Toyota's mainstay minivan, the Sienna is redesigned for 2011 with new styling, an available four-cylinder engine, and a sport-themed trim level. Sienna is a traditional minivan that has seating for up to eight passengers and twin sliding side doors. It competes with the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest.
|2011 Toyota Sienna LE|
Base Price: $25,345
At-Tested Price: $31,649
Built in Princeton, Indiana.
LE Preferred Package
Dual-Screen Rear-Seat Entertainment System
Preferred Accessory Package
Engine: 2.7-liter I4
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Drive Wheels: Front-Wheel Drive
Like all minivans, Sienna has three rows of seats. Twin front- and second-row buckets and a three-place split bench seat in the back. There is a detachable second-row jumpseat that can be stored in the cargo area that ups passenger capacity to eight. The second-row captain's chairs slide fore and aft more than 20 inches to increase legroom or cargo space.
Sienna returns in Base, LE, XLE and Limited Trim. New for 2011 is a sport-themed SE. Standard on the Base and LE engine is a 187-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. Optional on those models and standard on the others is a 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The only transmission offering is a six-speed automatic.
Front-wheel drive is standard on all models. All-wheel drive is offered on LE V6, XLE and Limited. Maximum towing capacity is 3500 pounds on properly equipped V6 models.
Standard safety features include antilock four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, tire-pressure monitor, front-seat active head restraints, daytime running lights and dual-front, front-side, curtain-side and driver knee airbags. Standard on Limited are front- and rear-obstacle-detection system and Toyota's Safety Connect, which provides an emergency assistance button, automatic collision notification, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle location services.
The Base Sienna starts at $24,560 and includes air conditioning with tri-zone controls, interior air filter, tilt-telescope steering wheel, cruise control, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, second-row bucket seats, third-row stowable split-folding seat, power mirrors, power front windows, power door locks, keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with digital-media player connection, variable-intermittent wipers with deicer, illuminated visor mirrors, rear defogger, intermittent rear wiper/washer, automatic-off headlights, rear spoiler, 235/60R17 tires and alloy wheels.
The four-cylinder LE lists for $25,645 and adds to the base second-row three-passenger split-folding seat, heated power mirrors, theft-deterrent system, rear privacy glass. Opt for the LE V6 and the starting price goes up to $29,200. Included on the LE V6 are eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment center console, power sliding rear doors, rearview camera, steering wheel radio controls, satellite radio, iPod adapter, Bluetooth cell-phone link, universal garage door opener, automatic day/night rearview mirror, outside-temperature indicator, second- and third-row sunshades and roof rails.
The $30,850 SE adds to the LE four-cylinder leather-wrapped steering wheel, vinyl upholstery, eight-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, power sliding rear doors, rearview camera, conversation mirror, fog lights, sport suspension and 235/50R19 tires.
The XLE lists for $32,475 and adds to the LE V6 tri-zone automatic climate controls, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power rear-quarter windows, sunroof, power liftgate and fog lights.
The line-topping Limited starts at $38,800 and adds to the XLE woodgrain/leather-wrapped steering wheel, memory system (driver seat, mirrors), four-way passenger seat, power-folding third-row stowable split folding seat, keyless access and starting, power-folding heated automatic day/night mirrors with turn signals and tilt-down back-up aid, JBL AM/FM radio with in-dash six-disc CD/MP3 changer, glass roof panel and 235/55R18 tires.
Options include keyless starting, navigation system with rear-view camera, voice recognition, pre-collision system with hill-ascent control and adaptive cruise control. Among the newly available features are a widescreen DVD entertainment system that can display video from either one or two different sources as well as panoramic rearview camera. All Siennas have an $810 destination charge and are assembled in Princeton, Indiana.
Get Up and Go Toyota hedged it's bets by offering a four-cylinder in the Sienna for the first time. Surprisingly, it has enough power for around-town driving and provides adequate passing response. Progress slows down considerably with a full load of passengers or cargo.
Those wanting more performance should opt for the significantly stronger V6. It's easily one of the most powerful engines in the class and provides robust acceleration from a stop and great passing power.
Regardless of engine, the six-speed automatic transmission changes gears smoothly and downshifts promptly when called upon.
