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I am driving the 2022 Toyota Sienna XSE for a week and one of its standout options is the available rear-seat entertainment system. This feature includes a massive 11.6-inch display complete with an HDMI input, a remote, and two wireless headphones. In my testing, I found that the screen was massive and clear, but considering many families use tablets and phones nowadays, the feature is also rather unnecessary.

2022 Toyota Sienna front shot in brown
2022 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

The 2022 Toyota Sienna rear-seat entertainment system has no use for DVDs

The 2022 Toyota Sienna's rear-entertainment system headphones and remote control
The 2022 Toyota Sienna’s rear-entertainment system headphones and remote control | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

When I decided to test out the 2022 Sienna’s rear entertainment system, I grabbed a DVD from my not-so-extensive collection and ran out to the van with the anticipation that I would be able to kick my feet up and watch it. I hopped in the Sienna, started it up, and then made my way to the second-row seating area. Upon closer inspection, I realized that I didn’t have any place to put my beloved DVD.

There’s a spot for a 110-volt outlet and a port for an HDMI input. Obviously, this system is set up for using gaming consoles, DVD players, or whatever else you can hook up to an HDMI port. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything to use, so I tried hooking my iPhone up to the system wirelessly.

Unfortunately, iPhone users cannot connect wirelessly

The rear entertainment screen menu shows the different ways to connect to the system.
The rear entertainment screen menu shows the different ways to connect to the system. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

While I was deeply saddened that I couldn’t play my Shrek 2 DVD in the Sienna, I was determined to at least make my iPhone work with it. I don’t have the special HDMI-to-lightning cable adapter, so my only option was to connect my phone to the system wirelessly. When going this route, you will have two different options: connecting via Rear-DLNA or Miracast. Both options rely on the user downloading the Miracast app or DLNA screen-sharing app on their phone to connect to the system.

After about 20 minutes of fiddling with my phone and frustratingly trying to get it to hook up to the Sienna, I finally gave up. According to Everyday Toyota, the Sienna’s rear entertainment system can’t connect wirelessly to an iPhone because the Miracast app doesn’t support it. In my findings, the DLNA app doesn’t work either. So if you have an iPhone or any other Apple product to connect to the screen, then your only option is to use the HDMI input.

My third, and final, attempt to hook something up to the Sienna’s rear-entertainment screen involved me hooking up an old Playstation 3 via the HDMI cable. You would think it would work flawlessly, considering it’s a plug-and-play affair. However, nothing appeared on the screen. I figured it was user error, but when I hooked the gaming console up to my home TV, it worked fine.

Is it worth it to opt for the rear entertainment system?

The large 11.6-inch screen blocks the rearview mirror visibility in the 2022 Toyota Sienna.
The large 11.6-inch screen blocks the rearview mirror visibility in the 2022 Toyota Sienna. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

In my opinion, no. Considering the rear-seat entertainment system costs an extra $1,415 and does everything that a tablet or cell phone can do without any connection hassle, it’s not really worth it. On top of that, when the large 11.6-inch screen is folded down, it blocks the car’s rearview from the driver’s seat, which can be hazardous.

However, I will say that it’s nice to have a fully integrated system with wireless headphones that kids can use and not bug their parents while driving. But then again, those handy iPads and phones can be hooked up to wireless headphones as well. Ultimately, I would recommend skipping this feature and saving you money.

But if you do opt for it, then just remember to leave your Shrek 2 DVD – as well as any others – safely at home.


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