I test drove the Grand Caravan, Odyssey, and Sienna before buying. The Dodge felt cheap & rough, the Odyssey was good, and the handling was tight, but it felt like a sports car - transmitted every little bump thru the suspension in a violent way. Also, as I test-drove a 5-speed Honda, the Sienna had noticeably better acceleration. The Honda had less comfy armrests, and no available center console on the base model. For the same price as the base Honda, I got a Sienna LE with power seat, power doors, a nicer ride, satellite radio, and a better reliability record. Only complaint for the Sienna is the driver's "dead pedal" area on the left is too close for comfort. Awesome car & purchase.
I have to admit that I had my eye on the latest generation Sienna from the day it came out. My 2004 Sienna LE that I still own had been quite a workhorse for me, but it has140k/miles. I liked the tight turning radius and 20-21MPG of the 04. Also the foldable center divider is handy for moving long objects. One of the reasons that I got the Limited was the lack of that ugly piece of plastic that is in the middle of the second row seats for seating 8 people. I like the 2013 very much but wish it got better MPG (I get 18-19 with mixed driving), and had a little tighter turning radius (like 04). The ride is effortless and smooth, seats are first class, and all the warning systems are great!
As a mom I like this kid wagon pretty well, but have one major gripe with the design. It's obviously meant to haul children, and almost all children are in some sort of safety restraint/seat these days. Problem is, the 2nd and 3rd row seats have this ridiculous incline, about a 45 degree incline toward the back. What they really need to start at is about ground level for proper installation of car seats. I've had to roll a towel to stick under a car seat before, but this is insane. Who thought this was a good idea?? You really have to rig it to get the child seat at the proper angle, especially for the youngest children (newborns and babies) who are rear-facing and need to be reclined.
We like the seinna in general. Its comfortable, best driving minivan we tested. Lots of space. What we dont like is the navigation system is one of the worst I've ever used. Its voice entry is slow and error prone, it's display is cluttered and hard to get what is important, it is hard to follow in a city with close turns. Its just bad. My $100 garmin is much better. Not only did I spend 15x that for this system, but they also take out the XM capable radio to do it. Other complaints are gas mileage is only 18-21, the heated seats dont let you turn on back vs legs, and in general the seats are not as comfortable as I would expect in this class. And the tires are expensive!
I previously owned a new 2011 Toyota Sienna LE, put 30K plus on it and traded for a new 2013 Sienna LE almost 3 years ago. I now have 54K miles on this new 2013 as of 1-29-2016. Overall, this is the BEST vehicle I have ever owned. The best features are: effortless electronic steering, fabulous turning radius, smooth ride, spacious cargo room ( I can haul full 4 x 8 sheets of plywood flat in the rear), dual front and rear climate control, blue-tooth tech for my Ipod and phone, and just plain high quality and reliability of the van. Negatives are: driver side middle seat is cumbersome to remove because of the built in cup holder and seat rail slider,and the poor quality new LIMITED MILEAGE TIRES that the only last for 30K miles is disgraceful ( both of my 2011 and current 2013 Siennas had these Michelin limited mile tires.