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TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the new 2011 Toyota Sienna and have written this road test summary from firsthand driving impressions. Editors have compared the new Sienna with other minivans in its class, to help you decide which one is best for you. A companion full review will be published when other respected Web reviewers complete their Sienna reviews.
High Gear Media accepted travel expenses to be among the first to drive and report on the 2011 Toyota Sienna.
- Revamped looks
- Updated dynamics
- Flexible seating options
- Four-cylinder engine's a winner
- sport minivan?
- Second-row seats don't store inside the vehicle
- Not as entertaining as Chrysler vans
- No need for pricey V-6 Limited
The 2011 Toyota Sienna may be the Japanese automaker's third-generation minivan, but Toyota emphasizes that the new Sienna is becoming more carlike than ever. The Sienna gets smart updates to its drivetrains and to its interior package for 2011-but not to its seating configurations, which still lag the class-leading Dodge Grand Caravan and Nissan Quest in flexibility. The Sienna is offered in a broad model range, and continues to be the only minivan with an all-wheel-drive option. Toyota says the base price of the 2011 Sienna will come in below the current vehicle's $25,000 price point. Available in front- or all-wheel-drive versions, with either a four- or six-cylinder engine and in seven- or eight-passenger versions, the new Sienna will go on sale in February 2010. Competition includes the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, the Kia Sedona, the Nissan Quest and the Honda Odyssey.
The 2011 Sienna has new body panels with a more dynamic front end, but it's nothing to draw a flashmob or attract civil disobedience. A wide grille is framed either in body-color paint or in metallic trim; SE versions get a very aggressive front-end treatment. There's a sharper crease along its shoulders and geometrically bold windows, and as the lines taper rearward, the Sienna draws to a roofline that's similar to that on the Kia Sedona. The 2011 Sienna rides on the same chassis as the previous generation, so while it's marginally shorter and wider than before, there's not a tremendous change in its proportions. Inside, the Sienna has adopted the latest Toyota styling theme, with a dramatic arc separating driving controls from secondary and passenger-shared controls. The dash is styled to give the impression of more passenger space, and Toyota says slimmer seats and controls add to the feeling of roominess in the new Sienna. The interior looks less expensive than before, though. Plastic trim is replaced on some versions by matt woodgrain trim; pricier versions get Optitron gauges like those in some Lexus models.