Toyota Breeds Style with Practicality for Third-Generation Sienna

Minivans don’t have to be ugly. Or so Toyota says. Although style-minded consumers have largely opted for sleek crossover SUVs in recent years, Toyota will try to regain that crowd with the new third-generation 2011 Sienna, which debuted Wednesday at the LA Auto Show.


The reworked family hauler pulls all the same tricks as the traditional boxes, like fitting a full sheet of plywood, but sports an exterior design more reminiscent of an oversized sedan. A special SE edition even offers sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels with low-profile tires, and a more aggressive, lowered fascia.

Toyota says the new interior design is based on the old F3R concept, although that van’s main attraction, a living-room style seating arrangement, didn’t make it off the drawing board. Along with luxury options like a dual-moonroof and USB iPod integration, the Sienna will also offer a unique ultra-wide LCD screen for the rear. Unlike traditional kid distracters that show only one movie, the ultra-wide 16-inch screen can be split into a dual-view mode that shows content from two different inputs. No more bickering over what to watch.


Engine options will include a 3.5-liter V6 and 2.7-liter four cylinder, both mated with a six-speed automatic. The four cylinder should reach up to 26 mpg on the highway.

Toyota hasn’t yet announced pricing on the new Sienna, but says that the base level package will cost less than the current model year’s.