For 2003, dual power sliding doors are available for the LE edition of Toyotas front-wheel-drive minivan, and the CE can have a right-side power door. The CE also gains optional, second-row captains chairs, which were previously unavailable for this model. Side-impact airbags, Toyotas electronic stability system and a rear-seat video entertainment system remain available.
Toyota launched the Kentucky-built Sienna as a 1998 model. The Sienna comes in three trim levels: CE, LE and the top-of-the-line XLE. A redesigned 2004 Sienna was unveiled in January at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Sienna rides a 114.2-inch wheelbase and stretches 194.1 inches long overall. Manually operated dual sliding side doors are standard. Power operation is optional for the right-side door on the CE model and for both doors on the other trim levels. The Sienna rolls on 15-inch tires. A roof rack and integrated fog lights are standard on the XLE edition.
All Siennas seat seven occupants. The CE and LE have a two-person bench seat in the second row. Second-row captains chairs are standard in the XLE and optional in the CE and LE. A 50/50-split bench seat that can be slid fore and aft goes into the third row. With the second- and third-row seats folded, the Sienna can hold 133.5 cubic feet of cargo.
Standard CE equipment includes a six-way drivers seat, a tilt steering wheel, and dual-zone front and rear air conditioning. The LE adds powered rear-quarter windows with privacy glass, a full-size spare tire, a tachometer, and power windows, locks and mirrors.
The XLE has automatic climate control for the front and rear, as well as heated mirrors, a six-way power drivers seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and carpeted floormats. Heated seats with leather upholstery are available in the XLE. Dealers can install a rear-seat video entertainment system with a VCR between the front seats and a 6.8-inch video screen. A Symphony Package remains available for the LE; it includes captains chairs, a premium JBL cassette/CD stereo with eight speakers and a six-way power drivers seat.
Under the Hood
The Sienna uses a 210-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine with VVT-i technology that teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Antilock brakes and a low-tire-pressure warning system are standard. Side-impact airbags and Vehicle Skid Control, Toyotas electronic stability system, are optional.
If any minivan matches Chrysler and Dodge models in overall appeal, it has to be the Sienna. From the first moment behind the wheel, its evident that youre driving a refined, civilized, well-built vehicle. In performance, handling, ride quality and seating comfort, the Sienna ranks near the top of the league. No minivan is more carlike in behavior.
Acceleration is brisk. The V-6 powertrain responds swiftly and positively to pressure on the gas pedal, delivering a smooth surge of added power. Steering is at a satisfying level between light and tight. A moderately firm suspension is taut enough for top-notch control yet soft enough to cushion the vast majority of bumps.
All of the seats are well cushioned. The high climate control unit has thoughtfully large buttons. Storage space is adequate, but the glove box is puny.