Minivan segment isn’t as popular as it used to be since buyers are migrating to SUV segment. But it is far from dead. Toyota Sienna sales have slightly decreased when Chrysler Pacifica entered the market last year after being absent for five years. Not only that, but there are also Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Odyssey which have pretty good market share while Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest aren’t that popular. Toyota wants to change that, and they delivered immediate response for 2017 model year but there were no changes to the exterior. But 2018 Toyota Sienna brings somewhat refreshing look.
2018 Toyota Sienna – Powertrain
Before we get to changes for 2018, we must mention that Sienna’s makeover started earlier. Sienna received a new engine and a new transmission for 2017 model year. And those will stay. The new engine has the same placement and volume as before which produced 266 horsepower, but its all-new 3.5-liter V6 which produces 296. That wasn’t all, instead of the old six-speed gearbox, Toyota installed the eight-speed automatic transmission. With this combination, Toyota managed to improve fuel economy on FWD as well as AWD. Sienna now goes has 19 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway which is an increase of 1 and 2 mpg. As for the AWD, the situation is a little different. Instead of 1/2 mpg with AWD, we get 2/1 increase for a total of 18/24 city/highway. Not just that, but acceleration is also improved.
2018 Toyota Sienna – Exterior Changes
For 2018 model year, Toyota has more improvements. Above mentioned engine will, of course, stay, but the exterior will undergo a few changes. And most noticeable changes are in front. The 2018 Toyota Sienna received bigger and reshaped grille openings. Now the nose is more familiar with the rest of Toyota’s lineup. Also, flared side sills that were available only with the selection of sporty SE trim will now be standard on all Sienna models.
2018 Toyota Sienna – Features
As for the interior, there will be some changes in features. New Sienna will arrive with newest Entune 3.0 multimedia interface. It comes with three different levels with lowest limited to S trim. Moving upwards to LE, SE, and XLE Entune comes with Audio Plus as standard that brings Wi-Fi connectivity for up to five devices through Sienna’s 4G-LTE network. The highest level of Entune is standard on Limited trim but is also optional on SE and XLE. And it brings better audio system as well as dashboard navigation which can be constantly updated for newest changes. The last change is that Limited trim, when equipped with Premium package, will have surround-view camera and entertainment system for rear seats.
2018 Toyota Sienna – Safety
Since minivans are usually for larger families, more important than exterior and comfort changes is what will happen with safety. At this moment we don’t know (until IIHS does evaluation) will Sienna finally receive “G” (good) rating in small overlap front crash test (for now it’s “A” acceptable). But we know that 2018 Toyota Sienna many safety features will now come as standard. Automated emergency braking, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning system will be standard on all 2018 Sienna models. The lane departure warning system will also steer Sienna back into its lane if necessary.
2018 Toyota Sienna – Price
So, is it a good choice to wait for 2018 Toyota Sienna? Yes. Although Toyota hasn’t announced pricing, there are reports that even with these entire changes price won’t be much higher that current one. It’s not just about exterior changes but those safety systems today are a must have. The new minivan will be available by the end of this year and will certainly pose a bigger threat to Chrysler Pacifica and Honda Odyssey.