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A red 2017 Toyota Sienna is shown from the side.

Why the Toyota Sienna and Its 2017 Model Is a Great Used Option for Minivan Shoppers

If you’re filled with dread at the prospect of finding a used Toyota dealer or another retailer to start your used Sienna search, you’re not alone. Today’s automotive retail industry includes a confusing array of sellers, ranging from app-based transactional retailers to private sellers who promote their vehicles on third-party classified ad sites. Only one seller has remained consistent throughout the industry’s strange and fragmented evolution: the traditional brick-and-mortar dealer.

Many buyers seeking the elusive “unicorn” deal, an ultra-cheap used Toyota Sienna with low mileage and no mechanical issues, look to alternative sellers hoping their dream car is hiding in plain sight. Unfortunately, those types of deals are few and far between. More important is finding a retailer that understands the balance between fair pricing and high quality; you want to drive home in a reliable minivan that won’t put too big a dent in your wallet.

Choosing an authorized Toyota dealer as your Sienna purchase partner makes sense for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is selection. The Sienna comes in multiple trims and configurations, so whether you know exactly which one you want or need help deciding, having a Toyota salesperson with brand and model knowledge at your disposal has benefits. In the meantime, this comprehensive Toyota Sienna overview will get you started.

Toyota Sienna Features and Benefits

Buying a used Sienna makes sense since Toyota manufactures reliable, highly resilient minivans. The family-friendly Toyota brand has doubled down on the minivan segment, redesigning the Sienna for the 2021 model year when many manufacturers have abandoned the category altogether. Turns out, Toyota’s decision to release the fourth-generation Sienna is great news for used minivan buyers.

The third-generation Sienna offers an even greater value opportunity now that Toyota has launched a redesigned model. This generation of Sienna spans nearly a decade, and Toyota tweaked some key features in the 2015, 2017, and 2018 model years, including upgrading the transmission and increasing horsepower ratings. Other beneficial changes included revamping the onboard infotainment system and adding more driver-assist safety systems.

In 2015, Toyota upgraded the Sienna’s center console and dashboard layout to a more ergonomic and tech-friendly layout. In addition, upper-level Sienna trims received LED headlights. For 2017, the original six-speed automatic transmission was swapped out for a smooth-shifting eight-speed version, and Toyota redesigned the engine with a direct injection fuel system that increased horsepower to 296 and torque to 263 lb-ft.

The 2018 model year saw a reimagined exterior design, with a more modern grille and headlight array that varied by trim level. Multiple driver-assist systems became standard across the trim range. These included adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. The third-generation Sienna also included a newer version of Toyota’s infotainment operating system, which allows seamless smartphone connectivity. By far, the 2017 Sienna offers the most intriguing value proposition for used buyers. Let’s take a deeper look at this model year and what it has to offer to drivers shopping on the used market.

A silver 2018 Toyota Sienna is shown from the front at an angle.

Popular 2017 Sienna Trims and Configurations

Car and Driver bestowed a perfect 10/10 rating on the 2017 Toyota Sienna, highlighting its spaciousness, spirited acceleration, and smooth ride handling capabilities. At the time, the Sienna was the only minivan available with all-wheel drive. A more powerful 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission increased power and acceleration and improved fuel economy ratings.

The base Sienna L offers tremendous value for budget buyers, but the high-end Limited is where the 2017 Sienna shines. The Limited features LED daytime running lights, a trim-specific chrome front grille, and heated power outside mirrors with an auto-dimming feature and embedded turn signals. The dual moonroof lets the light in throughout the spacious cabin for an even more comfortable and inviting cabin. Inside, it’s all plush leather seating and creature comforts, including a 10-speaker JBL audio system with concert-grade sound.

The Sienna SE sits at the mid-range of the expansive 2017 Sienna lineup and also includes upscale interior features like heated front seats, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. The keyless entry system, power sliding side doors, and power liftgate help busy moms and dads get the kids and their gear stowed conveniently and quickly. Moving up to the SE Premium adds an in-cabin intercom system, so breaking up the squabble back in the third row will no longer require pulling over.

The 2017 Sienna Offers a Variety of Safety and Utility for Busy Families

Every 2017 Toyota Sienna comes with Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, along with Smart Stop Technology, a system that helps you automatically decelerate and gradually bring the vehicle to a full stop. A series of airbags provides impact protection right where you and your passengers need it, including seat-mounted side airbags and an airbag that protects the driver’s knee area. Side curtain airbags run the length of the cabin for additional protection.

Available driver-assist features include Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, a system that watches for vehicles coming from either direction as you back up; Blind Spot Warning, which constantly scans the area behind both sides of your Sienna for incoming vehicles to ensure safe lane changes; and front and rear parking assist radar that minimizes the potential for “bumper kisses” as you attempt to park. These safety features help drivers navigate the bulk of a minivan without the guesswork.

Limited Sienna trims equipped with the Limited Advanced Technology Package add Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Hill-Start Assist, and a pre-collision system to help drivers avoid a crash. Even the affordable mid-range SE can include premium features when the SE Preferred Package is added, including a push-button start, premium audio, and navigation. The base L has a smaller 6.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, while higher trims receive a 7-inch version. Buyers can opt for a SiriusXM satellite radio subscription that includes real-time weather and traffic updates.

At more than 200 inches in overall length, the Sienna offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo. Even the dreaded third row has 38.3 inches of headroom and 36.3 inches of legroom: plenty for your little ones and enough for an adult to stay comfortable on long drives. The Sienna offers a surprising max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, making it a great choice for weekend family camping trips. The large, 20-gallon fuel tank means you’ll drive right past the gas station on your way to your final destination.

A beige 2017 Toyota Sienna is shown from the side after leaving a used Toyota dealer.

The 2017 Sienna Has Everything Drivers Are Looking For in a Pre-Owned Minivan

Choosing a 2017 Toyota Sienna makes sense for many reasons. Specifically, the Sienna includes advanced safety features and offers more power and better acceleration than the competition. It’s the only minivan brand with an available all-wheel drive model (in the 2017 model year), and it’s backed by Toyota’s legendary reliability and quality.

When you’re ready to start your search, consider giving your business to an authorized Toyota dealer. Doing so eliminates most of the risk associated with buying used, including getting stuck with a lemon or interacting with a sketchy seller. Buyers shouldn’t be leery of dealer mark-ups or hidden fees: these tactics are largely gone from any reputable dealer’s playlist. Instead, expect a supportive, efficient purchase process and a professional team of vehicle experts.

Looking at the minivan landscape as a used buyer, you can’t get much more of a sure thing than a Toyota Sienna. Homing in on the features and benefits of specific model years, such as the 2017 model, allows you to end up with a well-equipped minivan at a budget-friendly price. Sure, you won’t get that new car smell, but your payments will stay low, and you won’t grapple with absorbing thousands of dollars in depreciation. Considering most minivan buyers are looking for practicality, the 2017 Toyota Sienna is sure to meet the demands of those looking for a reliable minivan with an array of modern features.