2023 Toyota Sienna Long-Term Update: Cubby scouting

This week, I had the 2024 Honda Passport in my driveway. That’s still under embargo, so you’ll have to wait until next week to read about it, but its new, double-wide center console got me thinking about all of the various nooks, crannies, cupholders and cubbies in our long-term 2023 Sienna. So I decided I’d try to count them all. Turns out, that’s a little harder than it sounds, but even if we can’t ultimately decide on the discrete number, I think it’s reasonable to say that when it comes to storage, the Sienna has plenty. — so much, in fact, that the minivan has started to collect forgotten trinkets left behind by Autoblog staffers and their families. 

The quantitative confusion is due in no small part to the fact that even the Sienna’s cubbies have cubbies. Check out the above shot of its front passenger door. We have the little grab insert on the top, which doubles as a small cubby. Then there’s another directly beneath it; and below that, the hybrid cupholder/cubby that has now become ubiquitous in thick-doored modern cars. But even that is divided into multiple, quasi-separate cubbies. Is this three storage areas? Five? Six? Now you understand our situation. 

The rest of the up-front storage (not including the glovebox, because come on, snooze) follows below. Note the divided storage space along the dash is interrupted by the wireless device charger in our tester, but hey, that’s still technically storage. And I’ll also point out that the armrests above the center console storage form walls that turn the lid into a cubby even when the bin itself is closed. That’s clever. The open under-console storage area also has two partitions formed into it and a rubberized floor to help keep small objects in place during spirited maneuvers.

Opening up the center of the Sienna’s cabin for inspection reveals two things. One: We have dog owners on staff. Two: More cupholders! Unless you count the map pockets (which I didn’t), there’s actually limited storage back here even with the captain’s chairs. The doors have formed-in cupholders back here too; one per side, and each seat has an additional half-plastic, half-mesh “cupholder” type thing. If you want to see that in action, check out Snyder’s cupholder mega-test (yes, really) from earlier this year. 

Now, we arrive at the way-back. We’ve got two cupholders per side back here for occupants of the third row, which matches the number you get in the second row, so that’s a win for sibling equality. There’s a nice, deep cargo area behind the seats, but that’s also where they hide when they’re folded. That’s probably the most efficient use of the space back here short of removing the seats entirely, which isn’t something you want to do with any regularity. There’s a nice bonus storage area on the driver’s side of the cargo area (where our roadside kit currently resides), but the panel on the passenger side is an access point for service and does not offer any storage space. And it’s back here that we find the treasures left behind by a lost civilization — or maybe just my boss’s kids. 

I’m still a little bummed that the middle seats don’t fold completely out of the way, because this would allow the Sienna to hold 8′ framing materials flat on the floor, but as it stands, it can still accommodate some with some clever manipulation of the various cabin elements. Look for more on that in a future update. 

Related video:

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