Expanding Its Appeal

By Derek Price

Just a year after introducing an all-new Sienna — only available as a hybrid — Toyota is flexing its minivan innovation muscles once again.
The Woodland Edition, a new version of the Sienna for 2022, is designed for something vans aren’t necessarily known for: off-road driving.
It’s a lot more than a style upgrade, although the rugged look fits the new Sienna surprisingly well. The Woodland rides more than a half inch higher, providing 6.9 inches of ground clearance to help reach the campsite, and also comes standard with all-wheel drive.
It comes equipped for outdoor adventures, including a 1,500-watt power inverter to provide AC current when out on excursions and a trailer hitch to take advantage of its 3,500-pound towing capacity.
I think the Woodland Edition is a brilliant way to combat a common problem for car companies: buyers switching en masse to crossover vehicles. If someone wants to tow their toys, drive off-road in a pinch and have better traction on slick roads, they don’t need an SUV. They can do it all in this van.
Of course, the Sienna doesn’t offer the truck-like look that drives a lot of interest in crossovers. But for people who appreciate the logic of a spacious cabin, sliding doors, giant cargo area and smooth, car-like ride, new flavors of Sienna help expand its appeal.

Toyota is adding a Woodland Edition of the Sienna, pictured here, with a lifted suspension and all-wheel drive for outdoor adventures.

The version I tested — not the new Woodland, but the sporty XSE — is another example of that.
Toyota calls this a sport-tuned suspension, and compared to other versions of the Sienna, it is. The 20-inch wheels and relatively taut suspension on my tester delivered a better feeling of the road than the other squishy, supple trims.
Still, it’s not nearly as engaging as the Honda Odyssey. The Sienna XSE seems aimed at buyers who like the smooth, soft ride of a Toyota but don’t want to feel quite so isolated and floaty from the driver’s seat.
As a whole, this fresh-generation van doesn’t have a single downside. Its cabin quality has caught up with the spectacularly well-dressed Chrysler Pacifica; its ride is as smooth and composed as a luxury car; its spaciousness feels like driving around in a living room with storage bins everywhere you look.
Best of all, especially for a vehicle aimed at logical buyers, it gets absolutely amazing gas mileage. Every Sienna is a hybrid vehicle, combining a 134-kW electric motor with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine to deliver strong acceleration and good gas mileage.

After a redesign for 2021, the Sienna has a modern, well-built cabin designed for modern families. It’s packed with USB power ports and storage bins.

It’s rated for 36 mpg in both city and highway driving. It sips fuel like an economy car, yet it has the spaciousness and practicality of a giant SUV. I absolutely loved that mixture on a family road for the holidays.
Pricing starts at $34,560 for the base SE, which includes power sliding doors, keyless entry and a long list of safety features. The sports XSE starts at $42,100, while the Woodland Edition is priced from $45,350.
The Platinum trim tops the lineup with an upscale cabin and high-tech features, including a Bird’s Eye View camera that can scan around the van’s perimeter, priced at an even $50,000.

At A Glance

What was tested? 2022 Toyota Sienna XSE ($42,100). Options: Rear-seat entertainment system ($1,415), power inverter with two AC outlets ($300), XSE Plus Package ($1,000), carpet floor mats ($220), rear bumper appliqué ($69), illuminated door sills ($245), wireless headphones ($100).  Price as tested (including $1,215 destination charge): $46,664
Wheelbase: 120.5 in.
Length: 204.1 in.
Width: 78.5 in.
Height: 68.5 in.
Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine plus 134-kW electric motor (245 combined system horsepower)
Transmission: Continuously variable
Fuel economy: 36 city, 36 highway

Style: 5
Performance: 7
Price: 8
Handling: 6
Ride: 8
Comfort: 9
Quality: 10
Overall: 8

Why buy it?
The Sienna is amazingly practical and logical for families, including its gas mileage. Available only as a hybrid, it is rated for 36 mpg in both city and highway driving.

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