Toyota would tell you the reason many family drivers have bailed on minivans in favour of mid-size crossovers is the minivan segment's lack of AWD options, so for some years now its Sienna has stood apart as being the only minivan with the option of four-wheel traction.
For 2019, Toyota expands the availability of the Sienna's AWD option to include the sportier(ish) SE trim level, so that three of four trims can now be kitted out with four driven wheels.
Other Sienna additions include the Apple CarPlay smartphone integration platform, which joins Toyota's own Entune connectivity suite in the van's infotainment system. There is no support for Android Auto, however. The SE now gets standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, features you formerly only got with that trim's optional tech package.
Sienna once again comes in four distinct trims: there's a base model, followed by LE, SE and XLE models. All use a 3.5L V6 that makes 296 hp and 263 lb-ft, which goes into an eight-speed transmission. The base model is FWD-only, LE and SE can be optioned with AWD and the top-trim XLE is AWD-only.
Of the five minivan models on the market today, the Sienna finds a middle ground: It's less posh than the Chrysler Pacifica and not as engaging for the driver as the Honda Odyssey, but it aims for both ends of the spectrum with the SE and its sportier suspension and steering and the XLE's optional Limited package, which brings a number of safety, comfort and convenience upgrades.
The base model is indeed basic, so we consider the LE the real starting point with its power sliding doors, electric driver's seat adjustment, auto-dimming rearview mirror and 8.0-inch display audio system.
SE trim brings a power front passenger seat, leather-trimmed steering wheel, driver information display, power tailgate, fog lights and LED taillights and daytime running lamps. The tech package adds a 10-speaker stereo, rear-seat entertainment system and passive keyless entry.
XLE gets power flip-out rear side windows, rear parking sonar, power front passenger seat, 18-inch wheels and a sunroof. The Limited option adds the rear-seat entertainment system, bird's-eye exterior camera system, heated steering wheel, dual sunroof, rain-sensing wipers and HID headlights.
Toyota's fuel consumption estimates are 12.5/8.9 L/100 km (city/highway) in FWD form and 13.4/9.6 with AWD.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed