2015 Toyota Sienna sliding doors

2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium Minivan Review

When you live large, a normal car won’t do. You need a larger than life automobile like the 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium which packs a powerful engine, powered conveniences, premium seating for up to eight passengers, and space enough for everything you may have. Choosing a minivan is the best solution to solving any existing space and comfort problems, and it’s even better when you have car-like handling with big car power and the latest in comfort, connectivity and entertainment features as part of the package.

Exterior Styling

The 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium is more car-like in the front, which is great because you get a contemporary front end with a shapely family grille which makes it look every bit like the modern automobile that it is. The SE Premium trim also adds several sporty design elements which make the Sienna that much more appealing. The smoked-chrome mesh grille is flanked by projector beam halogen headlamps that have a smoked sport trim, which are joined by LED daytime running lights.

The minivan proportions then come into the picture, but the clever lines, large, shapely side windows, and styling cues like the black roof-rails all help in making it appear much sleeker and sportier. The LED tail-lamp cluster and fog lamps also go well with the smoked sport trim. The SE Premium also gets powered sliding side doors as well as a powered lift-gate with jam protection, which makes it very convenient and easy to take care of both passengers and their cargo. The wheels further enhance its sporty credentials with big 19” wheels wrapped in 235/50 rubber.

Interior Styling

The 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium is the top trim level and it shows. Compared to last year’s model, the quality of materials has been stepped up. The interior is packed with a technological treat for adults and children alike. The Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite is standard and sports a 7” high-resolution touch-screen which even offers a split-screen display. Then, there’s the dual-view Blu-ray entertainment center with 6 speakers for all-round entertainment. Bluetooth connectivity is also standard and multiple 12V ports allow passengers to charge or use their portable devices. Storage is plenty with door pockets and cup holders all around; very smart and thoughtful additions.

The driver’s seat offers controls in the palm of your hands, quite literally. The wide and very neat dashboard has big dials with an information console in the center. The gear-lever is mounted in the dash just off the center console. The front seats are upholstered in perforated leather. The driver’s seat has 8-way power adjustments, whereas the front passenger seat offers 4-way power adjustment. Up to eight seats are available with smart third row. Three-zone climate control ensures everyone is comfortable and cool. There’s also a powered moon-roof.

The 2015 Sienna offers flexible load options. The second row, also wrapped in perforated leather, can be split-folded 40/20/40, or it can be removed or tipped up or you can use the long slide feature. The center seat can be stowed away for added room. There’s 39 cu ft of cargo volume, which can be expanded to 87 cu ft with the third row folded down. Need more room? Fold down the second row, remove what seats you can, and the volume grows to a cavernous 150 cu ft. The Sienna is practicality at its finest, then.

Safety Features

The 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium comes standard with Star Safety System which packs maximum safety for all occupants. The preventive safety equipment list is extensive with standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist for shorter and surer braking. Aiding safety and convenience is the Pre-Collision System with radar-based cruise control that maximises automated safety at almost all speeds. The auto brake ensures imminent collisions are avoided. You also have blind-spot alerts integrated into the wing mirrors and lane departure alert systems for maximum care when at highway speeds. Eight airbags are standard for protective safety. It’s no wonder it has earned five stars from NHTSA.

Powertrain, Drivetrain & Performance

A large premium vehicle like the Toyota Sienna minivan needs a big heart and this one has a sizeable one. A smooth and extremely refined 3.5L V6 is under the hood, making all of 266 hp at 6,200 rpm and 245 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm; generous figures for a minivan. The power and torque are fed to the front wheels through a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. So, what does it feel like to drive? First, the V6 is very smooth and the refinement levels are very good. It’s pretty quiet until you push it to get all the power, which becomes evident in the cabin despite all the sound deadening. Overall, the cabin is quiet and the suspension has been sorted to provide a comfortable, even pliant ride. Sound insulation in the cabin is good at most speeds and that makes it easier to enjoy the entertainment system. When you’re done admiring the quietness, this Sienna will hit 0-60 mph in just 7.6 seconds and achieve a top speed of 113 mph.

The 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium is rated at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 21 mpg. Together with the large 20-gallon tank, that makes for a travel range of over 400 miles.

Warranty

Offering complete peace of mind the 2015 Toyota Sienna comes with a 3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty. Furthermore, there’s a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty as well as a 5-year/unlimited mile rust-through warranty on the corrosion perforation of sheet metal. Big car, big warranty.

Conclusion

The 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium is the minivan to choose if you want a combination of sporty intent and minivan practicality. The Sienna is the second-most popular minivan in the country and for good reason. There is almost no competition when it comes to delivering a complete package of performance, space, features, comfort, practicality and efficiency. The Sienna, in its sport-oriented SE trim, also offers design elements which complement its car-like handling characteristics. Toyota has worked hard to improve the 2015 model, addressing all the shortcomings of the previous version. It’s certainly a smart buy.

 

Specific Make/Model & Trim Package: 2015 Toyota Sienna SE Premium

Base Price for this model: $39,680
Body style: Five-door, minivan
Engine & Torque: 3.5L V6, 24-valve DOHC, naturally aspirated, gasoline, 266 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Electronically Controlled automatic, FWD
Curb weight: 4,560 lbs
Wheels & Tires sizes/specs: 19”, 235/50 R19
Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile basic; 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain; 8-year/100,000 mile hybrid system; 5-year/unlimited mile rust and perforation
Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs (with Towing Prep Package)
Fuel economy EPA: City/Hwy MPG: 18 City / 25 Hway / 21 Combined
0-60 MPH, Quarter Mile: 7.6 seconds, 15.8 seconds
Top Speed: 113 mph

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

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