Pushing plush, as well as practical, the 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE 8-Passenger minivan provides plenty of people-hauling and cargo-toting capacity, with an emphasis on comfort and convenience. Three rows of seating, including leather-upholstered front captain’s chairs and reclining rear bench seats are complemented by 150 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, and all of this is powered by a 266-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine.
Mated to the six-banger is a standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission that allows 245 lb-ft of torque, 3,500 pounds of properly equipped towing capacity and an estimated 18 mpg city/25 highway. The Sienna XLE 8-Passenger is, by the way, available only with front-wheel drive (FWD).
Standard appearance features include 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, roof rack and power sunroof, while inside, this nifty mini flaunts heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, simulated wood cabin accents, a leather steering wheel and three-zone climate control. Cruise control is, of course, standard, as are telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a universal remote garage door opener and a rear-view camera. Entertainment, meanwhile, comes via an MP3-capable single-CD changer with 6 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection, with Bluetooth hands-free communications keeping occupants in touch on the road.
Optional packages for the 2012 Sienna XLE 8-Passenger include three that boast various cargo management systems, carpeted floor mats, roof rails and door-sill protectors. The XLE Premium Package, meanwhile, features rear-seat DVD entertainment, rear parking sensors, touch-screen DVD navigation and a JBL premium sound system. Standalone options include remote engine start, trailer towing equipment, various exterior trim upgrades and BLU Logic audio-interfaced hands-free communications.
The standard drivetrain for the front-wheel-drive-only 2012 Sienna XLE 8-Passenger starts with a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 266-hp 3.5-liter V6 and ends with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission that allows 245 lb-ft of torque. Expect 3,500 pounds of towing capacity from the XLE 8-Passenger with the proper equipment, while mileage is estimated at 18 mpg city/25 highway.
The 2012 Sienna XLE 8-Passenger boasts Toyota’s Star Safety System featuring 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), as well as traction and stability control. Front side-mounted airbags, 3-row head airbags, a driver’s-side knee airbag and front head-restraint whiplash protection come standard, as do daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and a remote antitheft alarm. Toyota’s touted Safety Connect services, with emergency communications, stolen vehicle tracking and automatic collision notification, meantime, can be added as a safety option.