Front-drive and a good set of all-season tires is all most Chicagoans will need, but the all-wheel drive system is a nice option for those who might want some added traction on slippery roads or occasionally off the pavement and onto gravel or dirt roads.
The four-cylinder engine is EPA rated at 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Interestingly those numbers aren't any better than competitors' V6 engines. Toyota says that all Sienna engines run fine on regular-grade gasoline.
Real-world fuel economy with the four is likely to be better than the numbers suggest. Routine suburban commuting will likely yield about 20 mpg overall, which is better than average for most V6-powreed minivans.
On the Road Sienna is one of the more serene-riding minivans on the market. The suspension on most models is soft and designed to provide a smooth and comfortable ride. The new SE has a tauter sport suspension that's significantly more firm.
Regardless of model, Sienna holds the road almost as well as a traditional sedan. The SE feels the most athletic, but either way, Sienna is no sports car. The steering is accurate and reasonably quick and the turning radius is quite tight. The brakes provide plenty of stopping power. In quick changes of direction, there's more body lean than expected, but not out of place in a minivan.
Sienna is one of the quietest minivans on the market, though all are reasonably quiet. The four-cylinder engine makes more noise than you'd expect in hard acceleration, but cruises quietly. About the only grip are the SE's noisy sport-tuned tires.
Behind the Wheel The previous-generation's interior featured too much hard plastic trim, things get only marginally better for 2011. There's still too many hollow-feeling plastic parts, though the ambiance is much better on the top-line Limited.
Drivers face an oversized speedometer that's flanked by smaller ancillary gauges. The center console features a high-set radio/navigation system and high-mounted shifter. Climate controls are somewhat unconventional, but still straight forward. Top-line models have lots of controls for the rear-seat entertainment system and that can be somewhat daunting for newbies.
The front seats are quite nicely bolstered and offer ample head and leg room. The driving position is upright but comfortable and the standard tilt-telescope steering wheel makes it easy to get comfortable. Entry and exit is a snap thanks the to slightly lower step in.
Second-row seats are comfortable as well and, since they slide back more than 20 inches, can offer limousine-like leg room. The available jump seat is short on comfort and likely only to be used in a pinch.
Third-row seats are best suited for those under six-feet tall, but still comfortable enough for longer trips. Getting back there isn't too difficult as the second-row seats slide well forward.
Cargo space is about average for a minivan, but removing the heavy second-row seats is quite cumbersome. Some other minivans offer more innovative cargo configurations, but the Sienna has as much or more overall room. There are storage bins and cubbies all over the place and plenty of cup holders. It is interesting to note that front-drive models have a temporary space and all-wheel-drive models have run-flat tires.
Bottom Line Though the 2011 Sienna looks considerably different than the model it replaces, it's much the same. That's a good thing and Sienna is one of the most comfortable and reliable vans on the market. The new SE lends an air of sport and the four-cylinder gives economy-minded buyers an option.
The class is crowded with new players, though, so buyers should shop carefully and consider features and price. Sienna offers the option of all-wheel drive and has a model and price point for just about any shopper.
|Specifications 2011 Toyota Sienna LE|
|Dimensions||4-door wagon||Engine||DOHC I4|
|Wheelbase, in.||119.3||Size, liters/cu. in.||2.7 / 165|
|Length, in.||200.2||Horsepower @ rpm||187 @ 5800|
|Width, in.||78.2||Torque (lb.-ft.) @ rpm||186 @ 4100|
|Height, in.||68.9||Transmission||6-Speed Automatic|
|Weight, lbs.||4310||EPA Estimates, mpg||19 city / 24 highway|
|Cargo Capacity, cu. ft.||117.8|| |
|Fuel Capacity, gals.||20.0||Manufacturer's Warranty|
|Seating Capacity||8||Bumper-to-Bumper||3 years / 36,000 miles|
|Front Head Room, in.||41.0||Powertrain||5 years / 60,000 miles|
|Front Leg Room, in.||40.5||Corrosion||5 years / Unlimited miles|
|Second-Row Head Room, in.||39.7||Free Roadside Assistance||None|
|Second-Row Leg Room, in.||37.6||Free Scheduled Maintenance||None|