"My car needs include 7 seats, comfort for long trips, and reasonable fuel economy. That last item rules out the SUVs; anyway, I prefer sliding doors since I have children and a narrow carport.
The 2009 Sienna XLE replaced our 10-year-old Sienna LE; we also had a 2000 Sienna XLE as a company car for some time. This time we added a few more comfort features including leather, power heated seats, power doors, and a sunroof. We appreciate the slightly sportier styling of the 2009 body, as well as newer safety features.
We use this car for daily carpool runs, errands, and frequent 4-hour trips to our family cabin. It is far more comfortable on those long trips than our 2007 Camry, and it holds all the gear we need as well. (Gear for one weekend away in my family: guitar, amp, dog crate, 20 stuffed animals and blankets, big food cooler, knitting bag, huge bag of linens--it all fits.)
I love this car for its versatility. Visiting in-laws can comfortably ride in the rear captain's chairs, and my children don't suffer in the comfortable 3rd row. It will never leave me by the side of the road, if it is true to its Toyota heritage (so far so good, and I've owned at least 12 Toyotas.)
All my complaints about this car are minor. I wish it didn't beep so loudly when the rear hatch is operated. I find the climate control slow to warm up the car in cold weather, probably because it's so roomy. The sound system could be a lot better. Seems the middle seats get better sound than the front. I do appreciate the built-in input for my iPod or other devices.
This car is a pleasure to drive, handles well and offers great visibility. The defrost system works instantaneously and perfectly--never a foggy window. (I didn't appreciate this until I drove a VW last winter and struggled with crummy defrosters.)
It's worth noting that when we bought this car new in 2009, we added features and still didn't pay much more than we did for our 1999. It was a great value, and while it's no economy car, it gets better fuel economy per passenger than most other options. I only have two children, but often end up with 2-3 extras, and appreciate being able to haul them all comfortably.
We've considered making a change, but after comparing all the options we came right back to the Sienna. Quality, value, practicality, comfort, and even some style--Sienna, all these qualities are yours. Thanks, Toyota!"
Was this review helpful to you?