One of the world premieres at the ongoing LA show is the new Toyota Sienna MPV. Our part of the world may be more familiar with Sienna the actress than Sienna the minivan because the latter, now in its third generation, is a US specific model bulit in America for Americans. Its rival is the US market Honda Odyssey, which is bigger than the JDM model we get here – some of you of may know it as the Honda LaGreat.
Toyota promises a sedan-like drive for the Sienna, besides offering comfort and cargo space required of a minivan (that’s what Americans call their MPVs). The new car is much more dynamic looking than its predecessor, and incorporates much of Toyota’s new MPV design language, as seen on its Japanese market people carriers. To these eyes, the Sienna looks much like the new Wish from the front three-quarter view and resembles the current Estima from the rear. What do you think?
Two engines are available: a 266bhp 3.5-litre V6 or a 187bhp 2.7-litre four-cylinder. Both powerplants have Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), roller rocker arms and an Acoustically Controlled Induction System (ACIS) that changes the length of the air-intake pipe to supply more torque on demand. A six-speed automatic gearbox with sequential shift is the only transmission available. The Sienna is unique in its segment by having AWD as an option, useful in winter.
The Sienna’s rear-seat Dual View Entertainment Center is a Toyota first. It uses two side-by-side displays to create a joint 16.4-inch widescreen image from a single source – the two individual screens can be used seperately with different inputs, of course. With displays combined, it can be easily seen from the third row, and is controllable from any seat via remote control.
Buyers can choose between seven or eight-seat cabin configurations. In the former layout, the second row captain chairs slide by almost 60cm, creating legroom for the longest legs and for easy ingress/egress. They can be pushed forward close to the front row – useful for parents with young children or for good access to the last row. An illuminated sliding center console can be shared between the front seats and second row passengers.
It doesn’t look like a box on wheels and has the makings of a perfect family car, but sadly the left-hand-drive only Sienna is not making its way out of North America anytime soon.
More pictures after the jump.
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