If you think the minivan segment isn’t as competitive as the truck or sedan class, you’re dead wrong. Soccer moms are looking for the latest and greatest features on the market as well, particularly when it comes to technology and safety. Which is why the 2018 Toyota Sienna’s tech-oriented refresh comes at a perfect time. After all, the competition is making sure to keep their respective van models up to date. Why? Quite simply because technology is constantly evolving, so it’s imperative that automakers ensure their minivans are updated with the latest and greatest features. Lest they lose consumers to family-sized sedans with more entertaining technology.
With the tech-oriented changes made to the Sienna, Toyota has ensured that won’t happen.
A lot of the Sienna’s upcoming changes ahead of its fall 2017 arrival involve technology.
Starting with the Entune 3.0 infotainment system made standard on all trims, with Connected Navigation Scout. The Connected Navigation Scout feature uses your phone as a navigation system. On the top-tier trim, the Entune 3.0 system adds a JBL audio system and navigation standard; whereas, that JBL audio system is an available option on the SE and XLE trims.
Furthermore, every trim except for the base L, comes with 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connectivity. This should really help conserve data if you’re on a family plan and have to haul all the kids around. Especially since there are now five USB ports across three rows, and the rear seat entertainment system also has streaming capability for Android devices. Without that Wi-Fi, you’d be burning through cellular data so fast when the kids throw on Netflix.
In the front, you’ll find a 4.2-inch information display, further enhanced by an optional surround-view camera system if you purchase the Limited model.
Safety falls in step with technology, given that most safety features (apart from airbags and a safety cage) are electronic.
A perfect example of this is Toyota’s Safety Sense-P, which has been added to the Sienna for the next model year. It’s a suite of active (driver assist) and passive safety systems that help make you feel more confident, and your family safer, on the road.
Toyota Safety Sense-P involves features such as autonomous emergency braking, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure mitigation with steering assist.
Sure, all these features are already found on the Sienna. But, you must have to pay for it, right? Wrong, actually. Interestingly enough, the Toyota Safety Sense-P system is standard. I say interestingly enough, because more often than not, driver assist features like adaptive cruise control and lane-departure mitigation with steering assist are optional features, and cost extra.
Other Than That, the Sienna Remains Relatively Unchanged
Apart from the technology changes and additional safety enhancements, the Sienna remains relatively untouched. Under the hood, it’s still humming along with its 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 296 horsepower. It’s also still the only minivan in the class to offer all-wheel drive performance.
Exterior styling gets a couple of minor changes, like a new bumper with a larger grille and nose, along with a laminated windshield on the SE trim, and acoustic glass in the front side windows on the Limited trim. But other than that, it’s still easily recognizable as last year’s Sienna.