You'll Like The 2009 Toyota Sienna If...
If you're comparing minivan comfort and convenience, you'll find the 2009 Toyota Sienna borrows many of the best ideas from each of its competitors and combines them into a strong, well-built platform. The Sienna is the only minivan to offer the option of all-wheel drive.
You May Not Like The 2009 Toyota Sienna If...
The Sienna can get pricey as you move up the trim range, but the same can be said of the competition. About the only reason not to like this van is if you are not partial to the styling or interior layout.
For 2009, the Sienna adds new optional 17-inch wheels and some upgrades to the LE trim's available option packages.
A look inside the Sienna clearly shows that Toyota is a player in the upscale van market. Trim levels include the CE, LE, XLE and Limited, and each has a great standard equipment list. The Sienna's seats take full advantage of the van's roomy interior, with wide seat bottoms as well as firm back rests. Second-row seating is either a set of captain's chairs that can be slid together to form a two-person bench, or a three-person split-folding bench seat with a sliding center section that can move forward by as much as 13 inches. The sliding center section makes an infant in a child safety seat more easily accessible to the front-seat passenger. Like the Honda Odyssey, the Sienna's rear seat can fold flush into the floor and features a 60/40 split. Cargo space behind the third seat has been improved thanks to the Sienna's long wheelbase.
The Sienna is smartly styled but offers nothing radical in the way of exterior features or design. The current Sienna is bigger than previous generations, with a long wheelbase and a wide cabin with over 45 cubic feet of volume. The wide cabin permits three-passenger seating without cramping. Generous hip and shoulder room, a noticeable shortcoming on previous models, is a thing of the past. Clever features, such as the available Dynamic Laser Cruise Control and the option of part-time four-wheel drive, help the Sienna stand out in what has become a very crowded field.
The 2009 Toyota Sienna's 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers where it counts, and it performs beautifully in both city and highway driving. The Sienna pulls quickly from a dead stop and power is masterfully managed by an electronically controlled five-speed automatic that makes the most of the engine's torque curve before seamlessly shifting to the next gear. The Sienna's wide stance and long wheelbase make for an extremely smooth ride and further bolster the Sienna's already rock-solid stability. Some drivers may feel the steering effort to be somewhat heavy for a minivan, but the resultant firm and direct steering makes it possible to pull off highly accurate maneuvers not usually attempted in a vehicle of this sort.
The eight-passenger Sienna CE's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $25,000, while the all-wheel-drive LE starts close to $30,000. The luxury-oriented all-wheel-drive Limited starts closer to $36,500 and, when fully loaded, tops out around $42,000. Before you buy, be sure to check the most recent Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Sienna. Remove the luxury frills and you can find a comparably equipped van from Hyundai or Kia for a lot less money, and Dodge's Grand Caravan offers a far more versatile interior. But the Sienna is expected to retain a high resale value, far better than that of rivals Dodge Grand Caravan, Hyundai Entourage and Kia Sedona, a few points higher than the Nissan Quest, but not as good as the Honda Odyssey.
The Sienna CE includes a V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), 10 cup holders, rear defroster, side-impact and side-curtain airbags, dual sliding side doors with power windows, power door locks, illuminated remote keyless entry, power liftgate release, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, power windows, full wheel covers and a rear wiper.
Options vary by trim and include all-wheel drive, power seats, leather interior, heated front seats, cruise control, dual power sliding side doors, JBL audio with ten speakers and Bluetooth technology (standard on Limited), power-folding third-row seat (Limited), four-wheel disc brakes, power lumbar support, DVD rear-seat entertainment system and alloy wheels. The Limited trim offers Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, while the Limited and XLE offer optional navigation.
Sliding Side-Door Power Windows
Sliding side-door power windows allow passengers to enjoy as much fresh air as they like.
Split Flush-Folding Third-Row Seat
The Sienna's split flush-folding third-row seat allows you to carry both additional passengers and cargo.
Under the Hood
There is only one engine offered with the Sienna: A robust new V6 offering strong off-the-line acceleration, quiet operation and decent fuel economy.
266 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
245 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 (FWD), 16/21 (AWD)
The 2009 Toyota Sienna is considered one the best minivans on the market today. Although not as big as the Honda Odyssey or Dodge Grand Caravan, the Sienna is still a sizable family hauler with room for up to eight persons. An attractive feature you won't find on any other minivan is the optional all-wheel drive, a must-have for many families who live in snow-frequented climates. Known for its solid build and a reputation for reliability, the Sienna quietly retains one other noteworthy quality: A strong resale value.