With the minivan segment continuing to diminish in the marketplace, Toyota has unveiled its all-new 2011 Sienna as more of a significantly refreshed version. It’s not a huge departure from the previous generation model, but it does get a long list of upgrades including a new interior and exterior as well as a new standard 4-cylinder engine.
Past Siennas were only available with the company’s powerful V6 engine, which can still be had with 266 horsepower and a fuel-economy rating of 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway on AWD models). The big news, however, is the addition of an entry-level 4-cylinder model. It uses a 2.7-liter motor with 187-hp, delivering more power than some competitors have in their V6 options. Fuel economy for the 2.7 is rated at 19/26 mpg (city/highway). Both engines get a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Sienna certainly has a more dramatic appearance than the previous gen minivan, taking design cues from the Venza. A Sporty SE model will accentuate the new style further with an even more aggressive front end design, as well as side skirts and 19-inch wheels. The car even gets special instruments, interior colors and what Toyota calls a “sport-tuned suspension.” But coming from Toyota that’s probably not all that sporty.
Inside the car is more than 2-inches longer and in 7-seater trim the second row can move forward and backward by up to 23-inches to give maximum leg room for passengers. Those second row folks will be able to relax and enjoy the new Dual View Entertainment Center, that uses two side-by-side screens to create a 16.4-inch monitor that can show movies either individually or in unison for a more enjoyable “big-screen” experience.
In the all-important safety area the 2011 Sienna features Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and 7 airbags. A Pre-Collision System (PCS) is optional on Limited trims, as is Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which coordinates the brakes, steering and engine output proactively rather than reactively to help keep the car under control before it reaches its limit.
XLE and Limited models will get an optional Safety Connect system which includes Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Roadside Assistance. Like GM’s OnStar, Automatic Collision Notification will automatically call a response center if it detects the airbags deploy or a sever rear-end collision and even even contact a nearby emergency service if the occupants are unresponsive. An SOS button will let the driver contact the Toyota response center in case of an emergency or for road side assistance.
The 2011 Sienna is set to arrive in dealerships in February of 2010.
GALLERY: 2011 Toyota Sienna
More on the new 2011 Toyota Sienna after the jump: