fiasco
fiasco New Reader
1/12/11 9:38 a.m.
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Spent way too much time trying to find a used AWD Sienna this summer to haul two kids, a Labrador Retriever, and great grandma around. All but one of the ones I looked at had been hit and fixed poorly...(and these were Toyota dealer stock).

Looked at used Odysseys, but I live on a dirt road and the ground clearance was poor -- you see lots in New England with the plastic undertray bits scraping the pavement.

Ended up with a new 2011 FWD Sienna LE and a set of Hakkas for the winter -- and while it's no Subaru in the snow, it eats miles nicely. I do wish it handled more like the Honda, but it has plenty of power and the six-speed auto is almost always in the right gear. It would do smoke shows all day without the traction control; I do think the stability control and traction control nannies come on too quickly and the traction control switches itself back on too soon.

The minivan does everything but off-road and heavy towing as well as or better than an SUV, all I have to do is romp the right pedal in the Sienna and I forget about the minivan "stigma".

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pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
1/14/11 12:48 p.m.

I had a loaded Sienna as a rental car and really liked it, specifically for it's minivan-ness. It has tons of space, many cup holders and storage nooks, power-sliding doors...the list goes on. I have not driven the Odyssey, but it must be damn good to beat the Sienna.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Truth be told, we're fans of the humble minivan. Oh, sure, the masses may associate these upright transportation devices with soccer moms and suburbanites, but we love minivans for what they are: practical machines for moving people and stuff.

So what if they don't have 3 feet of ground clearance, monster truck tires and throaty V8 engines? We're looking for practicality, not status. Don't you already know that we're cooler than cool? (Oh wait, we're not cool? Crap!)

When the all-new Toyota Sienna headed our way, our curiosity was immediately piqued. Would it send us to the dealerships or keep us happy with our Odysseys and Town & Countrys? Scroll down for some opinions.

As an added bonus, we gave this one a bit of a workout: It served as our trackside support vehicle during the South Florida 24 Hours of LeMons event.

One more note: Our test vehicle had the XLE Premium Package. It adds $6225 to the final line and includes a ton of extras, including dual-view entertainment center, back-up camera, JBL sound system, iPod hookup, rear parking sonar, chrome door handles and more.

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