What Are The Best And Worst Years For The Toyota Sienna?

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The Toyota Sienna has undergone numerous improvements over the years. After the discontinuation of the Toyota Previa back in 1997, Toyota had to create a replacement model which could be a competitive vehicle in the minivan market.

The result was the production of the Toyota Sienna, which is named after a city in Tuscany. It is a comfortable and spacious vehicle, capable of easily holding eight passengers.

Being available for more than 20 years with just as many models has kept a favorable position in a shrinking market.

Here are some of the best and worst years for Toyota Sienna:

Best Years for Toyota Sienna:

  1. 2019
  2. 1998
  3. 2001
  4. 2002
  5. 2009
  6. 2012
  7. 2014
  8. 2020

Worst Years for Toyota Sienna:

  1. 2007
  2. 2004
  3. 2005
  4. 2006
  5. 2008
  6. 2011
  7. 2000
  8. 2015

Now that we have established the good and bad years for the vehicle, let’s discuss why they are placed as such.

List Of The Best Years For The Toyota Sienna: What Years To Avoid

Much like many of the other vehicles produced by Toyota, this one has also seen some pretty good years.

Let’s have a look at them:

#1 Best Year: 2019 Toyota Sienna

Toyota Sienna has seen a lot of changes over the years, with new models releasing every year.

Some of which had their fair share of problems; however, the 2019 model of the Toyota Sienna has arguably been one of the best years for this vehicle. I believe this model completes all that was planned for this 3rd generation to be able to achieve.

This model has an array of variants for you to choose from. These include the LE, SE, SE Premium, Limited, and XLE variants. This provides variety in terms of benefits.

The model has some really good driving which, coupled with the comfortable seats, and makes it quite a pleasant experience to ride in. Unlike many minivans on the market, the storage space behind the third row is also quite expansive.

#2 Best Year: 2021 Toyota Sienna

If you are a fan of hybrid vehicles, then this one will be a treat for you. The 2021 model of the Toyota Sienna was the first vehicle of the latest and the 4th generation of the Sienna. With this model, the Sienna has officially become a hybrid vehicle.

This has given the vehicle a huge boost in terms of fuel consumption because of hybrid batteries. This model came with a major redesign, which has given the minivan a more executive look.

#3 Best Year: 1998 Toyota Sienna

Around its release, the minivan market was mostly seen as dead. However, Toyota decided to capitalize on that by releasing the Toyota Sienna in 1998. This model was Toyota’s first entry in the minivan market and a very successful one at that.

This vehicle was well ahead of its time in design, drive smoothness, utility, and seating capacity. Unlike any other minivan at the time, the Sienna has a powerful 194 horsepower engine on a vehicle that could fit your entire family for a road trip.

#4 Best Year: 2001 Toyota Sienna

2001’s model of the Toyota Sienna saw quite a lot of improvements and new features to the vehicle. These mainly featured improved safety features.

This model made the inclusion of ABS brakes standard in all variants of the Sienna. It also received high ratings in government crash testing, mostly because of its lightweight design.

The model also allows for optional side airbags to be installed for even more improved safety. The suspension is also really good at handling light bumps on the road allowing for a smoother ride.

#5 Best Year: 2002 Toyota Sienna

Despite being more than two decades old, the 2002 Toyota Sienna is more than capable of handling your daily commuting needs.

People had called it very reliable, which it has proven to be, needing basic maintenance like a change of tires and oil change to last years on end.

Great reliability also comes with a great fuel economy and mileage, which can easily go the distance. Near the top of its class in driving and handling, the 2002 Sienna has quality riding, smooth driving, and comforting seating.

#6 Best Year: 2009 Toyota Sienna

The 2009 Toyota Sienna is a good all-around minivan that performs well, even without all of the fancy gadgets, and provides a smooth, reliable, and pleasant driving experience.

This 266 horsepower vehicle is home to a very sophisticated and comforting interior with quality and quietness. The car comes with an AWD option to help with the snowy winters and features tight turning and 3-row side airbags, which keep you extra safe.

Navigational and entertainment systems are also available in optional packages, accompanied by a rearview camera.

#7 Best Year: 2012 Toyota Sienna

The 2012 Toyota Sienna expanded on its roominess by including much more cargo volume and an increase in overall ride comfort.

The model launched with the options between a 4-cylinder and a V6 engine, had AWD available, could come in seats between 7 or 8, and had lounge-style second-row seats.

