When does a full size minivan cross the threshold of looking more like a new age spacecraft? When it’s the 2015 Toyota Sienna. I had the pleasure of test-driving this van last month and wanted to share with you my experiences
Being this is the first van I have reviewed, I knew it would be big. I drive a 2000 Chevy Astro van myself so I am no stranger to large vehicles. What I was surprised inside by was that even though there was a ton of side and head room, the interior still felt cozy. Perhaps it was the higher end wood trimmings, the ample sized console between the drivers seat or just the fact it felt connected. Either way I loved how it felt to be in the van.
Exterior: The van we test drove was the 2015 XLE AWD edition in Sky Blue Pearl. Gorgeous color.
Specs: This particular model boast 18/25 mpg, and based on our drives it averaged 20 mpg non highway, which for a van is pretty good! 3.5 L V6, keyless entry and ignition, power slider doors and hatch, heated seats in the front, moonroof, backup camera, 16.4 inch widescreen DVD player, bluetooth and audio jack, plus everything else you would want, including leather seats and wood trim.
Handling : I took this van to my friend’s house the day after it was delivered because she and her spouse are looking to buy one and wanted to see it. The first thing she noticed is that the steering wheel felt smaller, like a racecar, but proved to be the right size after we hit the gas. With a decent get up and go, turning with the smaller wheel made for extremely smooth transitions. Being behind the wheel made you feel like you were a commander on Star Trek.
Safety: Front driver and passenger bags, driver knee air bag, passenger seat air bag and curtain airbags on both sides through the cabin. Also comes equipped with Blind Spot monitoring, a very cool feature. LATCH anchors and 3 point seat belts.
From the Toyota Website:
“Star Safety System™ — includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology® (SST). Smart Stop Technology® is designed to automatically reduce engine power when both brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time under certain conditions, helping to bring the vehicle to a stop.”
Entertainment: The sound quality in this van is pretty great. It isn’t something that is blow your mind amazing but it gets the job done. The widescreen DVD player, which includes two pair of bluetooth headphones, was a real star for my family. For the driver, you can listen to something completely different, stream music, play a CD, listen to the radio, anything really AT THE SAME TIME the kids are in the back ignoring your love of 90’s music while they enjoy a movie. The movie can also be played on the infotainment screen at the same time as the dedicated dvd player screen. This screen is quite wide but it is also short so it takes getting used to.
Cargo Space: This one is massive…along with easy fold and remove back seats there is a very large trunk space for your needs. This is why most families want vans, for the space to lug all the stuff around and you won’t be disappointed.
My thoughts: If I was ever in the market for a new van, this would be the one. The size is manageable, the power is great for my needs, the gas mileage is acceptable for it’s size, and the bells and whistles would make it the PERFECT vehicle for road trips.
Price: The vehicle I reviewed starts at $35, 2oo, lower models start at 28k and deluxe model is around 40k. This is one of those investments you want to make for longevity. Personally if you have a couple of very small kids, this would be a great vehicle with room to grow for the kids and peace of mind with safety features.
Learn even more about the Sienna by visiting the Toyota Sienna website!