2006 Toyota Sienna LE 7-Passenger 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
This van has been a fantastic vehicle for almost seven years, ferrying our family from the Atlantic to the Pacific without fail. The 3.3 seems stronger than the 215 hp rating, and the mileage is consistently 20 mpg in town, and 26 mpg regularly on the highway. In 114K miles, I've done 2 front brake jobs, 3 sets of tires, 1 timing belt service, 2 top-offs of the A/C system for a slow leak,and a shock that was replaced under warranty at 38K - that's it. In thirty years of owning vehicles, both domestic and imported, the Sienna has been the most trouble-free of all of them.
The interior is very comfortable, with higher quality materials than the newer generation of Sienna. The audio system is decent, although I'm no audiophile. The A/C works well as long as it's topped up (which it is 95% of the time), and the heat and defrost functions are great as well. And the headlights- they're awesome! (As I've gotten older this has become decidely more important.) With regards to the exterior, the paint quality has been excellent, and the rubber seals and trim all seem to be holding up well. The driving experience is good for what it is, with excellent acceleration and fairly good brakes, and handling that is about what you'd expect- remember, it's a van, folks.
I'd like to see a whole lot more sound-proofing, but all minivans seem to suffer from this due to the aerodynamics. My trim level (LE) doesn't have traction control, and it should probably be standard- no kidding. Even with new tires, the motor is strong enough to spin 'em
from a dead start easily. (Not to scare people off, it's more of an annoyance- winter driving is still acceptable, and I'm sure shoeing the van with dedicated snow tires would markedly improve things). Other improvements I'd like to see? How about more interior colors that are real colors, not just mouse fur gray or bland beige - I'd love to see blues or reds. Also, standard power seats would be nice.