The Toyota Sienna is known for its capacious interior and top-tier safety ratings and it has remained a perennial favorite among family vehicles.
With an extensive production history, each generation and model year comes with its unique set of pros and cons.
This guides gives you an overview of all Toyota Sienna model years, from the best to the worst, while introducing a middle ground we call ‘neutral.’
Here is an overview of the Toyota Sienna across its four generations:
|Toyota Sienna (1st generation, XL10)||1998-2003|
|Toyota Sienna (2nd generation, XL20)||2004-2010|
|Toyota Sienna (3rd generation, XL30)||2011-2020|
|Toyota Sienna (4th generation, XL40)||2021-Present|
Understanding these generations is crucial as there are substantial changes between each that can serve as deciding factors for potential buyers. For each generation, we’ve categorized model years into ‘Best,’ ‘Neutral,’ and ‘Worst,’ based on a thorough review of data across several reliable sources.
‘Neutral Years’ represent model years that neither excel in reliability and owner satisfaction nor show significant problems. They could have an evenly balanced set of pros and cons, or simply be average across all the factors we considered.
Here’s how we’ve categorized each model year:
|Generation||Best Years||Neutral Years||Worst Years|
The ranks in the table above are arrived at considering various key factors, including:
- Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
- Annual maintenance costs
- Safety rating
- Consumer Reports reliability score
- Consumer Reports owner satisfaction score
- NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
- Edmunds owner ratings
- JD Power owner ratings
- Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
- VehicleHistory owner ratings
- Cars.com owner ratings
Please note, some of these factors, such as NHTSA recalls, have a negative impact. The higher the number of recalls, the lower the car’s reliability, and consequently, the lower its score.
Table of ContentsShow
Best & Worst Years For Toyota Sienna 1st Generation (1998-2003)
The 1st generation Sienna came onto the scene in 1998, signaling Toyota’s intent to make its mark on the minivan market with a strong emphasis on safety and comfort.
The Best Years: 2000, 2001, 2002
During these years, the Sienna earned its place in the ‘Best’ category thanks to its reliable 3.0L V6 engine and safety technologies.
With less reported issues and positive consumer feedback on comfort and drive quality, these model years stand as the high points of the first generation. The 2002 model, in particular, received the highest ratings in crash tests, setting it apart.
The Neutral Years: 1998, 1999
These were the initial years of the Sienna, where Toyota was trying to find its footing in the minivan market.
The vehicles from these years were solid in terms of reliability and safety, but lacked some of the advancements that would come in the following years. No major defects or issues were reported, thus earning them a ‘Neutral’ tag.
The Worst Years: 2003
The 2003 model year saw an increase in reported problems.
The majority of issues were related to engine oil sludge leading to engine failure and steering related problems. Due to these problems, this year falls into our ‘Worst’ category for the first generation.
Best & Worst Years For Toyota Sienna 2nd Generation (2004-2010)
Toyota revamped the Sienna for its second generation in 2004, introducing a sleeker design, more room, and increased features.
The Best Years: 2005, 2006
The Sienna excelled in these years due to its introduction of the new 3.3L V6 engine, providing increased horsepower and smoother performance.
Furthermore, the inclusion of features like fold-flat third-row seats and optional all-wheel-drive positioned these years as the best of the second generation.
The Neutral Years: 2004, 2009
While the introductory 2004 model brought a host of new features, it did have its share of initial release problems. The 2009 model didn’t have any significant advances or disadvantages, offering a balanced but not outstanding ownership experience.
Therefore, these years are categorized as ‘Neutral’.
The Worst Years: 2007, 2008, 2010
These years saw a surge in reported problems, especially with the power sliding doors and the air conditioning system.
There were also a number of recalls that put a dent in the Sienna’s reliability reputation, which is why these years are designated as the ‘Worst’ for this generation.
Best & Worst Years For Toyota Sienna 3rd Generation (2011-2020)
The Sienna got another overhaul in 2011, with a new design and an increased focus on interior comfort and entertainment features.
The Best Years: 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020
These model years stood out due to their 3.5L V6 engine, delivering more power and better fuel efficiency.
Improved interior materials, advanced infotainment system, and the addition of the cutting-edge safety system, Toyota Safety Sense P, in 2018 continued to amplify their appeal. As a result, they are awarded the ‘Best’ label for their third iteration.
The Neutral Years: 2013
The 2013 model didn’t stand out in terms of significant improvements but continued to deliver a solid performance, comfort, and reliability. Thus, this year fits our ‘Neutral’ category.
The Worst Years: 2014, 2017, 2019
These years witnessed more issues connected to interior quality, as well as some enduring problems with the entertainment system. The heightened frequency of these problems earned these years the ‘Worst’ title for the third generation.
Best & Worst Years For Toyota Sienna 4th Generation (2021-Present)
With the fourth generation, the Sienna shifted to a hybrid-only model, placing an emphasis on fuel efficiency while maintaining its spacious and comfortable interiors.
The Best Years: 2021, 2023
These years are highlighted by the efficient hybrid powertrain, which offers excellent fuel economy while maintaining robust performance.
The modern interior design, comprehensive advanced safety features, and positive consumer reports make these the best years of the current generation.
The Neutral Years: 2022
The 2022 Sienna didn’t bring about any significant changes over the previous year but maintained the solid performance, comfort, and fuel efficiency of the hybrid model, placing it in our ‘Neutral’ category.
With the 4th generation still being recent, it does not have any ‘Worst’ years as all models till now have shown strong performance and reliability.
Toyota Sienna Average Resale Values
If you want to know what the average resale price of each model year of the Toyota Sienna is, then look at our graph below:
Toyota’s certainly thrown a lot of cool stuff our way throughout, but there were a few bumps in the road too.
In this guide, we showed you exactly which Toyota Sienna years to avoid and which Toyota Sienna years to go for.
Have you had a Sienna parked in your driveway before? What year was it and what was it like to live with? Your story could really help others looking at buying a Sienna.
Comment your experience in the section below!