2023 Toyota Sienna Long-Term Update: Cargo capacity is looking studly

I’m back with my final update for the 2023 Toyota Sienna. When we last checked in, I promised I’d see about loading building supplies into our long-term minivan despite its most glaring cargo deficiency — the lack of a removable second row. This holds the Sienna back from carrying large items that minivans otherwise excel at transporting. Fortunately, if your project’s not too big, it’s possible to carry some fairly large items without resorting to a roof rack. Here’s what I found. 

Upon first glance, the aisle between the Sienna’s second-row captain’s chairs looks like a perfect channel for holding 2x lumber, but as it turns out, it’s just shy. This is a scrap 2×6 stud I had leftover from a garage project, measured at 96 and 3/8ths inches long. 

If your load isn’t too light, you can rest it on the cupholder (see below) in front of the second row; this will allow any 8′ lumber to juuuuuust clear the rear door (above right). 

I wouldn’t recommend this for a tall stack or anything heavy, especially if you care about the condition of your rear-seat plastics. Putting a towel down over the cupholder would be a good idea, and you should support the lumber farther back to help distribute the load, especially if you’re trying to stack ’em high. 

Though you’ll have trouble securing them this way, 96″ framing lumber will also fit diagonally. The Sienna’s mid-cabin cargo anchors would come in handy for this, but a stack will want to pivot around that strap and you’re in danger of damaging the front seats if things start to move around a lot. A couple of 4×8 sheets of plywood could fit on their long side here, but again, securing the load would be tricky. 

Another potential option for longer items would be to aim them outboard of the second-row seats. This is a great way to ding up your interior trim, so I’d recommend against it. As you can see on the right, trying to keep it to the middle channel is a bit precarious. It’s also possible to lay items on top of the semi-collapsed second-row seats, which would get you a little bit more room for some large items (maybe even some 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood) at the potential expense of rearward visibility. 

So, there you have it. You can indeed fit 8′ lumber inside a 2023 Toyota Sienna. 


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