Now in its third model year, the current generation of Toyota's minivan receives revised front and rear styling. A power-operated third-row folding rear seat is optional on the top-of-the-range Limited model, and the optional rear-seat entertainment system sports a larger (9-inch) LCD screen.
First introduced in 2004, the second-generation Toyota Sienna followed a long list of moderately successful minivans that included the egg-shaped Previa and the original (and slightly smaller) Sienna. The new Sienna follows the formula of successful vans like the Honda Odyssey and Dodge Grand Caravan: a long wheelbase, two sliding doors, and a folding third-row seat that disappears into the floor. Success in the fiercely competitive minivan market seems to hinge on having the best, most convenient gadgetry. Some of the Sienna's most innovative features-its split-fold third-row seat and roll-down windows in the side sliding doors-have already been duplicated by the competition, so for 2006 the Sienna brings a new innovation: power operation for the third-row seat, which can be folded and flipped so that it disappears into a large well in the floor.
Seven-passenger Siennas have two captain's chairs in the second row. The right-hand seat slides side-to-side, and can be positioned alongside the left-hand seat to create a side aisle (for easier third-row access) or closer to the sliding door to create a center aisle. Eight-passenger models have a second-row center seat that slides forward for easier access to little ones in child seats. Power for the Sienna comes from a 215-hp, 3.3L V-6 backed by a 5-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive offered for all models except the CE. EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg city/26 highway for front-drive versions, 17 city/23 highway for all-wheel-drive versions.
The Sienna is available in four trim levels: CE, LE, XLE, and Limited. Standard equipment on all Sienna models includes anti-lock brakes, side air bags in the front row and side curtain air bags in all rows, front and rear air conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, and no fewer than 14 cup and bottle holders. Higher trim levels offer standard and optional amenities including power-operated side doors and tailgate, dynamic laser cruise control (which automatically maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front), and a GPS navigation system with an integrated backup camera and Bluetooth phone compatibility.
The Sienna competes in the Midsize Van segment, in which 14 models compete for U.S. family dollars. The name of the game here is value, safety, and having the ability to comfortably haul seven people and their cargo.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM Daimler Chrysler vans ruled this segment in 2005. The sales leader was the Dodge Caravan and Grand Caravan, selling 226,771 units combined, followed by the Chrysler Town & Country with 180,759 sales. The Honda Odyssey ranked third with 174,275 units sold in 2005, followed by the Sienna, which found 161,380 buyers.
|CE (A5)||5 speed automatic||$0||215-hp / 3.3L 6-cyl||19/26|
|LE (A5)||5 speed automatic||$25,280||215-hp / 3.3L 6-cyl||19/26|
|XLE (A5)||5 speed automatic||$29,725||215-hp / 3.3L 6-cyl||19/26|
|XLE Limited (A5)||5 speed automatic||$36,180||215-hp / 3.3L 6-cyl||19/26|