Sienna’s exterior got a mild makeover for 2015 which brought a new grille design, slimmer headlights, LED daytime running lights and a revised tail lamp design. The changes aren’t earth shattering, in fact you would not likely notice from across a parking lot.
The style however remains contemporary, and with the Limited model we tested you get HID headlights, premium 18” alloy wheels and an expansive panoramic dual sunroof.
Inside the 2015 Sienna is where the big news is. An all-new interior has a much more premium look and feel with better materials, plenty of soft touch trims with stitching, and a better ergonomic layout for important controls.
The dash simply looks better with a design similar to that found in the Toyota Avalon. The center stack has controls smartly located and a new larger touchscreen audio system features the latest Entune suite of apps and back up camera.
A new instrument cluster also gets a much more informative center screen which has vehicle control menus, infotainment, navigation and fuel economy screens to choose from. As ours was equipped with the new for 2015 driver assistance aids, controls for this were found here too.
Rear seat passengers can enjoy comfortable captain’s chairs which can recline with pop-out ottomans. This is provided they are slid back a good way. While there they can watch the wide screen theater system with wireless headsets.
The system can display two video sources at one time be it DVD, Blueray, SD card or auxiliary input which could be handy with kids who have different tastes in their entertainment.
The third row seats afford a seating position and room for three adults just fine, but if the second row passengers are using their ottomans, it can get snug back here.
A nice feature is the power folding mechanism for the third row. At the touch of a button they can stow into the floor creating a perfectly flat cargo area. No effort required. The second row seats are removable too, but they do require effort.
Power for 2015 continues to come from Toyota’s 266 horsepower 3.5 liter V6 which comes mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain provides whipped cream smooth operation with decent fuel economy for this size vehicle.
The EPA rates the 2015 Sienna at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. We achieved 22 mpg combined which is right about in the middle and as expected here.
Chassis improvements for 2015 include a stiffened body structure afforded by 140 additional spot welds. It may not sound like much, but this one felt much more solid on the road than the 2014 model we tested last fall.
And that gets us to what is likely the most important improvements to the 2015 Sienna which have to do with safety. A new front passenger seat airbag brings the total to eight and a larger side curtain airbag now spans the entire length including the third row.
This year advanced crash prevention systems are now available including blind spot monitor with tear cross traffic alert and a pre-collision system that can warn of impending obstacles. These changes help the Sienna to achieve this year the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick + status.