2011 Toyota Sienna: Reminds Me Why I Love Vans
February 17, 2011
I've been in a minivan state of mind all week, so I've treated myself to some quality time in our long-term 2011 Toyota Sienna SE. I was actually pretty lukewarm on the Sienna during our recent minivan comparison test, and the general feeling among the editors who participated was that the Toyota won on the strength of its all-around package -- capable in nearly all areas, but not endearing on a personal level.
Yet, the more I drive the Sienna, the more I like it.
The suspension tuning and the electric power steering calibration are really spot-on. Everything about the way this van moves as you turn a corner or back into a parking spot feels precise and effortless. Here, I've effortlessly and extra-legally backed into a loading/fire zone to return the big Zappos box (2 of the 7 pairs fit)... I ran into the store for 30 seconds and put the hazards on.
Although you never forget you're driving around in a great big box-shaped vehicle, the Sienna has a way of masking its weight that I like. Crossovers feel leaden and cumbersome to me, but this Sienna feels a good 500 pounds lighter than it actually is.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 6,882 miles