Storage space is abundant, with a change holder, large console, and sizable map pockets to swallow road trip sundries, still leaving seven cupholders accessible from the front row for beverages or small items. The length of the rear cargo space (behind third row) is limited, but Toyota overcompensates with deep wells that could accommodate very tall items, keep groceries in place, or house the rear 60/40 seats when folded back.
The conversion to flat-floored cargo hauler allows for the requisite 4x8-foot sheet to fit within the vehicle. The process is straightforward, with second-row removal and rear folding back, though the Honda "magic" rear seat is slightly easier to operate.
Motivation for the 4300-pound minivan comes from a new corporate 3.3-liter V-6 producing 230 horsepower and 242 lb-ft of torque. Matched to a five-speed automatic transmission, the Sienna fuel mileage is rated at 19 city/27 highway while earning the distinction of being an ultra-low-emissions vehicle.
Initial response is gentle, allowing for a smooth launch and easy modulation for parking lot patrols -- both important for a family vehicle likely to be regularly at school or the mall. Step into it like you're late for a PTA meeting and the silken V-6 delivers satisfying thrust, proving the strength of this powerplant in every application. Heavy acceleration has the tranny holding the gear for maximum power, but modest driving is met with near-imperceptible shifts.
Steering effort is higher than most Toyotas, which for us is a good thing. It is relatively responsive yet remains isolated from harsh feedback. Likewise, the suspension is Camry compliant and the vehicle is quite controlled for its weight, height, and damping.
No minivan would be complete these days without a few "surprise and delight" features, such as retractable sun shades for side glass, power up/down windows in sliding doors, and a center section on the second-row bench that slides forward 13 inches to help parents monitor their wee one. Clearly Toyota adapted the best elements from Dodge and Honda, then added a few new items to the mix, ensuring their minivan goes well beyond the competency that defined previous generations.
The all-new Sienna is a minivan for the discriminating buyer looking for comfort, convenience, power, refinement, and luxury more often associated with premium vehicles than family haulers. Offered in CE, LE, XLE, and XLE Limited trim levels, with prices ranging from $22,955 to $34,480, the Sienna covers a broad range of the minivan market with a compelling vehicle that should be on consumers' short list.