California Autos Examiner

Thursday, January 07, 2010

2011 Toyota Sienna: More photos, videos and information

2011 Toyota Sienna SE (photo by M.Sheena)
This is part two in my coverage of the 2011 Toyota Sienna from the Los Angeles Auto Show reveal.  For part one of this series, please click here.

More images of the 2011 Sienna, including some nice shots of the reclining middle row, in the slideshow below.

The 2011 Sienna offers some new options for buyers to choose from.  For example, you can now opt for a 187 horsepower four cylinder engine which serves up 19 mpg city and 26 mpg on the highway or a sportier SE model that offers 19" wheels, lowered suspension, various unique exterior and interior trim and sportier handling.  The SE shown at the show had a cloth/leatherette interior and it would appear that this is the way SE models will be equipped  That would mean that buyers wanting to "have it all" will have to forgo the SE and continue to opt for the Limited which is somewhat disappointing to me as I would like a sportier van, but I also want every bell and whistle.  All Sienna's promise to be somewhat crisper in the handling department thanks to engineering changes.

Several people have asked what the "wart-like" bump is on the first sunroof of Sienna's equipped with dual roofs.  I inquired with Toyota staffers and the answer is that it is a wind deflector for the second roof.  I also asked about the driver and front passenger door armrest cubbies that used to be on certain models, the short answer is that they are gone.  The sunglass case and conversation mirror have now been integrated into one unit, such as it is on the Honda Odyssey.

On the safety forefront, a driver's side airbag is now standard bringing the count up to seven.  It is interesting to note that the new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze will have 10 standard airbags, so six or seven bags are no longer cutting edge.  The Limited model offers an available Pre-Collision System (PCS) which integrates with the adaptive cruise control (which is now radar instead of laser based).  The backup camera can now offer 180 view which will help getting out of driveways and on screen guides to assist in the backup process.  There is also Safety Connect, standard on the Limited and available on the XLE, which like OnStar will notify authorities in the event of a crash.

Overall the 2011 Toyota Sienna is a relatively safe update of the current Sienna.  Nissan showed that radical entries in the conservative minivan market are rejected by buyers, so Toyota was sure not to move the needle too far.  Some buyers might be disappointed to see that certain high tech features like a hard drive based entertainment system are not available, but most will likely be quite satisfied with this updated edition.  While Toyota did not address a hybrid Sienna at this time, it is very likely that a hybrid Sienna will show up sooner rather than later in this model's life cycle.

There is much more to the 2011 Toyota Sienna and you can read all about it in Toyota's official press release.  Hopefully these highlights will be of some assistance to you.  Below this story are several videos.  The first two videos are the live footage I shot  at the press conference.  The third video is a Toyota representative demonstrating the removal and installation of the eighth seat (which stows in the back hatch area).

2011 Toyota Sienna Complete Press Reveal Part 1

2011 Toyota Sienna Complete Press Reveal Part 2

2011 Toyota Sienna Eighth Seat Removal and Installation

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