2020 Toyota Sienna LTD Premium: perfect for families

Minivans are not as popular as they used to be – but maybe they should be.

Toyota’s 2020 Sienna LTD Premium minivan offers everything the SUVs do – arguably more – perfect for families looking to stretch out with plenty of room for gear.

Sienna is the only family van in the segment offering available all-wheel drive (which my tester included), making it a versatile, functional choice for Northwesterners looking for an extra amount of safety in inclement weather.

Mine seated up to seven passengers, but can be configured to accommodate eight. And it’s hard to beat the convenience of expansive sliding doors on either side that open with the push of a button.

If you’re not transporting extra soccer teammates, the third-row seat is stowed in a single motion, opening up a ginormous amount of cargo space. If that’s not enough, the long-slide, second-row passengers chairs can be removed – revealing enough space to move furniture or appliances.

Up to a massive 150 cu. ft. of carrying space, to be exact, and a comprehensive array of available multimedia systems. It’s available in five grades: L, LE, SE, XLE and Limited.

What’s not to like about any of that?

Sienna is a powerful cruiser with a direct-injection V6 engine and direct shift eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers 296 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s a quieter cruiser too, on certain grades, thanks to a new acoustic windshield (SE only) and laminated front-row side window glass (Limited only). The standard tow prep package allows the Sienna to pull a 3,500-pound-max load.

Best of all, the Sienna is loaded with creature comforts that will put a smile on the face of everyone in your family. Four leather captains’ chairs, two moon roofs, a drop-down, dual-view Blu-ray player, premium JBL audio with 10 speakers, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi connect for up to five devices, dynamic navigation, dynamic radar cruise control, five USB charge ports, heated steering wheel, and on and on and on.

Loved it all. I’m hot! I’m cold! Sienna makes sure shuttling the family is a low-stress but enjoyable experience. A tri-sync switch for the air conditioning lets the driver manage temperatures in all three climate zones with individual temperature settings for driver, front passenger and rear-seat passengers and a separate rear digital control panel. But the cherry on top is Toyota SafetySense, a suite of safety equipment that allows the family to travel worry-free. All standard, the suite includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert, steering assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, and rear cross-traffic alert. Go ahead and buy an SUV to keep up with the Joneses. Or better yet, purchase a Toyota Sienna and find out why the Joneses were buying minivans a generation ago.

Base Price: $50,285

Price As Driven: $51,427

Destination charge is included in the base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealership.

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