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Toyota Sienna

Vehicle research for the 2012 Toyota Sienna

The Good

The 2012 Toyota Sienna offers some of the most comprehensive luxury and technology features in its class. Its engines are well-designed and powerful, and this minivan is unique in its class for making all-wheel drive an available option.

The Bad

Its styling is devoid of imagination and leaves much to be desired. The interior isn’t particularly well-appointed, and the price tag goes up and up and up very quickly if you want the best available options.

The Bottom Line

This is one of the world’s top-selling minivans, and for good reason. It is a versatile vehicle with a wide range of customization options.

Price

A total of 12 different trim packages are available, ranging from the base model to the Limited All-Wheel Drive edition. The price of a Toyota Sienna for sale will also depend on the options and features you select.

MSRP: $25,060 to $40,570

Average paid: $24,243 to 38,562

Performance

Acceleration and power

On the base model, you will find a standard 2.7 L inline-4 engine that maxes out at 187 horsepower and 186 lb/ft of torque. This engine offers a 0 to 60 acceleration time of 9.9 seconds, which is well below the class lead. However, you do have the ability to upgrade to a 3.5 L V6 engine that puts out 266 horsepower and 245 lb/ft of torque, leading to dramatically improved acceleration and performance. What the engine lacks in raw power it makes up for in refinement, and this minivan’s fuel efficiency is above average.

Handling and braking

On the whole, Toyota Sienna reviews are mixed in terms of the vehicle’s handling capabilities. While the redesigned 2011 Toyota Sienna displayed improved overall handling performance and a more refined response, its suspension isn’t as well-engineered as some other vehicles in its class, leading to a bumpier, harsher ride. Braking safety is very high, though, and is powered by several assistive technologies including anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist.

Interior

Seating

Toyota Sienna seats are generously sized and comfortable. Unlike most other minivans, the Sienna can seat as many as eight passengers throughout its three seating rows (though most models only seat seven). Front captain’s chairs feature active head restraints for improved safety; the driver’s seat is 6-way manually adjustable, and the passenger’s seat is 4-way manually adjustable. Second row and third row seats can both be retracted to increase the vehicle’s cargo capacity. Fabric trim is the default seating material.

Features

Standard features differ with each trim package, but all 2012 Sienna models offer power windows with anti-jam technology, three-zone air conditioning, cruise control, analog instrumentation, removable second-row seats and three 12-volt power outlets. The default stereo is a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with CD, MP3 and WMA player. If you have children, the entertainment system option is highly recommended; it consists of a retractable screen with DVD player, and is ideal for keeping the kids occupied during lengthy trips. Other optional features you may want to consider include a power moon roof, power sliding doors, leather seats and a navigation system/trip computer.

Cargo space

The maximum cargo capacity of the 2012 Toyota Sienna is 150 cubic feet. With the second row seats intact, you will have 87.1 cubic feet of storage space, and with all seats intact, there is still 39.1 cubic feet of cargo volume.

Safety

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scores for the 2012 Sienna include four stars for overall safety, four stars for frontal barrier crash resistance and four stars for rollover resistance. It earned a top score of five stars for its side impact safety.

The vehicle comes with a considerable range of standard safety features, including Toyota’s signature Star Safety System package which offers anti-lock brakes, enhanced vehicle stability control, smart stop technology, anti-lock brakes, traction control, brake assist and electronic brake force distribution. Three-point seat belts and side curtain airbags protect passengers in all three seating rows, and there are also advanced front impact airbags for the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat. Daytime running headlights, front and rear crumple zones and child safety door locks round out the list of standard safety equipment.

Specifications

The 2011 Toyota Sienna was all-new; there have been no major changes to the 2012 lineup. These specifications cover the base model; variations in performance specifications are discussed in the appropriate sections below.

  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: Gasoline inline-4
  • Engine Size: 2.7 L
  • Horsepower: 187 @ 5800 rpm
  • Torque: 186 lb/ft @ 4100 rpm
  • MPG, City: 19 MPG
  • MPG, Highway: 24 MPG
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