2018 Toyota Sienna SE 33 156080C5BA567663D0FA4CEAC426FC207BE269D9

2019 Toyota Sienna Review: Performance For Families Where It Matters

2018 Toyota Sienna SE 33 156080C5BA567663D0FA4CEAC426FC207BE269D9
2019 Toyota Sienna SE Premium
Overall Impression
Ideal for families.
All-wheel drive option is a plus.
Kids will enjoy the rear entertainment system.
Cargo Space
AWD Capability
Price Point
Manual Removal of Captain's Chairs

The 2019 Toyota Sienna is all about family-oriented features, versatility, interior space, and reliability. Upper trims add even more entertainment and accessibility options. If you live in a cold climate, the Sienna now offers all-wheel drive for extra peace of mind. It’s one of the best family haulers on the market, frankly. Recently, we drove the 2019 Toyota Sienna SE Premium with all-wheel drive. 

Here’s what the sporty SE trim brings to the party.

What’s New For 2019

Toyota Sienna gets Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment. The SE trim is now available with all-wheel drive.

Features & Options: Style & Convenience

The 2019 Toyota Sienna SE Premium AWD ($44,865) came nicely-equipped with roof rails, power-sliding rear doors, privacy glass, heated mirrors, body-color exterior trim (replacing the black plastic), and both floor and overhead consoles. The conversation mirror, eight-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support), and second- and third-row sunshades all came in handy during our drive. 

Infotainment features included the seven-inch touchscreen with Scout GPS Link compatibility and the six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio.

Features & Options: Baker’s Dozen

The SE adds a sport-tuned suspension, sharper steering, 19-inch alloy wheels, foglights, LED daytime running lights, mesh grille, and lower-body skirting. The SE also has a power liftgate, first- and second-row perforated leather upholstery (row three gets premium vinyl), heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a larger driver information screen.

Our SE Premium tester added a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, navigation, and Entune smartphone app integration. The rear-seat entertainment system includes HDMI and SD card inputs, a Blu-ray/DVD player, two 120-volt power outlets, and a large screen that can be split to display two different sources. Parents will appreciate the Driver Easy Speak system, which amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

Total MSRP including destination: $45,910. By comparison, the 2019 Toyota Sienna starts at $31,115. 

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2019 Toyota Sienna.

Interior Highlights: Simple & Contemporary 

Since families spend so much time inside the cabin, it’s the most important thing to look at when considering a minivan. And the new Sienna doesn’t disappoint. The family hauler offers a contemporary interior and a convenient layout for adults and kids alike. You will find plenty of room in this minivan with exceptional comfort for all riders.

The sweeping, contoured dashboard is attractive and most importantly, functional for the driver. Controls are placed conveniently on the driver’s side and instruments are large and easy-to-read. Audio and three-zone climate controls can be easily reached by the front passenger. The seven-inch touchscreen display comes with full-color graphics and can be easily seen from the driver’s seat.

Interior Highlights: Comfortable & Spacious

The leather-trimmed seats are comfortable for longer trips and offer plenty of support. Passengers will find it easy to get in-and-out with the Sienna’s power-sliding rear doors. Captain’s chairs were standard with our all-wheel drive tester. The chairs slide forward and all the way back, opening up lots of room to stretch out when you aren’t using the third-row seats. 

There’s plenty of cargo space with the second-row seats folded and pushed forward, and with the third row folded. The 2019 Toyota Sienna offers up an abundant 117.8 cubic feet of cargo-carrying ability. Behind the third-row seats is 39.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The deep well in the floor can keep a massive amount of groceries from sliding all over the back, unlike most SUVs.

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Our 2019 Toyota Sienna tester came with power-sliding rear doors. It was a feature we used more than we thought.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The 2019 Toyota Sienna is powered by a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine with direct fuel injection. The V6 develops 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft. of torque and comes coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 18/24 city/highway and 20 combined with all-wheel-drive. Front-wheel drive models increase to 19/27 city/highway and 22 combined. 

When equipped with front-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota Sienna keeps up with the competition in terms of fuel economy.

Driving Dynamics: Focused On The High Points

The 2019 Toyota Sienna is built for comfort, not performance, but it’s still one of the quickest minivans available. It will get up to highway speeds without an issue. That aside, most families will care more about safety, comfort, and whether or not it’s maneuverable in the city. The Sienna scores well every time and did so on our test drive this week.

We especially noted good visibility for the driver and the backup camera for those times when you can’t see behind you.

The Sienna isn’t all that quiet on the highway, but you won’t care when you crank up the upgraded JBL sound system. It has 10 speakers and a subwoofer for your favorite tunes. The kids won’t mind either as they will be watching the rear-seat entertainment system with their wireless headphones on. 

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Driving Dynamics: Performance Where It Matters

We did notice the SE trim, with its sport-tuned suspension, is more stable. There’s less body lean than the standard model in and through tight corners. Shifts are smooth and practically imperceptible from the eight-speed automatic, another strong point for the 2019 Toyota Sienna.

Families who need all-weather capability may opt for the Sienna’s all-wheel drive system with Active Torque Control. You will have no trouble getting around this winter when the snow flies.

Conclusion: Good For The Family 

The 2019 Toyota Sienna SE Premium is not the cheapest minivan on the market, but you will be getting a copious and versatile interior that’s comfortable for you and the kids. 

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2019 Toyota Sienna Gallery

Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.