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Since 1998 Toyota has been responsible for one of the best top-quality minivan vehicles on our roads, the Sienna. Since 2003, the Toyota Sienna has never failed to impress car enthusiasts and large families alike with its sensible safety and technology features, front-wheel or all-wheel drive capacities, and increased interior dimensions for optimal space and comfort.
One thing that people love about modern minivans is the seats are easy to remove or store making them great for hauling people or items. But does the Sienna offer stow and go seating like Chrysler and Dodge minivans do?
The Sienna doesn’t have stow and go seating as that’s something proprietary only to Dodge and Chrysler minivans. However the third row of seats do fold down into the floor.
The foldable third row seats are available in all Toyota Sienna trims and have been a standard addition in the vehicle since 2007.
This seating option in the Sienna offers convenient additional seating to fit more people in the minivan or the option to stow the seating away to create more cargo space in the back.
One major downside to the Sienna’s stowing seats and those in a Dodge or Chrysler minivan is that in a Dodge/Chrysler both the second and third rows fold into the floor.
In a Sienna only the third row folds down. You have to manually remove or maneuver the second row of seats in the Sienna.
I have been impressed with the Sienna for years and it seems their designs only get better with each new release. Although the latest release of the popular minivan looks more like an SUV it certainly doesn’t lack space and comfort.
However, why I chose to buy a Chrysler minivan for my family (despite the many ways that a Sienna is better) is simply because stowing all the seats in the floor is incredibly convenient.
Last summer we took a 12hr road trip in my Chrysler minivan and because of the odd shapes of the things we were taking we needed to fold down a portion of the back seats and one of the seats in the second row. This was simple to do and we easily hailed what we needed to.
Then when we were on the way back we were bringing something from my in-laws house that was shaped entirely differently. So on the way back home we laid down two seats in the third row and had the 2nd row seats both up.
That’s not something that you can do with the Sienna (unfortunately).
Read on to find out more about the stowable seating in the Sienna and if the all-new 2022 hybrid offers the same convenience as its predecessors.
What Are Stow And Go Seats?
Stow and go seats allow for the seating in a vehicle to be folded and stowed completely under the floor of the cabin. Hence you can stow the chairs in the floor and you are ready to go.
Having ample interior space in your vehicle can be a huge factor when purchasing a new car.
Although it is commonly known as stow and go (since that is what Dodge and Chrysler call it), the Toyota Sienna will often refer to this feature as split and stow instead of the stow and go but its functionality remains the same.
As mentioned above though, the Sienna only has the split and stow in the 3rd row of seats, not the second.
Here is a step-by-step on how the split and stow function works in a Toyota Sienna:
From an upright position – to stow the seating
- Read instructions on the back of the seat
- When seats are in a seated position, pull the lever up
- Whist pulling the lever up pull the seat towards yourself
- Gently release the seats into the cabin space provided for stowing
From stow position to an upright position
- Read instructions on the back of the seat
- Pull the same lever and lift up
- Using the strap provided on the back of the seating, pull the seats into an upright position
- Pull and click into place
Does Toyota Sienna Have Stow And Go Seats?
The Toyota Sienna has applied the split and stow seating feature in all of its trims since 2003.
Previous to the split and stow, Toyota Siennas’ weren’t known for their cabin space like they are now. The second-row captain’s chairs didn’t provide for much leg space and neither did the third-row seating.
Before the third-row split and stow seating was implemented in the Sienna, the third row could be folded and flipped over to provide extra cargo space in the trunk area.
In 2003, Toyota created, manufactured, and released a new competitive minivan that has been a huge competitor in the minivan series since its release.
Toyota wes the only manufacturer to provide a hybrid minivan from 2004 until around 2017. This feature, along with exciting features like the split and stow option made Sienna a hit among consumers.
Here is what the third-row split and stow looks like in the Toyota Sienna pre-2021. The 2021 trim is slightly different in that the split and stow seats have been altered in a way that makes them lighter and easier to stow and pull up.
You can watch Senior Principle Engineer, Todd Muck, display the new 2021 light-weight third-row stow and go seating here.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of the Toyota Sienna split and stow feature:
- By adding the split and stow feature in the third-row seats of the Toyota Sienna, owners allow themselves 87.1 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear of the minivan and still can seat 5 passengers comfortably.
- Can be maneuvered conveniently with one hand
- Quick and versatile to get you on the road quicker
- Allows for additional space in the cabin
- Allows for optimal storage capacity
- Although the split and stow seating is installed in the third-row seats of the vehicle, Toyota Sienna does not offer this style in the second-row seats. The second-row seats can be folded and then flipped over again towards the driver’s seat, but they cannot be stowed or easily removed.
Some have found this to be a disadvantage in the Sienna (myself included) and have agreed that other minivans offer more space with the ability to remove the second-row seats.
- The third-row seating option isn’t usually as comfortable, and the seats can’t be heated like the front two rows
Which Toyota Sienna Trims Have Stow And Go Seats?
Toyota has provided third row split and stow seating in their Sienna’s since 2003/2004. Only recently, in 2021 did they change the design in the smallest of ways, to make the stowing lighter and easier to stow and lift up in one easy motion without any strain or hassle.
From 2007 – 2020
The split and stow has always been a simple and user-friendly design in the Sienna models, the only issue has been that they can be heavy to manoeuvre.
From 2007 – 2020 the stow seats to move are approximately 24lbs (10kg), which if you’re carrying groceries or children can get pretty heavy.
2021 – Present
In 2021 Toyota released the latest simplified design on the third row lightweight split and stow seats and they only weigh approximately 8.4lbs (3gs).
The 2021 Sienna is one of the biggest rivals in the minivan market today because of numerous other characteristics including Sienna’s constant votes for reliability, high gas mileage, and longevity.
Here is some other wonderful advantages of the 2021 – 2022 Toyota Sienna for those in the market for a new minivan:
- Has a spacious interior whether third row seats are stowed or not
- Cabin space for up to 8 passengers safely
- Long slide second row captains’ seats with ottoman
- 16 cup holders
- Front and second row seats heat up
- Available inbuilt vacuum
- Available two-stage refrigerator for keeping snacks and drinks cold
- Touchscreen audio multimedia system including the Android, Apple, Subwoofer, and Alexa.
- Subwoofer and 12 speakers
- Hybrid vehicles are safer for the environment and although they might lack in power, they have proven to get many more miles per gallon.
Who Are Stow And Go Seats Good For?
Stow and go seating is a great option for those with larger families needing the extra trunk space for vacations, camping trips, extra groceries, and of course sporting equipment for all the extracurricular weekend and after-school activities.
Stow and go seating is designed to be simple and easy for anyone in the family to be able to maneuver the seating function without hassle. If the third-row seats are being used, there is still ample space in the deep cargo area behind the seats for storage.
Steven Welch at Nashville Toyota provides the measurements of the leg space for second and third row seating for an XLE and a Platinum Toyota Sienna in this YouTube video and we believe the measurements provide ample and practical space for all passengers.
According to Steve, you can comfortably sit in the back of a Sienna if you’re 6 foot 2.
This hybrid-only SUV inspired minivan offers enhanced safety features, technological improvements, all-wheel drive, hands-free power to lift the gate and sliding doors, and an interior space like no other across all 6 trims.
Including the split and stow seating in the Toyota Sienna, there isn’t a lot that this vehicle can’t do and that this vehicle doesn’t have.
Stow and go seating is the perfect option for larger families needing the additional space for activities, weekends away, and extra seating for additional passengers. It’s just unfortunate that the Sienna doesn’t allow all seats to fold into the floor… yet.