The Swagger Wagon is rolling into 2015 with some minor changes and updates centered mainly around a few exterior cosmetic bits and a few interior pieces. The new Sienna minivan isn’t much different from the outgoing van, which debuted back in 2011. The Sienna dates back to 1998 when Toyota launched the all-new minivan as a replacement for the mid-engine Previa minivan. (Yes, the Previa’s engine sat under the front seats!) The Sienna then moved into its second generation in 2004 and onto the third generation in 2011.
Toyota decided to take an unconventional approach to launching the 2015 Sienna and has enlisted the help of three kid-caring, viral Interwebz families that will help promote the van’s image as a cool parent-mobile. The marketing strategy piggybacks on the success of Toyota’s Swagger Wagon campaign back in 2011.
Officially the new Sienna will be launched in person at the Artscape, a free-arts festival in Baltimore, MD that happens from July 18th through 20th. But for those outside of Baltimore, the parents behind “Action Movie Kid,” “Eh Bee Family,” and “Convos with My 2-Year-Old” will be touting the Sienna’s launch hard on the web.
Click past the jump to read the full review of the updated 2015 Toyota Sienna.
Around the side and back, things pretty much stay the same.
A sharp eye and an expert level of Sienna knowledge are needed to readily discern the differences between the 2014 and 2015 models. Two front grilles are now offered: one in black mesh, the other in a chrome-like, horizontal-bar design. The headlights have slightly changed as well, now coming with an LED strip along the bottom for the daytime running lights.
Around the side and back, things pretty much stay the same. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the Sienna is still a pretty stylish contender in the minivan segment. Alloy wheels and a rearward-sloping roofline help add character to the van, while an accent scallop in the side doors helps put the Sienna on a visual diet. A large greenhouse means everyone has a good view outside — especially important for all those family roadtrips where the kiddos will be watching the passing scenery and not their favorite movie on the DVD system for the thousandth time.
One thing the Sienna does that Chrysler has never done is offer reclining second-row captains chairs.
The attraction for any minivan revolves around what’s inside. Room for kids, gear, dogs, balloons, rabbits, and the occasional lizard is generally the idea. The Sienna has no shortage of space for all that stuff and more. Just like before, the three-passenger, third-row seats tumble and fold flat while the second row captains chairs roll forward to produce a large open space for carrying plenty of stuff. The Sienna’s seats are nearly as innovative as the Chrysler’s Stow-N-Go system, but the Toyota affords plenty of room nonetheless.
One thing the Sienna does that Chrysler has never done is offer reclining second-row captains chairs. Just like those found in über expensive luxury sedans, a footrest folds up as the chair reline back for the ultimate nap-while-you-ride experience. Of course, that added luxury is optional and does come at a price.
The interior changes for 2015 involve an updated dashboard. The center console and HVAC controls are totally revised, along with the driver’s gauge cluster that houses a new 4.2-inch, color information display. A new, seven-inch touchscreen lives in the center console and now includes multi-function gestures, like swiping, for customizing the infotainment system’s home screen.
Also new is a drop-down mirror that helps the driver keep track of the back-seat passengers. If things get a little unruly back there, the driver now enjoys Toyota’s Easy Speak system that uses a microphone by the driver’s head to project his or her voice through the audio speakers in the rear seats. No more sore throats from yelling at that third row heathens. Joining the 2015 party is a new interior color – black leather with white contrast stitching.
Carrying over from 2014 is the 3.5-liter V-6 with dual overhead cams actuated with variable valve timing. The powerplant is good for 266 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
The combination of the V-6 and six-speed auto help the Sienna achieve 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. That’s not too bad considering the Sienna’s large size and hefty weight.
For those families who do the occasional towing, the Sienna is rated to pull 3,500 pounds when equipped with a frame-mounted receiver hitch.
While pricing for the new 2015 Sienna hasn’t been announced yet, we don’t expect it to venture far from the 2014 pricing spectrum. A base Sienna for 2014 starts at $26,920 and grows to over $45,000 for the Limited trim.
The Sienna has some stout competition for 2015, namely the all-new 2015 Sedona. With a swanky new exterior and a rather luxurious interior, the Sedona is a surprising leap forward in both design and function for the Korean automaker.
Powering the new Sedona is a 3.3-liter V-6 making 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The V-6 is backed by a six-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels.
Pricing for the 2015 Sedona hasn’t been released as of this writing, but expect it to be competitive with the Toyota.
Gallery Kia Sedona
They Odyssey is yet another strong minivan in the contenders’ list. The Honda is full of innovative interior packaging that includes a vacuum cleaner in the rear cargo area and a bevy of infotainment and safety features. The Odyssey’s interior and exterior styling is still fresh, though it hasn’t been long since its last update.
Power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 with Honda’s renowned VTEC system that makes 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Two transmissions are available; a five-speed auto in the base van and a six-speed unit in the Touring trim level. Go for the six-speed if fuel economy is a concern as the extra gear affords it an extra mile per gallon in every category. The EPA lists the six-speed Odyssey as getting 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.
Pricing for the Odyssey starts at $28,675 for the LX trim and rises past $44,000 for the Touring Elite package.
Gallery Honda Odyssey
The 2015 Toyota Sienna will surely continue the trend of swanky mommy-mobile for Toyota in the years to come. Though competition is getting stronger, the Toyota holds a pretty decent share of the market. The new interior styling and updated dashboard gadgets, along with the refreshed exterior styling help keep the Sienna relevant.
As with all minivans, if you’re needing to haul a bunch of people around in good comfort with plenty of room for extra stuff, it’s hard to go wrong here. While driving pleasure and excitement aren’t anywhere near top priority with the minivan scene, the Sienna still seems to deliver.
- Revised dashboard looks very modern
- Great people-mover with comfortable seats
- Plenty of cargo room with seats stowed
- Not that much has changed since last year
- Fuel economy can’t match a sedan
- Starts getting pricy with options
Gallery Toyota Sienna
A toddler rockets into space. A family’s imagination runs wild. A father begins a curious conversation. With a little creativity, some CGI effects and a bit of ironic humor, the redesigned 2015 Toyota Sienna is the star of the show. For the first time, Toyota is revealing a new vehicle completely online, introducing the 2015 Sienna van today through the eyes of three creative, social media-savvy parents. In a series of custom videos, these parents bring to life the everyday and sometimes unexpected adventures possible in and around the Sienna.
Creative parents have lit up the Internet with modern takes on kids’ antics, family experiences and the world around them. To show how the spirit of the 2015 Sienna inspires real families in their daily lives, Toyota enlisted parents from the “Action Movie Kid,” “Eh Bee Family,” and “Convos with My 2-Year-Old” to spend time in the new Sienna “Swagger Wagon” and create their own unexpected adventures.
“Today’s parents are embracing their life stage and those relatable family moments that make us laugh and feel connected,” said Jack Hollis, vice president of Toyota Division marketing at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “The 2015 Toyota Sienna seizes that same spirit of fun, everyday experiences with family and fits into the modern family dynamic. That is why Toyota chose to introduce the newest ‘Swagger Wagon’ to the world through a creative lens.”
The 2015 Sienna offers something for everyone with a more upscale interior, better handling and family-focused, smart technology. The available Driver Easy Speak feature uses the vehicle’s built-in microphone to amplify the driver’s voice through the rear speakers so parents don’t have to shout to passengers in the back. The available Dual-View, Blu-Ray rear seat entertainment system makes the Sienna a kid-favorite destination. More soft touch materials throughout and an optional black leather interior help families embrace the minivan lifestyle.
View all the Sienna reveal content from the Toyota-sponsored families on the Toyota YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/ToyotaUSA.
Sienna is One of the Family
To showcase the updated Swagger Wagon, Toyota partnered with creative parents and invited them to debut the Sienna’s new features and functionality using their own brands of imaginative storytelling.
The “Eh Bee” family of Andres, Rosanna, Gabriela and Roberto post six-second Vine videos that have earned them social media fame. The snappy mix of family dynamics, humor and wholesome parodies poke fun at modern parenthood. When the Eh Bee Family tried out the Sienna, they created funny moments about falling in love with “Sienna” and an over-eagerness to take it on a road trip.
“We loved goofing off in the Sienna and exploring the funny ways family vehicles fit into our daily lives,” said dad Andres. “Our videos embrace all the hilarity that comes with being a family in today’s world, and the Sienna fit right into those stories.”
Dreamworks after-effects artist Daniel “Hashi” Hashimoto transforms home videos of his son, James, into the viral YouTube sensation “Action Movie Kid.” Special effects allow James to perform virtual stunts like jumping over hot lava and wielding a working lightsaber. The adventures only got better when Hashi used the Sienna to virtually take his son into space and underwater.
“Working with the Sienna inspired me to imagine how James might look at everyday driving adventures and share that fun perspective with other parents,” said Hashi. “As a dad, I love watching my son explore his world, and the Sienna gave us a new avenue to check out.”
“Convos with My 2-Year-Old” took the Internet by storm when dad Matthew Clarke re-enacted conversations with his two-year-old daughter Coco, replacing her in videos with a grown man. The series documents chats about cookies, princess dolls and the ever-present desire to press the elevator button. Clarke and creative partner David Milchard reimagined the current format for a series of three videos titled “Conversations with My Sienna,” bringing the absurd tone to the minivan experience.
“It’s amazing how many people love the random conversations I have with my daughter, so it was fun to bring that sense of humor to the Sienna,” Clarke said. “Being a parent has made me much more observant of the little details in life and this campaign made me realize how much a vehicle is really an extension of the family.”
In addition to the reveal video series, the Sienna marketing campaign will center on social video content featuring the redesigned model as it rolls through the streets and cul-de-sacs of America.
Getting Inside the New Sienna
Even more parents will have the opportunity to meet the 2015 Sienna when it goes on display for the first time at Artscape in Baltimore. The free arts festival will be held July 18-20 and will host a collection of artists, exhibitions, outdoor sculpture, children’s entertainers and street theater. Visitors will be able to take in all of the vehicle’s newest features, including:
An optional 4.2-inch, color multi-information display can put turn-by-turn directions right in the driver’s instrument panel for the best viewing.
Available LED daytime running lights and headlights contribute to the redesigned front grill.
Capacitive switches on the optional 7-inch touchscreen allow users to swipe items on and off. It’s also customizable to place selected features on the home screen, such as music channels, available Driver Easy Speak and optional navigation.
An optional pull-down, conversation mirror lets the driver check on passengers without turning around.
Available black leather interior with white contrast stitching.
Gauges in the instrument panel have a new, modern look.
Safety remains a top priority for families, and the 2015 Sienna brings features to help provide peace-of-mind. With eight airbags, the 2015 Sienna has the most airbags in its class. The available panoramic backup camera now comes standard and has virtual guidelines to help navigate the driveway with greater confidence. It’s also easier to securely install children’s car seats with four LATCH locations.