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Toyota Sienna Road Testing

Toyota Sienna Road Testing

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Minivans are pretty generic vehicles to begin with. The biggest boxes on the streets, with wheels and enough power to scoot out of the school's pick-up circle, minivans follow a pretty rigid formula.

That formula's paid off well for the 2008 Toyota Sienna. It's inoffensive as well as uninspiring, at least on the outside. If you are someone who does not want to attract attention, it's definitely your car. Inside, critics have been more approving, using adjectives such as "organic," "smooth," and even "handsome" - despite the addition of some rather tacky, 70s-era faux-wood trim on higher-priced models.

Performance and handling is equally bland; although acceleration is adequate for most traffic situations, it is definitely not "sporty," any more than are its suspension and handling. While most test drivers agree that the V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission is indeed a satisfactory combination, braking feels mushy and steering the 2008 Toyota Sienna is akin to maneuvering an old-time city bus (the rounded ones common between the late 1930s and early 1970s.)

On the positive side, there's little to complain about if all you're asking for is a comfortable ride. Between the adjustable steering wheel to the abundance of room throughout the vehicle, passengers will ride in what may not be abject luxury - but its darn close.

Those same passengers will also rest easy, knowing the are protected by a substantial number of active and passive safety devices and designs. In fact, the 2008 Toyota Sienna got top scores in crash tests conducted by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as the Insurance Institute from Highway Safety. There's a full complement of air bags, and if you opt for the XLE version, Toyota will even throw in a rear-view camera.

The 2008 Toyota Sienna is a classic example of function over form. Buy it and embrace it for that and you won't be disappointed.


Toyota Sienna Road Testing Video

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