I LOVE MINI-VANS!! There I said it… surprised? Well you shouldn’t be. Minivans in my opinion are the perfect vehicle, as they do just about everything. Need to go to Home Depot for a 5×8 sheet of plywood? No problem, fold down the seats and slide that baby right in. Maybe you have a family of 6 that needs to get to Mac D’s for vanilla shakes, once again, problem solved, just shovel everyone in and hit the gas. Or lastly, perhaps it’s time for you and the clan to go up skiing for the weekend… well then rock-on with yo’ bad self, as most now come equipped with AWD.
My point is that since the introduction of the original Chrysler minivan way back in 1984, manufactures have been scuttling to build a better mousetrap. Each year new features and options come out that make the original look like an antique. Example – as I was walking around the Washington, DC International Auto show I came upon the new Toyota Sienna and was VERY impressed by what I saw. First off, these are not the minivans we grew up with, nor are they just for soccer Moms anymore.
The Toyota Sienna has an air of refinement to it that is apparent as soon as you step into it. The dash layout is simple and easy to read as are the climate controls. Placement of the center console is done nicely as well. Being a big guy I always find my right leg butting up against center consoles which, as you can imagine, can be quite annoying on long trips. No worries in the Sienna though, as my big ass fit in there just fine.
The rear cabin of the Sienna is awesome – like seriously awesome. Not only do the rear seats track back and fourth, but they recline and have a lazy boy style foot rests to boot – how cool is that! Toyota also employed a new split screen DVD system for the rear passengers. The screen itself is about 12 inches wide and allows for simultaneous split screen viewing which should work out great if you’re toting the kids around. Other conveniences like multiple storage bays, dual zone climate control and 7 passenger seating are also a part of the Sienna’s family friendly arsenal. Price on this fully maxxed out Sienna was just over 40k which is a BIG number, but for what you get and the wrapper in which it’s packaged, it’s actually not to bad of a deal. Mileage is also pretty decent with ratings of 18 city / 24 hwy.