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Toyota Sienna Minivan 2008 and 2018

Updated on July 27, 2019
jackclee lm profile image

Before retiring, Jack worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


I have been a Toyota owner for a very long time. In fact, my very first car was a Toyota Celica back in 1974. My latest car is a 2018 Toyota Sienna after having owned two previous Siennas, one in 2001 and another in 2008. This article is to highlight some of the improvements between the 2008 and the 2018.

Sept. 2018

updated July 2019

The Long List...

All my comments are for the model LE, front wheel drive model. All three of my Siennas were the same model. I bought them brand new from the dealer and drove them till the end. My first Sienna lasted 150K miles in 7 years. The second lasted 186K miles in 10 years.

Here are the list of improvements from the 2008 to the 2018 Models.

  • 8th seat added (removable)
  • 8 way power assisted driver seat
  • Added electric slide door on driver‘s side
  • Added window sunshades on 2nd and third row seats
  • side mirrors improved with blind spot views
  • Bluetooth connect to cell phone
  • rear camera
  • side sensor warnings
  • intelligent cruise control
  • alloy wheels
  • 17 inch tires
  • Sirius XM satellite radio option
  • hidden rear wiper
  • hardy floor mats
  • side glass views
  • 8 speed automatic transmission
  • Automatic high beam
  • USB port
  • Security keyed Lug on all wheels
  • Apple Car Play - a new upgrade

Some old features preserved. There is still a CD player. A spare tire is located under the main body. Headlights are still halogen. They also still have a color brochure.


Some Details...

The most impressive improvements are the safety features. The rear camera is much needed to see while backing up and parking.

The side mirrors with the added small blind spot view is also a huge deal. Combined with the side sensor warnings, you will not cut off another driver again.

The alloy wheels is a huge improvement over the old hubcaps. My one complaint in the past was the odd sized plastic hub caps which cost $80 each to replace from the dealer.

The bluetooth connect for cell phones allow for hands free operation.

I am also glad they preserved the CD player. I have some old CDs that I still like to keep and play on long road trips.

The added 8th seat is great for short trips. It is great for kids and for large families.

The lane guidance is also good for long trips. It will keep you from drifting out of your lane.

With all the added features, I am pleasantly surprised that the MPG is still 24.1 on average.

I am also happy to learn they have kept the spare tires. Some new models has eliminated the spare tires.

The headlight is automatic. It has an automatic high beam feature. I am also glad they kept it with halogen instead of the bright blue LED headlights.

Automatic Hogh Beam Feature


Having owned this modeled car for over 17 years, I am a very satisfied customer. I have used the car to transport many kids, moved furniture numerous times and gone on long vacation drives... This minivan is comfortable to drive on long hauls and can carry tons of luggage or furniture. It will fit an 4x8 sheet rock or plywood in the rear with the back seats removed.

It is also economical to own with very few mechanical issues. Most services are oil changes, brakes, muffler and filters replacements. That’s it.

I recommend this car highly. This is the best time of year to buy. Toyota is offering a rebate of $2750 on 2018 Sienna Model.

Postscript - July 2019

I received a notice from Toyota that my Sienna is eligible for an upgrade to the Apple CarPlay function. This software update is free. My dealer was able to install it. It took about three hours. I am so happy with this new feature. The main advantage is that it allows me to use the google map feature as a GPS. Now, the map is displayed on the large flat screen panel in the dashboard. In addition, my phone apps is available with the touch of a finger.

Compare IPhone with Apple CarPlay

My Salesman at Prestige Toyota


In case you are wondering what happened to my 2008 Sienna, it is running great and going strong at 186K miles. I plan to sell it on Craiglist.

My Wishlist for Future Models...

As nice as the 2018 model Sienna, there are more features I would like to see in future models.

Here is a list...

  • An electric backup connection to the home. In case of power outage, the gas powered engine can be used as an electric power generator. All is needed is a DC to AC converter and a power plug. A full tank of gas can keep a house running for a few days.
  • A built-in garbage receptacle.
  • Electronic shutters for all passenger windows.
  • A step board for older people to enter the vehicle.

© 2018 Jack Lee


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