For 2017, the Sienna gets a bit more horsepower and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. It competes against the Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Sedona; It also competes against the Honda Odyssey, which is redesigned for 2018.
Exterior & Styling
Despite what your friends say, the words “minivan” and “style” are not mutually exclusive, and several automakers succeed with head-turning designs; the Sienna is not among them. Its last redesign — for the 2015 model year — brought a more streamlined grille and sharper, dynamic-looking headlights, but it wasn’t enough.
The Kia Sedona’s brawny, studded front end is both dramatic and handsome, and the Chrysler Pacifica oozes class with its polished face and sleek silhouette. The Sienna lives somewhere in the middle — dullsville.
How It Drives
Like cramming a Dustbuster into the couch to rescue long-lost Cheerios, the Sienna is a chore to drive. It’s both slow and groaningly, unpleasantly loud. Its gruff engine sound is a constant presence in the cabin, and high levels of road noise had me checking to make sure all the windows were rolled up.
I tested an all-wheel-drive model, and although its updated 3.5-liter V-6 engine adds 30 more horsepower and direct injection for 2017, it doesn’t feel any quicker. The added weight of the all-wheel drive bogs it down. The van is lethargic from a stop, and the busy, rough-shifting new eight-speed automatic transmission took its time delivering more power for passing.
However, it might be a worthy tradeoff for families in the snow belt, as the Sienna remains the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive; it’s an option on LE, XLE and Limited trims. It proved capable during a winter weekend, easily muscling through compacted snow and maintaining a good grip on my neighborhood’s icy side streets.