Lounge Seating with leg and foot support
- 60/40 Split and Stow (flat) third row seating
- 87.1 cubic feet of storage behind second row with third row flat
- 39.1 cubic feet of storage behind third row with space under the floor available
- Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Premium Chestnut leather seating on the LTD
- Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof
Some other standard or available features noted by many are the new Tri-Sync controlled three zone air conditioning, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management and Hill Start Assist, wheel sizes from 17 to 19-inch available, front and rear Parking Sonar, LED Daytime Running Lamps, Wide-Angle Fog Lamps, 7-inch High Resolution Touchscreen in center stack, Integrated Back-up Camera (wide angle on the LTD model), Entune Audio System and seven or eight passenger configurations.
Power and performance come from the standard 3.5L V6 with 266 horsepower and 245 lb.-ft. of torque integrated with a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with sequential shifting and a tow capacity of 3,500 pounds when equipped with available tow package. With its fuel economy rating of over 20 mpg, Sienna has 400-plus mile driving range.
The 2015 Sienna Lineup
The 2015 Sienna lineup has five trim levels – L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited. The L and SE are FWD only with AWD available on LE, XLE and Limited models. The base L (FWD) has an MSRP of $28,600 with the Sienna line topping out with the Limited FWD at $41,650 with a Premium Limited FWD at $45,020 and the AWD Limited at $42,780 with the AWD Limited Premium trim at $46,150.
Sienna Limited Premium AWD is our choice
We have had the opportunity to drive the new Sienna a couple of times since the first of the year and the top-of-the-line Sienna Limited Premium AWD is our – hands down – choice.
Our first look at the new Sienna was at a media short lead introduction where we were introduced to the Limited Premium AWD in the optional and awesome Blizzard Pearl exterior – with the matching luxurious premium Chestnut leather interior – standing so elegantly on its 18-inch 10-spoke Aluminum Alloy Machine Finished Wheels with P235/55RF18 run-flat all-season tires.
Climbing behind the wheel and taking it for a spin, we were seriously impressed at how unlike a minivan this new Sienna handled. We would not quite call it a premium sports sedan ride, but it was certainly close. Smooth, quiet, nimble, surefooted and solidly rooted with plenty of power were all words we used in describing our impression during that first drive.
In addition to some of the impressive features already mentioned, we would note the very nice wood-grain style accents throughout the cabin, the comfort of the captains seating and the Entune Premium JBL 10-Speaker with subwoofer audio system that included navigation along with all of the expected premium infotainment and entertainment systems and programs available.
The base price of our 2015 Sienna Limited Premium AWD was $46,150. The Blizzard Pearl paint was $395 and we added Carpet Floor Mats and Door Sill Protectors. Including delivery, this top-of-the-line 2015 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium AWD priced at $47,760 – and, in our view, well worth the price.
Jim Nelson is a member of Texas Auto Writers Association