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When shopping for any vehicle, it’s natural to want to pick the highest trim level. And why not? The top trim typically comes with everything you want and need, so it should be the best deal, right? Not so much.

May I point to the 2022 Toyota Sienna XSE as evidence. It’s the middle trim level that splits the difference between the base-trim LE and the top-trim Platinum. And while it may not have all of the bells and whistles, here are five reasons the Sienna XSE trim offers the best value for the money.

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE side profile shot
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Toyota

1. The 2022 Toyota Sienna XSE comes with a hybrid powertrain

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE hybrid badge
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Toyota

The Toyota Sienna was updated for the 2021 model year and among the most prominent changes was the inclusion of a hybrid powertrain across all of its trim levels. Of course, that includes the XSE trim. The setup consists of a 2.5-liter gas engine connected to a pair of electric motors, which makes a combined horsepower rating of 243.

On top of that, the Sienna is able to achieve up to an EPA-estimated 35 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is impressive. In my real-world testing Sienna XSE, I was able to average 33 mpg in mixed driving conditions.

2. The dark 20-inch wheels and sport suspension make the Sienna look more aggressive

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE dark gray 20-inch wheel
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE 20-inch wheel | Toyota

Although Toyota once marketed the Sienna as a “swagger wagon” to make it look cool, there’s no escaping the stigma that any minivan carries with it. However, the Sienna XSE comes with 20-inch wheels, more aggressive front, and rear bumpers, and sport front seats. No, they don’t exactly give the family hauler any real racecar vibes, but they do make it look a lot cooler.

3. The XSE trim level comes with all of the safety features you need

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE front seat area
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Toyota

Toyota is known for producing safe vehicles and the Sienna is no exception. Every Sienna comes standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0, which includes driver-assist features like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, radar cruise control, and a lane departure alert. Other standard safety features include automatic high beams and road sign assist. As you can guess by now, the XSE trim has this as well, which is an added plus for keeping your family and friends safe.

4. The SofTex-trimmed seats are comfortable and easy-to-clean

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE center console
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE center console area | Toyota

Speaking of family and friends, when is the last time you had to clean up after them? Fortunately, the Sienna XSE comes standard with SofTex-trimmed seats, which is a simulated leather material. This material is easy to clean up and maintain, which is what you wouldn’t get if you opted for the base Sienna trim level.

5. The Sienna XSE trim level is priced well

2022 Toyota Sienna XSE driving down a road
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Sienna Is Faster Than This Ferrari

The 2022 Toyota Sienna has a starting price of $34,560 for the base LE trim level, which can extend up to $50,000 for the top-trim Platinum. The best thing about the XSE trim is that it’s priced right in the middle at $42,100, which is a great price considering the equipment that comes with it.

Some of the most notable features include an onboard navigation system, a power tailgate, and a Driver Easy Speak feature that lets the driver talk to the third row over the car’s speakers.

The Toyota Sienna XSE is a great option

If you’re shopping for a new minivan and happen to check out the 2022 Toyota Sienna, it would be worth it to pay attention to the XSE trim level. Its bolder aesthetics, standard safety features, and price point could work best for your needs and your budget.