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2009 Toyota Sienna Comfort & Quality

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The 2009 Toyota Sienna may not be a sportscar, but with Toyota quality and Lexus-like refinement, it could be mistaken for a luxury car—a very capable and functional one, at that.

Throughout the interior, materials and fit/finish are generally exemplary. “The gauges are clear,” says ConsumerGuide, “and minor controls are guess-free.” Thoughtful features abound, such as “door panels … scooped out to give exceptionally good elbow space” (Car and Driver). In general, the interior wins compliments for its convenience and versatility, but its removable seats are a bit heavier and more difficult to manage than some competitors’. “The various controls are simple to use, storage space is plentiful and the seats are plush,” summarizes Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book notes “the Sienna's rear seat can fold flush into the floor and features a 60/40 split,” and the ever-critical ConsumerGuide mentions “the cabin benefits from high-grade plastics, but some of our testers say the colors and fabrics are drab.”

With the exception of a few drab materials, the 2009 Toyota Sienna offers Lexus luxury at a Toyota price.

Up front, ConsumerGuide locates “room aplenty on comfortable seats” and “no-strain entry and exit,” and they appreciate that “standard seat and steering-wheel adjustments cater to most any size driver.” One of Car and Driver’s “testers noted ‘butt burn’ from the driver's seat, the result of a shape that forces a thin person's weight uncomfortably forward on the cushion.”

Of the second and third rows, Edmunds is careful to point out that the Sienna is “one of the roomiest minivans available,” and in Car and Driver’s minivan comparison, the Sienna’s optional “second-row captain's chairs were rated highest for comfort.” A bench is standard fare. Kelley Blue Book notes “the Sienna's seats take full advantage of the van's roomy interior, with wide seat bottoms as well as firm back rests.” “Bench or buckets, the 2nd-row seats seem long-haul comfortable,” critiques Consumer Guide. The Sienna is one of the few minivans to offer true eight-passenger capacity.

In a comparison test involving other competitive minivans, Car and Driver asserts that “what you get instead of confident handling is a soft, quiet ride that makes the others seem a bit rude,” perhaps to make up for the Sienna's lack of athletic moves. Edmunds also notes the “softly tuned suspension,” and ConsumerGuide finds the van to be “Comfortably composed. Large humps and dips induce some body bounce, but the suspension irons out most rough pavement.”

ConsumerGuide deems the Toyota Sienna’s noise levels to be “at least equal to the class-topping Honda and Chrysler/Dodge minivans,” noting that “the main noise source is moderate coarse-pavement tire thrum.”

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