There wasn't much to complain about when it came to the 2007 Toyota Sienna. Cargo space was plentiful, fuel economy was fairly strong, and available all-wheel drive gave it the edge over the competition. Not surprisingly, Toyota didn't change the formula much for the 2009 Sienna. The only major additions are optional 17-in. wheels and standard dynamic cruise control for the XLE trim.

Available in seven-passenger (CE, LE, XLE, and Limited) or eight-passenger (CE and LE) configurations, the Sienna offers 43.6 cu ft of cargo space behind the third row. With that row folded, 94.5 cu ft is available for storage, 9.7 cu ft more than what the Nissan Quest offers, 11.8 cu ft more than the Chrysler Town & Country, and 3.4 cu ft more than the Honda Odyssey.

The Sienna is the only minivan in class to offer an all-wheel-drive option. Available on LE, XLE, and Limited trims, the system employs a center differential to distribute torque 50/50 front and rear and varies in cost between models: $3170 for the LE, $2760 for the XLE, $2760, and $2200 for the Limited.

Underhood is Toyota's 3.5L DOHC V-6 that -- with the help of variable valve timing -- produces 265 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a five-speed transmission, the powertrain is good for 17/23 mpg city/highway. Opt for all-wheel drive, and the added drivetrain mass drops mileage to 16/21 mpg city/highway. This mileage puts the Sienna right in the middle of the competition: Nissan's Quest returns 16/24 while Chrysler's Town & Country and Honda's Odyssey get 16/23 and 17/25, depending on the trim level.

With power windows and doorlocks, keyless entry, a six-speaker audio system, and no fewer than 14 cupholders, the base CE model is no stripper. Safety features include seat-mounted side and three-row curtain airbags standard, as well as standard stability and traction control. Jump up three trims to XLE, and you'll find a dynamic cruise control system standard. The system employs a laser to detect traffic ahead and to monitor speed. If a vehicle in front slows down, the ECU is notified and reduces speed by applying the brakes. The Sienna will slow to 25 mph at which point the system shuts off.

Pricing remains the same from 2008, which saw a $100 increase over the previous year. The CE starts at $25,285, which undercuts the Odyssey and Quest by $1640 and $1485, respectively, while the Town & Country -- at $1100 less than the base Sienna -- is the least expensive of the group. The Limited-trim seven-passenger Sienna starts at $40,600 and comes equipped with all-wheel drive, a 10-speaker JBL audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, a DVD-based navigation system, backup camera, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

When looking at the numbers, Toyota's Sienna is clearly a strong player in the minivan segment. And those who enjoyed the practicality, economy, and utility of last year's edition can expect more of the same for 2009.


2009 Toyota Sienna
Base Price $25,285-$40,600
Vehicle layout Front engine, FWD and AWD, 7-8-pass, 5-door minivan
Engine 3.5L/265-hp/245-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Curb weight (dist f/r) 4,270-4,545 lbs (mfr)
Wheelbase 119.3 in
Length x width x height 201 x 77.4 x 68.9 in
Headroom, f/m/r 39.5-42.0/38.6-40.2/38.1 in
Legroom, f/m/r 42.9/39.6/39.5 in
Shoulder room, f/m/r 63.8/64.9/61.1 in
Cargo vol behind f/m/r 43.6 cu.ft
EPA City/Hwy Econ 16-17/21-23 mpg
CO2 Emissions 1.01-1.04 lb/mile