By Cars.com EditorsJune 9, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Patrick Olsen takes a look at the 2011 Toyota Sienna SE. It competes with the Honda Odyssey and Dodge Grand Caravan.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Patrick Olsen, Suburban Dad for cars.com. You know, the minivan has been around for 25 years.
A lot of people think it's dead, but Toyota's out to prove them wrong with the new 2011 Sienna. We're looking at the SE model, which is really intended for men. So as a part of way to get them, it has this blacked out grill on the front. On the inside it has nicer materials. It's got a carbon fiber that goes over the glove box. It's got kind of a plasticky wood grain over the rest of it. And it's got a very simplified format in the center console. Unlike Honda's Odyssey, which has more than 40 buttons, this seems more manageable and more contemporary. (upbeat music) One of the cool things about the Sienna is that the second row isn't locked into just one position. For example, there's no one in the third row, so we can go ahead and push it back. Get ourselves plenty of room to climb into the car. Now the second row seats are very comfortable, unlike the stow and go seats say in the Chrysler. They also, they're tilted in a way that gives you plenty of thigh support, which makes those long trips much more tolerable. Now, if you want to get kids into the backseat, it's not that hard. Simply hop out, pull this lever and move the seats forward. And then you can climb into the back. Now, once you're in the third row, you're gonna notice that it's really more for kids. The seats are shorter. They're lower to the ground. Probably not that comfortable for long rides for adults. The new Sienna is nothing like the minivans of yore. It doesn't labor trying to get up hills or to get started. In fact, it's actually kind of a pleasant experience. Getting up to speed is not a problem in this minivan. In fact, there's a nice throaty rumble when you achieve that. Handling is great. It feels very grippy, very low to the ground. And while it's not a sports car, it's certainly a lot more pleasant experience than your parents minivan must have been. (upbeat music) Finally, cargo is the reason that most people get minivans and Toyota's made that easy in the Sienna. (upbeat music) Unlike a lot of crossovers and other minivans, it's easy to drop the third row here. Just pull the handle. (seat clicking) Drop the seats into the floor, and then you've got plenty of space for your shopping needs or anything else that you might want to carry. (upbeat music) With crossover sales up and minivans sales down, this could be the better mousetrap that helps Toyota win the minivan race. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.