2016 Toyota Sienna Limited Premium AWD Minivan

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A review of the Sienna van took place at Pirate Radio FM 104.7 during the Morning Show with George and the Big Kahuna:

Recently, I received from the Rocky Mountain Redline press fleet a Toyota Sienna minivan to test.  It was an all-wheel drive model, unlike a earlier front-wheel drive tester that I analyzed.  It also arrived at a more pleasant time of year, a nice fall spell, as the red model was here during a particularly frigid spell in January.  As you can see from the photo, my 2016 test van was around here for some very nice weather.

My Sienna was the Limited Premium model with several upgrades such as backup camera, audio/navigation with 7″ screen, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus app suite, brown leather seating for seven, 2nd-row lounge-seat captains chairs, stowable third row seat, cruise control, tilt/telescope, Smart Key system with pushbutton starter, triple 12v power outlets, overhead DVD entertainment system, blind spot monitor, parking assist sonar, rear cross traffic alert, and ten cup holders.

Toyota’s Sienna Limited comes in five different colors and the one I drove was painted Predawn Gray Mica metallic.  Of course the vehicle was equipped with power sliding side doors (they have roll-down windows), dual moon roof openings, and a power rear lift gate.  The length of the Sienna was 200.2″ set on a 119.3″ wheelbase; weight was 4,705 lbs.  Getting in and out of the minivan is easier than a sedan and near a crossover SUV level of convenience.  Visibility is great, as is ride and guidance on the road.  Handling is excellent for a minivan.20161108_110400

Minivan styling is not an attraction to such a vehicle, although I personally like the looks of all of them.  This Sienna had attractive ten-spoke machine-finished 18″ alloy wheels with P235/55R18 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 steel-belted all-season radials.  Luggage rail cross bars were up top, chrome door handles were present, and round fog- and backup-lights dressed up the fascia, front and rear.

Power for the all-wheel drive Toyota minivan is produced by a 3.5 liter V-6 with 266 horsepower (@ 6,200 rpm) and 245 lb. ft. of torque (@ 4,700 rpm).  A six-speed automatic is coupled to it with the shift tower mounted on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel.  Thus, the driver (or front passenger) can slide over to the other armrest-equipped bucket seat, if desired.  Fuel economy for the Sienna is 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.  The combined rating is 19 mpg.  I found the performance of my test Toyota to be suitable, and the company also offers an front-wheel drive setup on the Sienna, which is what I drove early this year.

M.S.R.P. for the van carried an M.S.R.P.  of $49,446.00; I enjoyed testing the Sienna and it seems to me to represent a good value in its segment.

SPECS: Predawn Mica Gray metallic paint – 7 passenger with dual moon roofs – Power heated brown leather bucket seats – four – 7” touchscreen – All wheel drive – HID headlamps – XM radio and  premium JBL 10 speaker stereo – Keyless entry – power windows and locks – pushbutton start – 3.5 liter V-6 – 266 horsepower – 6 – Speed Automatic transmission – Entune, backup camera, blind spot monitor, and navigation – 18” Ten – spoke alloy wheels (P235/55R18) – $49,446.00  list price – 19 MPG combined mileage, 20 gallon tank – 39.1 Cargo capacity behind third-row seats (150 maximum)

2015 KIA Sedona SXL FWD Minivan

SAM_4012This last week the Drive Shop dropped off the new Sedona from KIA, a minivan which in its third generation form was just introduced in the U. S. last year.  Actually the firm calls this car a multi-purpose vehicle in order to attract more buyers to the brand, and to the model.  My test loaner was the SX Limited model painted Deep Formal blue metallic and featured a burgundy and ash Nappa leather interior with four bucket seats.

