2011 Toyota Sienna SE: The Departed
February 02, 2011
We made it back from our short hop to Vegas unscathed, suffering only sleep deprivation and financial loss. Our 2011 Toyota Sienna SE was a great road trip car for a big crew, 7 people in our case. The 19" inch wheels didn't affect the smooth, controlled ride (for a van).
The transverse mounted 3.5L V6 pulled all the grades on The 15 with ease, the 6-speed auto transmission quickly downshifting 1 or 2 gears as necessary. Several test cars I've driven to Vegas (e.g, Terrain, Flex) have struggled with those grades. The Sienna got tossed around a bit by some hellacious crosswinds on the ride home, but was otherwise stable, even through a few brief downpours.
I ended up getting 20.02 mpg over ~ 600 miles. The EPA combined rating is also a decent 20 mpg.
Of course the Sienna was spacious (except for the 3 people in the 3rd row), and the 3-zone HVAC kept everyone comfy. The only complaint from my passengers was about the 3rd row belts cutting across their necks and shoulders.
And they absolutely loved the rear window shades -- that Mojave sun is quite hot and bright, don'tcha know?
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 6,400 miles
(photo by Ryan Dinshaw)