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2011 Toyota Sienna Review

Sienna

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Trims

Base
LE
Limited
SE
XLE

Toyota Sienna Experts

#1 Mik00000
Mik00000
Reputation 680
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 370
#3 Wayne Chomas
Wayne Chomas
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Average User Score

4.85 stars

Based on 6 reviews

So Excited by parrett84
 — This is my first minivan. We have been loyal Nissan customers our past 3 vehicles (currently own a Murano/Altima). I researched minivans for a month and a half before purchasing my 11' Sienna LE. Y... Read More
Best Mini Van Available. Feels Like Luxury Suv With Room Of A Mimi Rv. by richard5574
 — 2011 Sienna XLE 8-psgr FWD + Entertainment package, Floor mats and door step protection for $33,259. Pros: 1. Nice suspension and handling (of course not for carving the curbs)Driving like a luxu... Read More
Great Family/travel Van by SellingCAR
 — Love the stylish sporty look in the van. Great interior with lots of room. Very comfortable. Power sliding door with remote, Hands free cell phone compatibility, 3 garage door opening capability incor... Read More

2011 Toyota Sienna Review

The Good

Competent suspensions and engines in the 2011 Toyota Sienna couple with extreme long-haul comfort for a solid minivan entry in a world where the minivan is quickly becoming antiquated.

The Bad

The 2011 Sienna offers steering that some find too vague, poor around-town maneuverability, and a cheap feel in the Base and LE trims.

The CarGurus View

Will Toyota single-handedly keep the minivan on our streets? That depends on whether the changes made to the 2011 Sienna are enough to entice a whole new group of consumers to drive a vehicle that offers all the negatives of a sedan and a truck, with none of the benefits of ride quality or off-road capability. All we can say is – good luck.

At a Glance

Toyota is betting big that people aren’t sick of the minivan just yet, and backing it up with more than just words. The newest iteration of the Sienna, its third generation, gets fresh styling inside and out, a wealth of new options, an entirely new sport trim level, and optional four-cylinder power in 2011.

It’s a bold strategy, to say the least, but if it fails, at least no one can say it was for lack of trying. The 2011 Toyota Sienna comes in five trim levels, everything from the economical Base to the luxurious Limited and the sporty SE, has two capable and efficient engines, and remains the sole minivan with available all-wheel drive (AWD). It’s also enjoyed a redesign inside and out for 2011, with a body that is both wider and shorter in an identical wheelbase to last year's, offering additional interior room. If that weren’t enough, the sporty SE trim gets a unique front fascia and interior design, aggressive bold molding and smoked rear tail lamps, as well as 19-inch alloys and a lowered, sport-tuned suspension. It’s a bit stiffer than the base system and reverberates inconsistencies with greater conviction, but it also combats roll and lean well, fulfilling at least part of Toyota’s promise to deliver a minivan that’s fun to drive.

New-for-2011 standard fully electronic steering offers increased efficiency by removing load from the engine, but some testers have felt it has an over-assisted feel. Additional new options for 2011 include a widescreen, dual-view DVD entertainment system and a panoramic rearview camera. Couple that with the front/rear park assist, and the Sienna offers as much luxury and convenience as some European sedans.

Drivetrain

Base and LE trims are powered by a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine that offers ample power for family duty and around-town driving. On the highway, however, the 2.7 will strain to pass and climb, and sound quite harsh in doing so. Thankfully, optional for the Base and LE trims and standard in all others is a 266-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6, and both engines come solely with a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA estimates range from 19/26 mpg for a front-wheel-drive (FWD) four-cylinder Sienna to 16/22 for a trim with the V6 and AWD, both on regular-grade fuel. Surprisingly, the Sienna also offers a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, more than enough to tow a boat on family vacations.

Ride & Handling

2011 Toyota Sienna

The Sienna’s long wheelbase handles highway travel with ease, and only larger seams and divots produce any loss of composure. AWD trims come with run-flat tires that usually have a negative impact on ride quality, but seem to have little effect here. Toyota’s attempt to prove the minivan doesn’t have to be a boring vehicle can be seen in the sporty SE trim’s 19-inch alloys and lower, sport-tuned suspension. It’s been designed to combat roll and lean while avoiding harsh rigidity that would ruin long-distance travel. This is accomplished adequately, but an increase of bump resonance can certainly be noted.

Over-assisted electronic steering takes away a lot of the fun, but it will take little tuning for Toyota to get it right. In fact, some testers consider the steering setup just fine already, imparting a pleasantly neutral feel at all speeds. You’ll just have to decide for yourself.

Cabin & Comfort

2011 Toyota Sienna

While controls are arranged well and within reach, there are several aspects of the interior that take away from the Sienna's overall ambiance – especially in the Base and LE trims. Hard plastics with no sound deadening seriously detract, as does the fake velvet upholstery. Moving up to the XLE, SE, or Limited trims definitely upgrades the feel to more appropriate levels with leather upholstery and sport-themed accents.

With the option of a 7- or 8-passenger configuration, the Sienna offers several options, including special second-row captain’s chairs for the Limited and AWD XLE trims, which Toyota calls Lounge Seating. These leather recliners even offer leg and foot support from a fold-out ottoman, with even the standard seating offering 23 inches of forward mobility, enough to make third-row passengers forget they’re in the third row.

Safety

2011 Toyota Sienna

Safety features follow the same lead as in the rest of the vehicle, with an abundance of standards. Dual front and front side airbags are complemented by curtain side and driver's knee airbags. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes get brake assist and an antiskid system, and traction control and daytime running lights are standard features as well.

NHTSA ratings aren’t yet available, but for 2010 the Sienna scored a five-star rating in all tests except rollover resistance, in which it was awarded four stars.

What Owners Think

Owners are very pleased with the engines – especially the V6 – and the overall comfort of the Sienna. While Toyota was attempting to make the minivan fun, they’ve fallen short of this goal, albeit with good intentions. The Base and LE trims feel a bit too cheap, and the SE isn’t sporty enough to be considered sporty, but the XLE and Limiteds are highly competent and comfortable examples for most people.

Updated

A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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Toyota Sienna Questions

surfie5
5

Water Leaking From Underneath The Car After Hitting Divider

Hi - My wife drove over a divider and since then water is dripping from under the car. I smelled to check - it is not oil or gas. Any idea what can it be? thanks in advance.

5 views with 1 answer (last answer about a day ago)
clsoccermom
0

I Wanted An Unlimited Location Search But When I Put In My Area Code Why W...

This is from my mobile app but when I was on my computer I was able to search the whole country

2 views with no answers yet
Pittfan94
0

Are Captain Chair Reclining Leg Rests Available On Toyota Sienna Xle Or Jus...

Reclining leg rests available only on sienna limited? Other vehicles or brands?

66 views with 1 answer (last answer 7 months ago)
doitmyselfer
0

How Do You Remove The Upper Glove Box On A 2011 Toyota Sienna?

134 views with 1 answer (last answer 8 months ago)
jhenington
0

How Do You Replace The Windshield Wiper Motor On A 2011 Toyota Sienna Xle?

the passenger side windshield wiper stopped working although the left one still works.

270 views with 1 answer (last answer 9 months ago)