Why the 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan is My Eleven Year Old’s Dream Car

2022 Toyota Sienna Review

Let’s face it – most of us don’t grow up dreaming of owning a minivan.

We may end up in them for convenience’s sake, but if you’re anything like me you go through the stages of denial before you finally decide you actually need one. Not so for my eleven-year-old son who declares his love for vans every time we get to drive a minivan. And the 2022 Toyota Sienna stole his heart with its sporty seats, big dropdown entertainment screen and SO. MUCH. SPACE. I think, in the span of three days, he told me “We need one of these!” about seven times. Maybe he’s right.

Related: Yes, Every Classic Car Parade Needs a Minivan. And Kids in Costumes.

Third Row Access In The 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan. Photo: Erica Mueller

Third row access in the 2022 Toyota Sienna minivan. Photo: Erica Mueller

Minivan Features that Just Make Sense

Sliding doors that don’t ding other cars or the walls of your garage are so smart. The deep cargo space behind the third row, designed to allow the third-row seats to fold down into them to create a flat floor give you way more cargo space than you’ll find in most 3-row SUVs.

Related: Why a Used 2017 Toyota Sienna Might Be the Right Car For You

2022 Toyota Sienna Review

Adjustable, sliding second row seats are one of my favorite things about minivans! Photo by Erica Mueller

Features like microphones in the front which allow you speak to the rear passengers, or cameras that allow you to see your kids without turning around make life in a van so effortless. And finally, the low ground clearance and big doors enable parents to help littles in and out of the car with ease and comfort.

2022 Toyota Sienna Interior

Check out all the space under the console! Photo by Erica Mueller

Things We Loved About the 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan

Front Console Storage:

The first thing I noticed when I got into the Sienna was the grand storage space under the front console. Yes, grand. I could easily fit my purse and my laptop bag with room to spare and I imagined how handy this space would have been when I was lugging around a huge backpack diaper bag!

A Bag hook on the Back of the Front Console

I mean, really, where has this tiny little hook been all my life and why isn’t there one in every vehicle? We used this little hook for a small tote or the toddler’s mini backpack, making it easily accessible from the front seat and also keeping it from rolling around on the floor under her feet. I can see it being a great place to hang a purse, hold a dog leash, or hang a bag for things that need to be thrown away.

Cupholders out the Wazoo

(Anyone actually know what a wazoo is? #askingforafriend) As a family, we’re pretty good about keeping our vehicles cleaned out so we don’t usually find ourselves with half-drunk or empty bottles and cups that need to be moved to make room for our latest refreshment. But, when we’re on a road trip and treats and drinks are flowing to keep all our passengers, large and small, old and young, happy, cupholders quickly become a valuable commodity. Having multiple for each person is golden and the Sienna delivers in spades.

Window shades on the Large Second-row Windows

These really help to block the bright sunlight and keep small people happy.

A Fun Sporty Design

The orange stitching on the black interior materials really pop and give this interior a sporty feel. And I was a huge fan of the blacked-out wheels paired with this beautiful Blueprint Blue paint color.

Related: Toyota Sienna vs. Chrysler Pacifica vs. Honda Odyssey: How Do These Minivans Stack Up in the Ultimate Showdown?

2022 Toyota Sienna Console

4 drink holders, wireless charging, USB port for charging/using Apple Car Play or Android Auto, huge multimedia screen, and a nice solid console shifter. Photo by Erica Mueller

The Hybrid Engine is Where it’s At

The only engine option for this van is a hybrid and all-wheel drive is standard. After driving 4 different minivans I can tell you, this hybrid engine is THE.MOST.FUN. Maybe it’s that the 245 horsepower comes from the two motors–one gas and one battery-driven–to give it its responsiveness.

That, combined with 176 lb.-ft. of torque, meaning the 2022 Toyota Sienna doesn’t have the largest or fastest engine among its competitors, but it felt quick and accelerated evenly and comfortably, and the van’s suspension kept the entire cabin on an even keel. Even my husband and brother-in-law loved the way this thing drove.

Related: I’m Now A Hybrid Fan, Thanks to the 2022 Toyota Venza Limited Hybrid SUV

2022 Toyota Sienna Cargo Space

See that deep deep empty space? I call it the “cargo well” because it seems to fit an endless amount of groceries, sports gear and luggage. And the cubby on the left is AWESOME for bags of small items that might roll around. Photo by Erica Mueller

What You Should Know About the Sienna

Starting price: $42,100
Model we drove: $46,664 (including destination fee)
2.5L 4-cylinder engine
20-inch wheels
Sports tuned suspension
LED headlights with auto on/off
9″ touch screen media system
12-speaker premium JBL sound system
Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatible (not wireless)
Wireless phone charger
6 USB charge ports + 2 120V AC outlets
Rear seat reminder
Rear seat entertainment system + 2 wireless headphones

A few things that surprised me a little – the backup camera on this van doesn’t produce a real high-quality image like I’ve come to expect from new vehicles. And there are no USB-C charging ports in the vehicle and no charging options in the third-row. While I appreciate the sportier look of this package, I missed having some kind of side steps. This van, while lower than an SUV, still requires a bit of a step up to enter and I think some running boards would really help kids and grandparents get in and out.

Related: Move Over, Minivans: The 2022 Kia Carnival Is Redefining the Multipurpose Family Car

Third Row Folded. Photo: Erica Mueller

Third row folded. Photo: Erica Mueller

Disclosure: Toyota lent me this 2022 Toyota Sienna minivan for a family road trip. All photos and opinions are my own. Also, this post contains affiliate links. 

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A web developer, digital marketing consultant, auto journalist, truck expert, photographer and lover of gadgets, Erica is a textbook... More about Erica Mueller