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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Toyota Sienna XLE Woodland Edition: A Lifted Off-Road Minivan

Today we're taking a deep dive into Toyota's answer to the big, 3-row SUV that balances comfort, spaciousness, and versatility. Meet the 2023 Toyota Sienna XLE Woodland Edition AWD minivan. This isn't just any minivan; it's got more than half an inch of extra ground clearance for those woodland adventures you've been dreaming of.

First Impressions and Design:

The 2023 Toyota Sienna XLE Woodland Edition defies minivan stereotypes with its increase of just over an inch in ground clearance, providing a hint of off-road capability while still retaining its family-friendly essence. It is noticeably higher than the Platinum grade model we tested last year, but does not look like it will be tackling our Barnwell Mountain test trails anytime soon. The front sports the black XLE grille which pairs seamlessly with the cement-colored paint scheme that is one of two exclusive colors only available on the Woodland Edition. LED headlights, turn signals, and running lights add a modern touch, and the blue-trimmed Toyota badge lets everyone know about the hybrid powertrain under the hood.

Interior and Seating:

Sliding into the cabin, you're greeted by a well-thought-out interior design that provides both comfort and functionality. The XLE Woodland Edition's SofTex seats with earth-tone stitching offer a cozy place to rest and were more than comfortable in my 2-hour drive back from the DFW metroplex. The second-row Super Slide captain's chairs make for an embarrassment of room for rear passengers. Thanks to the tracks in the floor, these captain’s chairs can slide from just behind the front seats all the way back to the third row. Speaking of the third row, while it may not be as roomy as the first two rows, it's still comfortable enough for occasional use, and the reclining feature is a nice touch. Additionally, the rear cabin comes equipped with quad-zone climate controls, ensuring that everyone stays cool and comfortable on the journey.

Technology and Infotainment:

The Sienna XLE Woodland Edition's infotainment system, though not Toyota's latest, remains functional and offers the essentials. The nine-inch touchscreen, while lacking the modern look of Toyota's more recent offerings, provides access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired) as well as other useful features. The rear seat entertainment system, with its 1080p screen, is a great addition to keep passengers entertained during long drives.

Performance and Efficiency:

Under the hood, the Sienna XLE Woodland Edition uses Toyota’s Hybrid System powertrain with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors. This all-wheel-drive version incorporates two electric motors up front and one powering the rear wheels, providing enhanced traction and control. While not a performance powerhouse, the Sienna's combined 245 horsepower and instant electric torque make for smooth city driving and adequate highway performance. The hybrid system's efficiency shines with an estimated 35 mpg in the city, 36 on the highway, and 35 combined. (That is better than the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid we took up Route 66)

Off-Road Capability:

Toyota's decision to elevate the Sienna XLE Woodland Edition's ground clearance by over half an inch elevates its versatility, making it more than just a pavement cruiser. This minivan's off-road capabilities extend beyond mere appearances, allowing it to handle moderately rugged terrains. While it won't compete with true off-road beasts, Sienna's all-wheel-drive system and higher clearance provide a respectable level of capability for family adventures.

Practicality and Versatility:

One of the Sienna XLE Woodland Edition's standout features is its impressive storage capacity. Even with the third row in place, it boasts 33.5 cubic feet of space, making it more spacious than some larger SUVs. Folding down the second and third rows further expands the cargo area to 75.2 cubic feet, allowing you to haul larger items with ease. The thoughtful stow-and-fold design ensures flexibility and convenience, making this minivan an excellent choice for families on the go.


In the realm of family-friendly vehicles, the 2023 Toyota Sienna XLE Woodland Edition stands out as a true contender. Its blend of comfort, spaciousness, fuel efficiency, and surprising off-road capabilities makes it a versatile choice for a wide range of activities. Whether you're navigating city streets, going on a road trip, or venturing into the woods, the Sienna XLE Woodland Edition proves that minivans are still a relevant and compelling option for modern families.

2023 Toyota Sienna Woodland Edition Specs:

  • Hybrid 2.5L 4-cylinder Engine

  • 3 Electric Motors

    • Two in the Front

    • One in the Rear

  • Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery

  • 245 Horsepower

  • 176 lb-ft of Torque

  • Electric Continuously Variable Transmission with Sequential Shift Mode

  • Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive System

  • Increased Ground Clearance

    • 6.3 to 6.9 inches

  • Four Drive Modes

    • Normal

    • Eco

    • EV

    • Sport

  • Regenerative Braking System

  • Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension

  • Multi-link Rear Suspension

  • Tow Hitch with 3500-lb. Towing Capability

  • 18-inch Alloy Wheels

  • 235/60R18 Bridgestone Turanza All-Season Tires

  • Seating for 7

  • SofTex Seating Surfaces

  • Heated Front Seats

  • 8-way Power-adjustable Driver’s Seat with Power Lumbar

  • 4-way Power-adjustable Front Passenger Seat

  • Second Row Captains Chairs with Super Long Slide

  • Split & Stow 3rd Row® Seat

  • Kick-activated Power Sliding Rear Doors

  • Retractable Rear Sunshades

  • 9-inch Infotainment Screen with Wired Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™

  • 12-speaker JBL Sound System with Amplifier and Subwoofer

  • 1500W Inverter with Two 120V AC Outlets

  • Convex Mirror for Viewing Rear Passengers

  • In-vehicle Wifi Hotspot Powered by AT&T

  • 1080p HD Entertainment Center with 11.6-inch Display

    • HDMI Inputs

    • Remote

    • Two Wireless Headphones

  • 4-Zone Automatic Climate Control

  • Sunroof

  • 33.5 Cubic Feet of Space Behind the Third Row (21 in Telluride)

  • 75.2 Cubic Feet of Space Behind the Second Row (46 in Telluride)

  • 101 Cubic Feet of Space Behind the First Row (87 in Telluride)

  • Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0

    • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection

    • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist

    • Lane Tracing Assist

    • Automatic High Beams

    • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

    • Road Sign Assist

  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • EPA Fuel Economy 35/36/35 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • Starting MSRP $47,695

  • Price as tested: $51,014

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