Possibly Toyota’s best-driving vehicle.
Those who say Toyota doesn’t offer any exciting products might want to take a look at the Sienna. That’s right, a minivan. It has the distinction of being one of the most spirited vehicles in its segment. It all starts with a swooping, modern design aimed at attracting young families who typically consider themselves too cool for a minivan. The most sporting SE model goes so far as to feature a lowered suspension, smoked aluminum wheels, and an aggressive body kit. The SE backs up the styling with unique suspension tuning and sharper, heavier steering. We wish the latter were standard on all Siennas. With Toyota’s venerable 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood, the Sienna is genuinely good to drive, although it doesn’t match the fuel economy of the Honda Odyssey. Of course, practicality is still the paramount concern in this segment, and the Sienna offers plenty of it. Standard features include second-row seats that fold and slide all the way forward and a large cubbyhole between the front seats. The available rear-seat entertainment system can show two different programs at once on its wide screen, meaning less fighting among the kids over what to watch. The aforementioned V-6, now the only engine choice, can be paired with all-wheel drive — a unique feature in the segment.
Dodge Grand Caravan
new for 2013
Toyota has discontinued the four-cylinder Sienna. A blind-spot monitor is now standard on top-of-the-line Limited models. It’s offered as a stand-alone option on midlevel SE and XLE models.
Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. Toyota’s Safety Connect with emergency assistance and stolen-vehicle locator is optional, as are parking sensors and a backup camera.
Sporty SE is actually fun to drive
Fuel economy disappoints
Lifeless, light steering (except in the SE)
Base Price Range: $27,245–$42,035
DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: L, LE, SE, XLE, Limited
BODY STYLE: Minivan, 7- or 8-passenger
ENGINE: 3.5L V-6, 266 hp, 245 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 164.4 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (behind third/middle/front seats) 39.1/87.1/150.0 cu ft