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2018 Toyota Sienna gets a mild facelift for New York show

24 March 2017 - Autoblog

2018 Toyota Sienna

Despite strong sales, the Toyota Sienna is growing a bit long in the tooth. In order to breathe new life into a vehicle that's quickly falling behind, Toyota is giving the 2018 Sienna a refresh inside and out.

The revitalized model is set to debut next month at the New York International Auto Show and should help the Sienna gain back some ground that's been lost to the competition.

For 2018, the Sienna gets revised styling and a new suite of features, including Toyota Safety Sense, or TSS-P, as standard equipment. Other new features include some variant of Toyota Entune 3.0 on all models, five USB ports spread through all three rows, and an updated rear-seat entertainment system that includes streaming capability for Android devices. The Sienna carries on with the 296 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with the eight-speed transmission that debuted for 2017.

The addition of TSS-P may be the biggest news here. Toyota seems to be on a push to make its safety suite standard across the board, as new models like the C-HR crossover also come standard with Toyota Safety Sense. In the Sienna, TSS-P comes with a number of new acronyms like Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Neither the new Chrysler Pacifica nor the new Honda Odyssey feature similar tech as standard equipment.

The Entune 3.0 entertainment system comes with App Suite Connect, Toyota's disappointing alternative to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Sienna L, LE, SE and XLE trims come with navigation and LTE WiFi. Higher trim models have an optional upgraded JBL audio system with a 10.1-inch subwoofer.

Styling changes are mainly limited to the front fascia. The front bumper gets a grille that's heavily influenced by the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry. The side skirts from the sporty SE model are now standard across the Sienna lineup. The SE gets a laminated front windshield while the range-topping Limited model gets acoustic side glass, both changes meant to reduce NVH.

As good as some of these changes may be, especially the inclusion of TSS-P, it's hard to mask the fundamental problem of age. We named the Sienna among our least-favorite cars of 2016, mostly because it just feels old. With such strong competition from Chrysler and Honda, Toyota can't afford to rest for long. Sales are strong but declining. Expect these 2018 changes to be a stopgap before the reveal of an all-new model.

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