The vehicle’s second row was very versatile, and a capable engine accompanied the car. Safety features such as anti-lock brakes, knee airbags for the driver, traction control, and electronic stability systems make the vehicle safe and reliable.

#8 Best Year: 2014 Toyota Sienna

The 2014 Toyota Sienna offered no noteworthy changes in its design or feature list; however, this still did not hold this great car back from joining the ranks of the other models.

With a 7 to 8 seat design with AWDs available, the vehicle offered the same roomy and cozy ride, second-row style and comfort, and cargo volume as the 2012 Toyota Sienna mentioned above.

The choice between the 4-cylinder was lost, and the car shifted completely to a capable V6 engine which offered a nice and smooth ride.

List Of The Worst Years For The Toyota Sienna: What Years To Avoid

The worst years are the ones which were plagues with various problems and were otherwise just not capable of competing with the best models in this list.

#1 Worst Year: 2007 Toyota Sienna

While not having the most problems on this list, the 2007 Toyota Sienna still ranks at the top of the worst models of the Sienna series.

The car suffered from dozens of problems, starting from the transmission, which was prone to making weird noises and slip on occasions. Sometimes, it would fail and need to be replaced, costing thousands of dollars.

The engine of the car had ridiculous amounts of oil consumption along with faulty oil cooler hoses and rattling. The car was also riddled with interior and exterior problems, such as the dashboard and handle’s rubber coating starting to ooze.

Power sliding doors would no longer function properly, were unable to open, and wouldn’t latch properly.

#2 Worst Year: 2004 Toyota Sienna

Was it not for the horrendous amount of problems in the 2007 Sienna? The 2004 Toyota Sienna would be at the top of our list as it has the most complaints from customers and the NHSTA.

Starting with the most raised issue; the doors. The doors were plain bad, making noises, not latching properly, not properly opening, the list goes on.

The next main issue is that the dashboard was inclined to crack frequently. The engine also displayed unintended acceleration, engine hesitation, rattling on startup, and sludge production.

#3 Worst Year: 2005 Toyota Sienna

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the 2005 Toyota Sienna was showing improvements by reducing the overall number of problems the 2004 model had but failed to reduce them by a substantial amount.

The exterior body still had many problems, such as the door strap spot weld would often fail. There were some steering issues in which the steering would click, the steering shaft would leak, and even rust, causing difficulty in steering.

The doors, in general, were just bad, not being able to open or close and sometimes doing so randomly!

#4 Worst Year: 2006 Toyota Sienna

A step backward from the 2005 model, the 2006 Toyota Sienna brought back many of the problems of the previous generations and increased the problem count, which the 2005 Sienna worked hard to reduce.

The airbag lights were very weird and annoying. They would often randomly flash and stop. This could easily worry or distract the driver. Once again, doors are plagued with issues, not being able to be closed and suffering from various malfunctions.

The interior was just as bad as the exterior, with cracking dashboards and faulty cruise control switches.

#5 Worst Year: 2008 Toyota Sienna

The 2008 Toyota Sienna is much better than the dreaded 2007 model; however, it still has its fair share of problems, albeit less than many previous generations.

Door problems persisted as the automatic slider doors would fail and handle cables would snap or break. Engine slipping and car speed variation are common in this model as often the acceleration would often stop or bog down with a grinding noise.

The transmission was much likely to fail, along with the transmission seals. There would be a rubbing sound and hesitation when downshifting.

#6 Worst Year: 2011 Toyota Sienna

2011 was the start of a new generation of Toyota Sienna models, which got a major redesign and was a decent generation for the minivan series. The 2011 Sienna, however, was still a bit underwhelming and had a lot more issues than its last-gen predecessor.

The doors were still not fixed across generations and would not properly work and break down. The engine would stall and lose power when accelerating.

The battery would continually drain and was followed by many electrical problems, most of which were related to the power doors.

#7 Worst Year: 2013 Toyota Sienna

The 2013 Toyota Sienna would be one of the last bad models of the series as slowly but surely, Toyota was finally addressing the major issues its minivan series were facing for years on end, but still left a few issues for the 2009 model to make this list.

Excessive road-noise, poor quality door handles accompanied by bad quality doors that would not function properly, blind spot monitor would fail to function.

And there would be a noise coming from the seats that were very uncomfortable and would rattle when going over bumps.

