2018 Toyota Sienna SE 15 AC35DA27EBF2CEDC1E6D781557D65CCB66938B7A

2020 Toyota Sienna Review: A Winner For Families? We Drove It To Find Out

2018 Toyota Sienna SE 15 AC35DA27EBF2CEDC1E6D781557D65CCB66938B7A
2020 Toyota Sienna
In This Review:
The 2020 Toyota Sienna is loaded with infotainment technology and safety features that make it a good choice for families. However, minivans today require a premium on par with SUVs and crossovers.
Exterior Styling
Interior Layout
Driving Dynamics
Safety & Tech Features
Everyday Functionality
Reader Rating30 Votes
Safety Features
AWD Capability
Comfortable Interior
Wind & Cabin Noise
MSRP Adds Up Quickly
2nd Row Seats Hard To Remove

Minivans often get the brunt of the jokes, but they are still the best when it comes to versatility and flexible seating for growing families. This week, we tested the top-of-the-lineup when it comes to minivans: a plush 2020 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium. Check out why it could be your best option when it comes to family haulers.

Toyota Sienna: What’s New For 2020?

The 2020 Toyota Sienna remains unchanged but the minivan gets a new Nightshade Edition with blacked-out treatments. For 2020, the Sienna is available in five grades: L, LE, SE, XLE, and Limited. The LE and XLE have an option for the Auto Access Seat with a 330-lb. lift capacity. All models are standard with Toyota’s Star Safety System which includes a number of features to help keep families safe.

Features & Options: The Laundry List

The top-trim 2020 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium AWD ($49,190) comes loaded with everything your family will want and need. It’s standard with automatic headlights; windshield wiper de-icer; tri-zone automatic climate control; and a rearview camera. Tech features include a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune interface; Apple CarPlay; Bluetooth connectivity; and five USB ports. 

Our Limited Premium also came with a sunroof; keyless ignition and entry; blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems; navigation and a premium JBL stereo; a rear-seat entertainment system; and the Driver Easy Speak system which amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.

Our plush tester rode on 18-inch alloy wheels and featured a different grille; LED daytime running lights; auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors; and front and rear parking sensors. Inside is premium leather upholstery on the first and second rows, driver-seat memory functions, and a heated steering wheel.

How Much Is The 2020 Toyota Sienna?

Total MSRP for our tester including destination: 51,427. By comparison, the 2020 Toyota Sienna starts at $31,565.

2020 Toyota Sienna Nightshade Edition.
2020 Toyota Sienna Nightshade Edition.

Interior Highlights: Comfort & Technology

You buy the Sienna minivan for its family-friendly interior comforts. The Limited models bring an extra level of comfort with the leather seats, heated steering wheel, and premium sound. Adults will enjoy those features but, of course, the kids will love the rear-seat entertainment system when you take longer trips. What they may not like is when mom or dad gets on the speaker and tells them to quit fighting with their brother or sister.

Our Sienna tester came with second-row removable, long-slide captains chairs that make it easy to access the third row. Passengers can lower the window shades and have their own private movie theater to keep them comfortable on a long haul. The entertainment system features Blu-Ray capability, an HDMI input, and an SDXC card reader that can play 10 different audio and video formats.

Interior Highlights: Safety & Security

The 2020 Sienna comes with eight airbags, including dual-stage front airbags; seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger; side curtain airbags in all three rows; a front passenger seat cushion airbag, plus a driver’s side knee airbag. Active headrests in the front seats reduce the possibility of whiplash. There are four LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) locations in the second and third rows.

Interior Highlights: Lots of Room

The third row folds into the floor, while the second-row chairs can be removed to make an enormous cargo area, large enough to carry your IKEA furniture. One distinctive feature of the Sienna is the small jump seat located between the second-row captain’s chairs. It allows you to add an additional passenger if you are carrying the soccer team for ice cream after the game. When you don’t need it, you can easily remove the seat and stow it away, giving second-row passengers living-room comfort.

2020 Toyota Sienna.
 A power liftgate is standard on SE, XLE, and Limited. The 2020 Toyota Sienna can even carry 4×8-ft. sheets of plywood.

2020 Toyota Sienna: Engine & Towing Specs

The 2020 Toyota Sienna is powered by a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with direct fuel injection. The engine develops 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft. of torque and comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The standard Tow Prep Package allows the Sienna to pull 3,500 lbs.

Is The Toyota Sienna All-Wheel Drive?

LE, XLE, and Limited have the option for all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 18/24 city/highway and 20 combined with all-wheel drive. If you don’t need all-wheel drive, front-drive models increase mileage to 19/27 city/highway and 22 combined. In terms of fuel economy versus the competition, the 2020 Toyota Sienna isn’t the best but it’s also not the worst.

2020 Toyota Sienna.
The Toyota Sienna is powered by a 3.5-liter DOHC V6 with direct injection. The engine creates 296 horsepower.

How Does The 2020 Toyota Sienna Drive?

The 2020 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, families will care more about safety, comfort, and whether or not it’s maneuverable in the city. 

Sienna now comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense system (or TSS-P) that brings front collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and other modern driver assist features. This Limited tester offered good visibility and the backup camera is helpful for those times when you are navigating the grocery store parking lot.

We cranked up the JBL sound system and it kept the noisy city traffic away. 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.

2020 Toyota Sienna.
The 2020 Toyota Sienna employs a uni-body construction with an anti-vibration sub-frame and electronic power steering.

Driving Dynamics: Ready For The Snow

The eight-speed automatic offers smooth, practically imperceptible shifts even as we pushed it hard up the mountain roads near Denver. We didn’t have snow this week, but if you live in a cold climate, families will appreciate the optional all-wheel drive. You will have no trouble getting around this winter when the snow flies.

Conclusion: A Winner For Families

The Toyota Sienna Limited Premium might be the plushest minivan on the market. It offers a spacious and versatile interior that’s comfortable for you and the kids. Add in the optional all-wheel drive, and you are ready for when the weather gets bad. However, families on a budget will want the lower trim levels as all of the optional features will quickly drive the price up.

Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2020 Toyota Sienna Gallery

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