January 27, 2013
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So the Toyota Sienna SE, it has a sports-tuned suspension — so is it “sporty”? It may actually be… well, sportier than the non-sports-tuned Sienna at least. And if I’m perfectly honest, when the temps are well below zero like they have been all week, all suspensions feel “sporty” — or at least as stiff as wood.
That’s right, I’m kind of calling the Sienna sporty. Surprisingly it seems to corner rather flat and I certainly can hustle it around highway on-ramps. The power from the 3.5-litre V6 is no slouch either, so it too adds a certain sportiness to the package.
There is no way to completely get around the gigantic open box that makes a minivan a flimsy wet-noodle (except perhaps by fitting a roll cage inside) so some flex is expected, but the Sienna feels solid, rides comfortable and has some sense of steering feel. It really is not completely void of all feeling, though the colder temps may be helping it some.
For me minivans shine around town cruising at 60 km/h; out on the highway they are okay, but the large echo-chamber does make for some resonant tire noise that isn’t too bad with the Sienna, but a bad tire choice could result in a horrible experience.
Visibility is good all around when going forward, but the backup camera is pretty much a necessity as the large C-pillar at the rear is so far back it really blocks your view rather badly when reversing.