#8 Worst Year: 2015 Toyota Sienna

The 2015 Toyota Sienna was redesigned with a bit more style and swagger in mind; unfortunately, they still could not redesign the seats as they continued to make noise or redesign the door, which simply would not work.

It is a mystery that the company failed to make simple doors across two generations and multiple models. The brake pedal would pulse and continue with the interior.

The dash light would randomly go out. The interior material was defective, the motors of the seat would often malfunction, and the cruise control switch was erratic at best.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Toyota Sienna?

The Toyota Sienna is a host of a wide variety of different problems. Some are very common in cars, while others are unique to this series.

While many of the problems may not be as dangerous or life-threatening as possible, they are still common in the Toyota Sienna, which is why I am bringing them up.

1. Door Malfunctions

The doors of the Toyota Sienna have had major problems and malfunctions across two generations, including multiple models and spans across thousands of complaints. The power doors would simply open and close randomly and not on user command.

The handles would break, and latches would get stuck. This issue would mostly happen when using the powered buttons, forcing the doors to be opened manually.

2. Poor Quality Dashboard

The dashboard was heavily criticized, being so poor in quality that it would easily crack and sometimes even start to melt. The switches in the dashboard are also prone to get stuck or become unresponsive.

This leads to an overall bad experience as it could potentially cause pre-mature deployment of the airbags and disrupt the various switches and systems inside the dashboard. This issue was also very expensive to repair.

3. Various Engine Issues

Throughout the many models of the Toyota Sienna, there have been various engine problems. The first and most common is excessive oil consumption.

Other issues include sudden unwanted acceleration, leading to many bad situations, engine stalling, hesitation, and loss of power after deceleration. The deceleration in power would usually occur when taking turns or going over some bumps.

If you’re enjoying reading my guide, you probably want to check out this article on Why Won’t My Toyota Sienna Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Many Years Will A Toyota Sienna Last?

According to most of the studies done for the Toyota Sienna, this vehicle is expected to last a roundabout of 200,000 miles. You can expect it to last even longer than that with proper maintenance.

There have been reports that some of the older models have lasted longer than 300,000 miles. So, it is safe to assume that it can last between 15 years and 20 years, depending on how good of a maintenance schedule you keep up.

You may also be interested in my article: How Long Do Toyota Siennas Last?

Q2. What Is The Difference Between Sienna LE And XLE?

The short answer to this question is that the Sienna XLE model is a more luxurious model between the two. The interior finish in the XLE model is much finer than the corresponding LE models, from seat comfort and material to wooden console finish.

The differences between the XLE and the LE models are small differences from the number of speakers to big things that might be important to some people, like not having an automatic window opening.

Q3. What Is The Top Of The Line, Sienna?

The current top-of-the-line Sienna is the 2021 model that allows the Toyota Sienna to step into the hybrid vehicle market. All of the variants of this model are Hybrid.

This allows you to have a proper minivan that has some really good fuel consumption while being environmentally friendly, which is always a step in the right direction. The design of this latest model of the Sienna has seen a complete overhaul from the top.

Q4. Where Is The Toyota Sienna Made?

Like many other Toyota vehicles, the Toyota Sienna has been facilitated to have its manufacturing done outside of Japan. The Sienna is made in Princeton, Indiana.

The main reason is that this vehicle is produced and sold in the Americas and not in the Asian countries. This vehicle was made specifically to replace its predecessor car called the Toyota Previa. Toyota designed this vehicle to be affordable, which is a huge plus.

Q5. Is Toyota Discontinuing The Sienna?

It does not seem like Toyota is planning on canceling the Toyota Sienna. The latest generation is getting newer models each year, each with all the car’s variants since the start.

This is based on speculation because there has not been any official announcement or notice about the stoppage of production by Toyota. Sales for the vehicle seem to be going fine, so we can rest assured that there will be some new models coming soon.

Conclusion

Despite a depreciating market that is slowly on the decline, Toyota still makes waves by pushing its Sienna series to provide people with quality and affordable minivans despite the trend moving away from them.

This has resulted in the company making 20+ models, each with its ups and downs. The 2007 Sienna was the worst since it has many different problems that affected it at very stages.

On the other hand, we have great models such as the 2019 Sienna, which are a testament to modern-day minivans, providing smooth driving, reliability, and comfort.

Using this knowledge of the best and worst years for Toyota Sienna, you should now be able to make the difficult decision of choosing a particular model to purchase.