2013 Toyota Sienna: Car Seat Check

2013-toyota-sienna
Toyota's minivan was redesigned for 2011 and not much has changed since then. We tested a top-line version of the Sienna; the Limited has seats for seven on standard second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench seat. Click here to read how a Sienna with a second-row bench seat handled child-safety seats. In both rows, there was plenty of room for our car seats and plenty of bells and whistles to keep both Mom and the kids happy.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

2013-toyota-sienna-booster
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Here's how the 2013 Toyota Sienna did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

2013-toyota-sienna-latch
Latch:
There's one set of Latch anchors in each of the second row's captain's chairs. It was easy to access the anchors with the rigid connectors even though the anchors are set a quarter- to a half-inch into the seat bight. There's two tether anchors at the base of each seatback; they could be hard to find because they’re pretty far down and under a flap.

In the third row, the bench seat has one set of Latch anchors. They're in slits in the leather and easy to access with the rigid connectors, but they're positioned in the middle of the 60 portion of the 60/40-split bench seat. When you install a car seat here, you lose an additional seating position. The third row has one tether anchor in the middle seating position; it's hidden under a carpet flap. There are also a few cargo hooks in the back, so it might be confusing for parents when trying to figure out what to connect the tether anchor to.

2013-toyota-sienna-3rd-row
Booster seat:
This high-back booster fit well in the second-row captain's chair and the third-row bench. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases and easy for kids to use.

2013-toyota-sienna-rear-conv
Convertible seat:
 The forward-facing seat fit well in the second and third rows after the head restraints were removed, and there was plenty of room for the rear-facing convertible in the second row. Note: The outboard head restraints in the third row aren't removable.

2013-toyota-sienna-infant
Infant-safety seat:
This seat's traditional hook-like connecters made it harder to hook up with the Latch anchors, but this seat also had plenty of space in the second row.

Third-row access: Access is great. The captain's chairs tip and slide forward to create a pathway to the third row, or passengers can use the narrow walkway between the two captain's chairs.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in third row? Two

Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

Related
Research the 2013 Toyota Sienna
More Car Seat Checks on Cars.com
More Safety News on Cars.com

Comments 

This is one of my favorite family cars - it's huge and I love the leather seats that are featured on the model you reviewed.

DaveMc

I spoke to owners of a 2012 Sienna that said the middle seat bottoms were angled up at the front too much. This caused the kids in booster seats to have their legs dangling down past vertical, and the children's legs were losing circulation (tingling). Can anyone else comment on this, or is the 2013 better in this respect? Thank you.

The Toyota Sienna is an excellent van. We have a 2011 Sienna and love it! I was looking at this to see what differences there was in 2013 model...thanks for the pictures!

Could you please clarify further the 2-child seat limit on the 2nd row? I'd think with 66.1" hip room, that it would be easy to fit an infant seat, larger rear-facing, and the pink one you showed (secured w/an adult buckle).

Thank you so much for this blog!

Sam Schaperow, LMFT
PsychologyCT.com

Holly

We are looking at purchasing a 2013 Sienna van. We are expecting our 5th child in January with our youngest being just 2 years old. We will need two car seats in the 2nd row. I'm finding that it is difficult to access the third row with the car seats latched in. Is there a trick to this? What's the best configuration? The flip up and push forward function doesn't work on the captains seats when the car seat is installed. Help! I'm really hoping we don't need to buy a passenger van or a sprinter van....

Kristen

Hello- We just recently purchased a used 2012 sienna with cloth seats. I cannot find an area to latch my rear facing 18 month old's seat (the back anchor teather part) in the captain's chairs. The handle under the seat is a lever that is used to release and take the seat out, which is impossible to use- was wondering, since you installed the rear-facing seat in this car, and I can clearly see that it is back anchor teathered, to what did you strap the anchor? Haven't had the car long (3 days), but have looked in a lot of the nooks and haven't come up with anything yet. Thanks!!

Koko

You can definitely install 3 seats in the 3rd row and if it's an 8 passenger van you can get 3 in the 2nd row. You just need the right seats. Please visit a car seat forum for help.

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