6 Speed Test Drives, Car News, Car Reviews

6 SPEED TEST DRIVE: 2011 Toyota Sienna

6 things you need to know about the 2011 Toyota Sienna.

1. Super size me. Since it’s a minivan, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Sienna has lots of cargo space. But, I mean, LOTS of space. Got multiple kids with soccer equipment, and friends in town, too? No problem. Plus, kids and even some adults can stand up to almost full height in the back, which is helpful for moving things around and, later, getting them out of the vehicle.

2. Sidewinder. With a ride this big, you may have to tweak your parallel parking skills. Not to worry though, the Sienna has just what you need. Not only does it have the necessary rear view camera and proximity sensor, it also has a virtual parking grid that pops up on the rear camera’s screen to show you exactly where you’ll end up as you turn the wheel. Nice.

3. Brush your shoulders off.  For the mom and dad who are transitioning into full-time parent mode and miss the days of old when their cars had sex appeal, have no fear.  The Sienna has swagger.  I mean, it’s not going to jump out at you like, say, a premium SUV but it definitely has enough “swag” to hold its own in the lineup of grown-up cars at the valet parking line during your next date night.

4. Hoarders Delight. Storage is the name of the game when you’re multitasking and the Sienna has more pockets than your favorite pair of cargo pants.  There’s even a purse drawer.  Course, it’s not labeled as a purse drawer, per se, but it’s just the right size and shape to store that new Birkin bag as you dash out to collect the kids from karate class.  There are also drink holders galore.

5. “I always feel like somebody’s watching me.” You definitely have to keep your eye on children at all times.  This feature makes it easy.  Tap the button near the rear view mirror and a convex mirror pops down so that, at a glance, you can see everything going on inside the car—including what those little bandits are up to back there.

6. Sliiiiide to the left.  Whether your hands are full of groceries or baseball bats, just a light tug on the door handle is all you need to get the door to slide open automatically. Even better, you can open any of the doors in advance from your remote key fob.

Advertised average MPG: 18
Actual MPG during test-drive: 17.4
Ride quality: Smooth and easy like a big ole Caddy.

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