Cars

What You Need To Know About Buying a Used Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna is the kind of minivan that aims to please in a myriad of ways. From its spacious interior to its long list of standard safety features, it really does have a lot going for it. But maybe it’s not a new Sienna that you’re after. Maybe, instead, you and your brood are on the lookout for a used Toyota Sienna instead. If that’s the case, then we’ve got some things for you to keep in mind while shopping for that perfect used family hauler.

2020 Toyota Sienna SE Premium AWD
2020 Toyota Sienna SE Premium AWD | Toyota

Which used Toyota Sienna is the perfect fit for your family?

The first Toyota Sienna arrived way back when in 1998. It served as a replacement for the mid-engine Previa minivan and, according to Consumer Reports, was based on the same platform as the Toyota Camry. It handled well enough and, per Consumer Reports, was eager to accelerate. 

The Sienna underwent a thorough redesign in 2004. It was made considerably larger than earlier versions but remained as a more refined option than its rivals. According to Consumer Reports, handling is both sound and secure. Its front- and middle-row seats are reportedly very comfortable, and all three rows are pretty easy to access.

The third-generation Sienna arrived in 2011. At this time, Toyota started referring to its family hauler as the “Swagger Wagon.” A memorable nickname isn’t all the Sienna benefited from in its third-generation, either. Consumer Reports says this particular version of the Sienna is the only minivan among its rivals to offer all-wheel-drive. It also benefited from a slew of new safety features, including forward-collision warning.

As for the most recent generation of the Toyota Sienna? That arrived not too long ago. According to reports, it’s plenty engaging to drive, is still available with all-wheel drive, and comes stocked with a long list of family-friendly features. It’s also standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced safety and driver-assist features

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Used Toyota Sienna safety ratings and reliability rankings

If it’s a safe family hauler that you’re after, then a used Toyota Sienna makes for a pretty great pick. Opt for a more recent model, and you’ll be pleased to find that the Sienna doesn’t make any compromises when it comes to safety features. 

The Sienna handles itself pretty well when it comes to crashworthiness tests too. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given it mostly ‘Good’ crashworthiness ratings, though it has earned a ‘Marginal’ rating in the IIHS’s small overlap front: passenger-side crashworthiness tests before. As for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)? It’s given most Sienna models a five-star overall safety rating.

Safety isn’t everything, though. If you’re buying a used Toyota Sienna, you’re probably going to want it to be reliable too. Fortunately, J.D. Power has given the Sienna a ‘Great’ quality and reliability rating more than once. Consumer Reports has also awarded the Sienna with a five out of five reliability verdict multiple times.

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Keeping the most common owner complaints in mind

There are some things that you should keep in mind when searching for a used Toyota Sienna. CarComplaints.com reports that plenty of owners have taken issue with the Sienna’s interior accessories. Problems have ranged from the dashboard cracking to the Sienna’s seats becoming noisy over time. CarComplaints.com added that the most common Sienna interior accessories problems cost approximately $900 to fix and popped up at around 63,000 miles.

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Should you buy a certified pre-owned Sienna instead?

Buying a used Toyota Sienna isn’t the only way to get behind the wheel of Toyota’s now-infamous Swagger Wagon. Hit up your local Toyota dealership, and odds are that they’ll have a certified pre-owned model on the lot too. All certified pre-owned Sienna models must undergo a rigorous multi-point inspection and are covered by a 12-month/12,000-mile limited comprehensive warranty. You can expect all certified pre-owned Sienna models also come with one year of roadside assistance coverage.

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Choosing the right used minivan for your growing brood

For growing families, the Toyota Sienna makes for a great pick. And for used car shoppers? It’s an even better option. It’s safe, reliable, and undeniably spacious. All in all, if your fam is on the hunt for a pre-owned minivan, you can’t go wrong with a used Toyota Sienna.