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How To Tell If A Toyota Sienna Has The Towing Package

This family targeted minivan comes equipped with all the latest and greatest features in safety and technology for a smooth and enjoyable ride on the road. The ratings have been great for years and so far so good with the latest 2022 release. 

If you are looking to tow with the Sienna you will want to know whether it has the towing package or not as a Sienna with a towing package can tow considerably more than one without. 

So how do you tell if a Sienna has the towing package? 

To check if your Sienna has a towing package, simply look under the hood and check the size of the radiator. Vehicles equipped with a tow package have a larger radiator, alternator, and transmission oil cooler to prepare for the extra weight that it will have to handle when towing. 

The Sienna has always been the ultimate family vehicle for road trips and holidays. It has safety features for peace of mind, luxurious comfort fit for a king, and the interior space for 7 – 8 passengers to sit comfortably. 

To see the exact weight limits for different Sienna models with and without the tow package you can read the article I wrote about it here. 

If you’re planning a family trip and need the extra towing capacity, you need to check if you have the towing package before planning for all that extra weight.  That is because most Sienna models allow towing 3,500lbs with the tow package and 2,000lbs (or less) without it. 

How To Tell If The Sienna Has A Towing Package

The easiest way to tell if your Toyota Sienna has the towing package equipped it to follow these simple steps:

  1. Note down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) typically found on the inside of the driver’s side door and contact your dealership to ask. They should be able to run it through a database that tells them whether the towing package was installed or not.
  2. If you still have your sales contract, you will find this information in the paperwork
  3. Compare under your hood with other Sienna vehicles (or pictures on Google). You may be able to do this at a local dealership. Although, if you are at the local dealership, you might as well try step 1.

If step 3 is your preference, when you compare under the hood of your Sienna against other Sienna’s, you’re looking to see if your radiator, alternator, and transmission oil cooler are bigger or larger than the average Sienna engine parts.

If the objects under the hood of your vehicle are larger, it means you most likely have a Toyota Sienna equipped to handle the maximum towing capacity of 3,500lbs.

Toyota Sienna Towing Capacity

So I mentioned above that most Siennas have a towing capacity of 3,500lbs. But is that true for all Sienna years and trims or does the Sienna trim level or year affect their towing capacity?

All Toyota Siennas from 2002 until 2023 have a towing capacity of 3,500lbs. From 1998 until 2001 the Toyota Sienna had a towing capacity of 1,000lbs instead of the 3,500lbs that comes standard on the newer models.

So as long as your Sienna is from 2002 until 2023 then it is able to tow 3,500lbs.

That doesn’t change depending on the trim level either. So if you get the base Sienna trim level or the top of the line your towing capacity stays the same at 3,500lbs. Hybrid Sienna’s have the same towing capactiy of 3,500lbs as well.

Which Toyota Siennas Come With A Towing Package?

The 2021 Toyota Sienna comes equipped with a towing prep package on every trim level for the greatest road trip experience, but models released before and after 2021 are not guaranteed to come stock with the tow prep package and should be checked before hauling any heavy loads.

Here are some of the tow prep package facts for the Toyota Sienna’s dated 2018 – present:

2018 – 2019 Toyota Sienna XLE

The 2018 and 2019 XLE trim are the only Sienna models released in 2018 – 2019 that come standard with the towing prep package.

2020 Toyota Sienna

Every 2020 Toyota Sienna comes standard with the tow package and can tow up to 3,500lbs

2021 Toyota Sienna

Every 2021 Toyota Sienna comes standard with the tow package and can tow up to a maximum of 3,500lbs.

2022 Woodland Special Edition

With the latest release of the Toyota Sienna models, Toyota did not continue to make every trim with the tow prep package standard. Instead, Toyota has released an all-new Woodland Special Edition Sienna with excellent features and capabilities of hauling up to 3,500lbs and much more. 

What Does The Toyota Sienna Tow Package Come With?

When you purchase a Sienna that comes equipped with a tow package it typically involves the following:

  • A heavy-duty battery
  • Engine oil cooler (coolant)
  • Wiring (trailing)
  • Transmission cooler
  • 130-amp alternator

If you do not have the above installed in your vehicle or in your package, you most likely do not have a tow prep package for your vehicle. You can, however, still tow up to 2000lbs (1000kg) which is approximately one ton on most newer Siennas. 

What weighs one ton that you could tow you might ask? Here’s a small list of a few things that weigh approximately one ton:

  • Baby humpback whale
  • 73 Bullion bars of gold
  • Adult male polar bear
  • A baby giraffe

Although we sincerely hope that you won’t be towing any of these around you can also safely tow smaller items like a small trailer, dirt bikes, a small fishing boat, two snowmobiles or jet skis, and a motorcycle.

You may not need the towing capacity of 3500lbs depending on what adventures and road trips you plan to take in your Toyota Sienna. But if outdoor adventuring is something you’re keen on and keen to get the kids involved with, a towing prep package could be the right option for you.

Here are a few things you can tow for 3,500lbs:

  • An adult-sized giraffe
  • Three fully grown saltwater crocodiles

Or if you’d rather not tow wildlife around you can tow something like:

  • Small travel trailer
  • Another small vehicle
  • A large trailer with jet skis, or dirt bikes, or snowmobiles
  • Camping trailer

Why You Shouldn’t Tow Without A Towing Package

Did you know that towing heavy loads without a tow package or your Sienna can ruin your vehicle?

By directly putting added and unplanned strain on your transmission you risk overheating the car and causing some serious engine issues.

Most Toyota Sienna trims have a maximum towing capacity of up to 2000lbs unless you have purchased a tow package or a Sienna that comes standard with a tow package that can haul up to 3,5000lbs.

We highly recommend you check towing capacities and details with the dealership before towing anything to prevent unnecessary damage to your vehicle.

Here are some tips to keep your vehicle safe when towing:

  • Do not speed, your car is already working hard enough to carry the extra load
  • Never brake too suddenly – your stopping distance will increase with a heavy load, always brake with plenty of time to spare
  • You might need to make wider turns, use your signals
  • Check your fluid levels are filled up and ready for a heavy tow – they need to keep your engine and radiator running cool
  • Check your tires and make sure they’re in good shape

Final Thoughts

There are multiple ways you can check if your Toyota Sienna comes with a standard or additional tow package, and I would always recommend checking before towing for the first time. You can check the VIN, compare under the hood with other vehicles, call your dealership, or check your sales paperwork for the information you need.

Toyota Siennas come from a long line of reliable and sturdy vehicles and towing when you don’t have a tow package could limit the longevity of your Sienna drastically.