Best Road Trip Cars: Toyota Sienna

Lots of parents don’t want to accept the defeat associated with picking a minivan as their next family-friendly vehicle. But on the flip side, kids love them. A minivan’s large size almost makes it feel like a spaceship to young children. My parents got a Toyota Sienna when I was a kid and my siblings and I loved it. Our Sienna made regular trips feel like an adventure. In fact, the Sienna is such a good family car, Consumer Reports named it as the best minivan for road trips in 2020. Here’s why.

Comfort, comfort, and comfort

There is so much space in the Toyota Sienna and there’s really no bad seat inside. You and your kids will appreciate how roomy it is. Plus, more space in the car on a long road trip can lead to fewer fights and bickering which is good for the whole family. 

Some critics knock the inside of the Sienna because it’s not as luxurious as others in its class. But honestly, that’s OK. The Sienna is attractive enough on the inside and more importantly, durable. Besides, you can spice it up if you would like with an upgraded cloth upholstery or genuine leather.

The Sienna can seat up to eight people and there’s also plenty of cargo space. It’s also pretty quiet on the inside which adds to its overall comfort. CR says the Sienna is the most sensible choice for toting your family and stuff.

In-car electronics 

The Sienna offers plenty of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Its infotainment system comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free, and a wifi hotspot. You can also upgrade your Sienna with a 10-speaker JBL sound system, HD Radio, and navigation.  A rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system is also available and so is Driver Easy Speak. The Driver Easy Speak feature allows the driver to speak to the passengers in the rear through the stereo.

Performance and capability

So the Sienna isn’t exactly known for its performance but it does come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s lively enough. What helps the Sienna stand out in its class though performance-wise is that it is available with all-wheel-drive. The Sienna gets an overall 21 mpg which is satisfactory. 


2020 Toyota Sienna parked outside of a house on the driveway
2020 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

The Sienna has earned good crash-test safety scores overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the minivan good scores too. To help prevent crashes altogether, the Sienna comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense Suite which includes lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision warning.


CR has given the Sienna its seal of approval mostly because of the minivan’s great predicted reliability scores. The Sienna performs well across 17 potential trouble spots according to CR. Style and value-wise though, the Sienna ranks a little lower among its recent owners. Still, owners of the Sienna are generally happy with the minivan’s driving performance and of course comfort.