2011 Toyota Sienna SE: Ideal Track Support Vehicle
August 12, 2011
You've heard about all the space our longterm 2011 Toyota Sienna has, but I'll put it to you in terms you racers understand -- this thing is a 24-tire hauler. Easily. Now, that's with 195-series 14-inchers, but if you're racing on anything bigger than that, you're a baller and you own your own enclosed trailer anyway. Or a boxtruck.
Anyway, ahead of our prep for last weekend's race, my teammate Bitter Dan grew skeptical when he heard I was bringing a minivan. There was a lot to do, and much equipment to shuffle around.
Bitter Dan: Would be helpful if you could come down with the Raptor so we can pick up all the tubs, spares, and tires from the shop and bring them to my house.
Me: I'll bring a minivan
Bitter Dan: will a minivan fit our box-o-spare parts and 8 wheels/tires?
Me: This minivan will fit the number of corpses a honey badger can generate in a whole month.
Bitter Dan: sure? we need all the suspension and steering bits otherwise, well crash. also need fuel jugs and drip pan.
When I rolled up in the Sienna, Bitter Dan nearly fell over. Yes, the Sienna is huge.
But it doesn't drive huge. Other editors have noted that the SE trim level has spot-on damping and ride, and I agree -- it snuffs out impacts without harshness. There's no reason for the softer base Sienna suspension.
And beyond pure swallowing capacity, it's a user-friendly race support vehicle -- crazy-low step-in heights, sliding doors with gigantic apertures, a flat load floor, power door & liftgate... even skeptical Bitter Dan has seen the light.
--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor