Today's Toyota Sienna is a far cry from early forms of the minivan genre. Its crisp aerodynamic styling, power-sliding-rear-passenger doors, high-tech lighting systems and available aluminum alloy wheels make strong design statements. At the same time, the Sienna provides the full functionality that the American family has come to expect in their everyday transportation while enjoying an excellent reputation for crash test safety, build quality and reliability.
The Sienna is powered by a 3.5 liter, 266 horsepower V6 that delivers its 245 pound feet of torque to the front wheels or optional All Wheel Drive layout via a 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Power assisted, ventilated front disc/rear drum antilock brakes are standard with 4-wheel discs available on the All Wheel Drive and upper trim models.
The front wheel drive Sienna delivers an EPA estimated 17 miles per gallon City, 23 Highway with the all wheel drive version getting 16 miles per gallon City, 21 Highway.
Inside, the Sienna is all about transporting people in comfort. Up to eight passengers can be accommodated and the two rear rows of fold flat seating can be configured to utilize up to 148.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
Our test Sienna had an upscale feel as faux wood trim is used liberally on the center console, adjustable steering wheel and doors. A variety of audio and DVD entertainment systems are available. Our Sienna came equipped with an in dash DVD navigation system.
A long list of luxury options is available. Recommended is Toyota's dynamic laser cruise control, which maintains the distance between the Sienna and vehicles to its front.
There are 4 models in the Sienna line-up: the CE, LE, the upper scale XLE and Limited. The prospective buyer can further specify front wheel or all wheel drive and seven or eight-passenger seating configuration.
Base MSRP for the 2009 Toyota Sienna is $24,540 while a Limited with full options selected will top out at just under $43,000. All vehicles carry a 5-year/60,000 mile power train warranty.
The 2009 Sienna from Toyota is a long way from mini-vans of years ago. With its combination of style, comfort, safety and functionally the changes are all for the better.