16 Best Family Cars: 2016 Toyota Sienna
A perennially popular people mover with formidable credentials, the Toyota Sienna minivan augments its already engaging personality with several new features that help earn it a Best Family Car nod for the third year in a row. Beyond 2016 enhancements that include an upgraded multimedia system, a new Connected Navigation Scout GPS App Link for its Entune Audio Plus package and distraction-minimizing Siri Eyes Free across the lineup, this versatile hauler remains the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive as an option.
Versatile, Flexible, Capable
Available in L, LE, SE/SE Premium, XLE and Limited/Limited Premium trims, the Sienna offers model-dependent seating for seven or eight, with the former offering buyers a choice of foldable/removable second-row captain’s chairs or slick lounge units with integrated footrests. Either way, a tip-and-slide feature makes accessing the adult-accommodating 60/40-split third-row bench a breeze and this versatile Toyota’s generous 39.1 cu ft of basic cargo space can be expanded to an impressive 150 cu ft in max-toting mode. While all variants share the same quite-capable 266-horsepower V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission, the Sienna does offer both a comfort-skewed standard suspension as well as a sportier-tuned version with larger-diameter alloy wheels in the SE/SE Limited.
Although road-noise levels do tend to rise at freeway speeds, the Sienna’s inner sanctum still qualifies as a largely welcoming realm that complements its basic user-friendly control layouts with numerous touches that will please passengers of all ages. Tri-zone air conditioning, numerous cubbies, three 12V powerpoints plus USB/AUX inputs are part of the basic kit on all models while SE-and-above Siennas swap leather for cloth and add the innovative Driver Easy Speak system that amplifies the driver’s voice and broadcasts it through the rear speakers as well as a slick dual-view Blu-ray DVD entertainment center with a 16.4-inch display that can show two programs simultaneously and includes wireless headphones. The 2016 Sienna also rolled off with KBB’s Best Resale Value Award in the minivan category, a solid indicator that the built-in goodness will continue on over time.
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