KIA is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and is that country’s second-largest automobile manufacturer, trailing only Hyundai Motors, a one-third owner of KIA Motors Corporation.  KIA is also the oldest auto manufacturer in Korea, founded on June 9th, 1944, as a maker of bicycle parts and metal tubing.  The word KIA is roughly translated as “rising out of Asia”, and the company sold 2,907,757 vehicles worldwide in 2014.  That represented a 5.9% increase over sales from the year 2013.SAM_4026

In the styling department, there isn’t much that a manufacturer can do to set their offering apart from the pack, so I think KIA did the best they could do on this Sedona SXL.  They put ample chrome on the car (including on the door handles and the ten spoke alloy wheels), but the front end look is where exemplary work was done with the grill and lighting treatment.  At the New York Auto Show last year where the Sedona was introduced, the car was named Best New Car Design.

Ruth and I drove the Sedona to Nebraska for our test to visit relatives.  That put us out on Interstate 80 weaving around big rigs that seem to multiply on the weekend.  I surely enjoyed the Smart cruise control for the endeavor, which allowed me to keep my feet flat on the floor while darting from lane to lane with appurtenant speed discrepancies.  Other technology/safety items included on the KIA were blind spot detection/lane change assist, lane departure warning, rear camera display, forward collision warning, surround view monitor, and rear park assist.  Most of these items were included in the SXL technology package for an additional $2,700.00.  That, plus a base price of $39,700.00 and freight of $895.00, brought the total M.S.R.P. to $43,295.00.  This price is right in middle of pricing I have seen on the competitive minivans (excuse me, multi-purpose vehicle), and this was, after all, KIA’s top of the line model.

The two-toned leather buckets (4) were attractive and kept me in a comfortable attitude for my trip and the week here in Greeley.  Relatives enjoyed the second-row buckets with armrests (and footrests), and I suppose everyone was happy to jump on board and ride in the third row, although I didn’t hear much from them.  They were riding on a 60/40 split fold-in-the-floor bench, and luggage space behind it amounted to 62.1 cubic feet, with a deep well to enhance that number.  Outside, the KIA is 201.4″ long, 78.1″ wide, 68.5″ high, weighs 4,720 lbs., and can turn around in a 36.8′ circle.

Minivan power for the KIA comes in the form of a 3.3 liter, V-6 with 276 horsepower (@ 6,000 rpm) and 248 lb. ft. of torque (@ 5,200 rpm).  A six-speed Sportmatic overdrive transmission is employed and EPA fuel economy ratings are 22-highway, 17-city, and 19-combined miles per gallon.  My average for a windy drive of 650 miles was 19.9 mpg.  I thought the ride was fine, as was guidance and handling in the city.  Overall, I would rate the Sedona (a good name) right in line with its minivan competition with perhaps a little edge because it is so good-looking.

2015 Toyota Sienna Limited 3.5L AWD 7-Passenger Minivan

SAM_3984For the second time this year, I received from the Rocky Mountain Redline press fleet a Toyota Sienna minivan to test.  It was an all-wheel drive model, unlike the earlier front-wheel drive tester.  It also arrived at a more pleasant time of year, as the red model was here during a particularly frigid spell in January.  As you can see from the photo, my 2015 test van was around here for some very nice spring weather.

My Sienna was the Limited 3.5L model with several upgrades such as backup camera, audio/navigation with 7″ screen, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus app suite, ash-tone leather seating for seven, 2nd-row lounge-seat captains chairs, stowable third row seat, cruise control, tilt/telescope, Smart Key system with pushbutton starter, triple 12v power outlets, blind spot monitor, parking assist sonar, rear cross traffic alert, and ten cup holders.SAM_3989

Toyota’s Sienna Limited comes in five different colors and the one I drove was painted Predawn Gray Mica metallic.  Of course the vehicle was equipped with power sliding side doors (they have roll-down windows), dual moon roof openings, and a power rear lift gate.  The length of the Sienna was 200.2″ set on a 119.3″ wheelbase; weight was 4,705 lbs.  Getting in and out of the minivan is easier than a sedan and not quite at a crossover SUV level of convenience.  Visibility is great, as is ride and guidance on the SAM_3987road.  Handling is excellent for a minivan.

