Best & Worst Toyota Sienna Years

Not sure which Toyota Sienna to buy? We've analyzed each model year in order to help you find which year to get and which Toyota Sienne years to avoid.

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 offers you an overview of all Toyota Sienna model years, from the finest to the poorest, while introducing a middle ground we refer to as ‘neutral.’

Here is an overview of the Toyota Sienna across its four generations:

GenerationYears
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:

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
XL10 (1998-2003)2000
2001
2002
1998
1999
2003
XL20 (2004-2010)2005
2006
2004
2009
2007
2008
2010
XL30 (2011-2020)2011
2012
2015
2016
2018
2020
20132014
2017
2019
XL40 (2021-Present)2021
2023
2022N/A

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)

Toyota Sienna 1st generation 1998 model
The 1998 Toyota Sienna

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 dependable in terms of reliability and safety, but lacked some of the advancements that would come in the subsequent 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 problems were related to engine oil sludge leading to engine failure and steering related issues. Due to these problems, this year falls into our ‘Least favorable’ category for the first generation.

Best & Worst Years For Toyota Sienna 2nd Generation (2004-2010)

Toyota Sienna (2nd generation, 2004 model car)
The 2004 Toyota Sienna

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)

Toyota Sienna 3rd generation 2011 model car
The 2011 Toyota Sienna

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 enhance 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)

Toyota Sienna 4th generation 2021 model
The 2021 Toyota Sienna

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 Sienna Average List Price

Conclusion

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!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.