What is it: The Toyota Sienna is one of the best-sellers in today's shrunken minivan market. It's had a steady stream of updates to keep it fresh despite being one of the older designs currently on sale، and it remains the only way to get all-wheel drive in a minivan -- a big plus in winter-weather states، according to Auto Week.
Highlights: The current-generation Sienna has been on sale since 2010، but the design has aged well، helped by its modern eight-speed automatic and Toyota's excellent 3.5-liter direct-injected V6. More important for some is the available all-wheel-drive system offered on LE trim levels and above. he Sienna knocks yet another leg out of the SUV-justification stool too، with its full-time AWD system offered on all but the most basic trim level. As you'd expect، there's a price in fuel economy، exacerbated by the fact the Sienna is downright ancient by vehicle standards، and its structure hasn't benefited from some of the latest advancements in high-strength steel. A portly 4،800-pound curb weight yields real-world gas mileage of around 20 mpg combined، a number I hit almost on the nose after a week of driving.
How does it compare with the competition، though? Despite the limited number of minivans available today، they all have distinctive personalities. As you might expect، the Sienna is the Camry of minivans: It isn't fancy، but it does everything well (I'd argue better than the current Camry). There are nice touches، like the sliding second-row captain's chairs that turn the back into a veritable limo when you don't need the third row (most of the time). And the Sienna's powertrain calibration is simply flawless -- it finds the right gear for the situation every time، shifts almost imperceptibly and delivers excellent power smoothly and quietly.