Bigger, bolder, and even more accommodating, the third generation of Toyota's Sienna shown at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show introduces new levels of style and functionality to the minivan segment. Available in five different trim levels, with seating for seven or eight, the choice of four or six-cylinder power and front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, the new Sienna offers an even broader range of personalization potential that its predecessor in a vehicle Toyota says will ride and handle more like a sedan than a minivan. More expressively contoured bodywork endows all versions of this 2011 Sienna (base/LE/SE/XLE/Limited) with significantly greater curb appeal, but the real star of the Gen III lineup is the new SE variant. Aimed at those with enthusiast leanings, it packs a bigger visual punch courtesy of a more aggressive front fascia treatment, side sills, smoked taillamp lenses and 19-inch alloy wheels that are complemented by its lower ride height and a sport-tuned suspension.
Inside, the 2011 Toyota Sienna's completely redesigned cabin boasts significantly more people and cargo space in addition to a bounty of passenger pleasing touches like tri-zone air conditioning, reclining second-row seats with footrests, a 60/40 Split and Stow third-row bench (power activated in the Limited), extended seat travel and loads of convenient configuration stow spaces. In addition to the expected audio upgrades and a navigation system, the 2011 Sienna's option list has expanded to include two particularly notable extras. The Dual View Entertainment Center offer a pair of side-by-side screens that can function independently or be paired to create single, seamless 16.4-inch display that can be seen by both second- and third-row passengers. On a more practical level, the Sienna also can be fitted with Toyota's first Panorama Camera rear monitor that provides a 180-degree view plus on-screen backup guides for added convenience when existing driveways or parking lots.
Motivation for the 2011 Toyota Sienna will be provided by two engines, each linked to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission. Both feature Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and an Acoustically Controlled Induction System (ACIS) to improve output and efficiency. The base 2.7-liter inline-four makes 187 horsepower and delivers an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway while the optional 3.5-liter V6 cranks out 266 horses and is expected to earn 18/24 mpg EPA numbers on front-drive models and 16/22 mpg stats on all-wheel-drive Siennas. Given that passenger hauling is a clear priority, all Sienna models will come with a full range of safety equipment starting with an enhanced version of Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control system that integrates the stability/traction/anti-lock brake systems and seven airbags. At Limited level, Toyota's Pre-Collision System and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management are available as options. The 2011 Sienna will start arriving at dealerships in February.