Minivan styling is not an attraction to such a vehicle, although I personally like the looks of all of them.  This Sienna had attractive ten-spoke machine-finished 18″ alloy wheels with P235/55R18 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 steel-belted all-season radials.  Luggage rail cross bars were up top, chrome door handles were installed, and round fog- and backup-lights dressed up the fascia, front and rear.

SAM_3988Power for the all-wheel drive Toyota minivan is produced by a 3.5 liter V-6 with 266 horsepower (@ 6,200 rpm) and 245 lb. ft. of torque (@ 4,700 rpm).  A six-speed automatic is coupled to it with the shift tower mounted on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel.  Thus, the driver (or front passenger) can slide over to the other armrest-equipped bucket seat, if desired.  Fuel economy for the Sienna is 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.  The combined rating is 19 mpg.  I found the performance of my test Toyota to be suitable, and the company also offers an front-wheel drive setup on the Sienna, which is what I drove early this year.

M.S.R.P. for the van carried a base price of $42,780.00; freight ($885.00) , roof rack cross bars ($185.00), remote engine start ($499.00), and four-season floormat package ($475.00) brought the total to $44,824.00.  I enjoyed testing the Sienna and it seems to me to represent a good value in its segment.

2015 Toyota Sienna FWD SE Premium Minivan

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BRRRRR!  It’s cold and wintery as I conduct this mid-January test of the Toyota Sienna minivan from the Rocky Mountain Redline press fleet.  The front-wheel drive system works well getting my wife and I around Northern Colorado, and thankfully, no blizzards took place this month; just a couple of nice snowfalls.  Front and rear heat is on hand in the Sienna so that I can warm up the vehicle pretty fast with zero degree temperatures to contend with.  That system includes air conditioning and is a three-zone setup with separate temperature controls for driver and passengers, both front and rear.  A digital control panel is ceiling-mounted in the rear of the Sienna.

My test Sienna was the SE Premium model with several upgrades such as backup camera, audio/navigation with 7″ screen, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota’s Entune app suite, Blu-ray 16.4″  rear entertainment center with headphones, perforated black leather seating for eight, 40/20/40 middle row seating with stowable center seat, stowable third row seat, cruise control, tilt/telescope, Smart Key system with remote/pushbutton starter, triple 12v power outlets, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and ten cup holders.

Toyota’s Sienna SE Premium comes in five different colors and the one I drove was painted Salsa red pearl metallic.  Of course the vehicle was equipped with power sliding side doors (they have roll-down windows) and a power rear lift gate.  The length of the Sienna was 200.2″ set on a 119.3″ wheelbase; weight was 4,560 lbs.  Getting in and out of the minivan is easier than a sedan and not quite at a crossover SUV level of convenience.  Visibility is great, as is ride and guidance on the road.  Handling is, well, as you would expect for such a vehicle, that being OK.

Minivan styling is not an attraction to such a vehicle, although I personally like the looks of all of them.  This Sienna had bold-looking six-spoke gunmetal-finished gray 19″ alloy wheels with P235/50R19 steel all-season radials.  Luggage rail cross bars were up top and round fog- and backup-lights dressed up the fascia, front and rear.  The color was particularly attractive on the Sienna, a selection I would make if purchasing one.

Power for the Toyota minivan is produced by a 3.5 liter V-6 with 266 horsepower and 245 lb. ft. of torque.  A six-speed automatic is coupled to it with the shift tower mounted on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel.  Thus, the driver (or front passenger) can slide over to the other armrest-equipped bucket seat, if desired.  Fuel economy for the Sienna is 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.  The combined rating is 21 mpg.  I found the performance of my test Toyota to be suitable, and the company also offers an all-wheel drive setup on the Sienna.

M.S.R.P. for the van totaled $41,293.00 – base price was $39,680.00 and freight plus odds and ends made up the difference.  I enjoyed testing the Sienna and it seems to me to represent a pretty good value in its segment.