1999 Toyota Sienna LE (221)

This class of van still has a lot to offer to the family. Toyota’s Sienna is really a very nice car. Daughter Jenny says this is her dream car. Getting her two kids in and out of a regular passenger car is exhausting at best. Pull the seat back forward, bend over to get the car seat locked into the rear safety belt, etc. Well, you get the picture. So why not simplify our lives if we can. In today’s world the $24K MSRP is pretty darn good. And here are just a few reasons why the Sienna makes a great family car. The wide sliding doors of the mini van and the low threshold is an easy step into configuration. Contrasted with the very popular SUV’s, this Sienna will make it easy for the little people get in and out. In addition to being great for little people, Sienna comfortably seats seven tall adults. It also has flexible, removable modular seating that provides for a variety of cargo needs. We’ve tended to overlook the van with all the interest in SUV’s. You really need to test one if you’re considering an SUV.

Sienna is based on the very popular Camry platform, and is in fact built on the very same assembly line in Georgetown, Kentucky. It also shares the Camry’s powerful V6 engine and front wheel drive. It comes with a generous list of features including three rows of seats and an optional sliding rear door on the driver’s side. It is roomy and for me is a reminder of the homey feeling of my RV. The Sienna is a replacement for Previa and comes in four trims: CE 3-Door; CE, LE and XLE 4-Door. With a base Retail Price Range of $21,428 – $26,494, Jenny, you might just be able to afford one. She’d also be interested to know Sienna also provides an optional integrated Child Restraint System (CRS) that is new this year.

Generally I feel the handling is good but I noticed more body sway in turns than I like. Another noticable glitch is that the brake pedal feels mushy, but it didn’t affect stopping distance and soon I got accoustomed to the feel and it ceased to bother me.

The competition:
Chevrolet Venture $20,745 – $23,045, Chrysler Town & Country $27,385 – $36,140, Dodge Caravan $18,005 – $31,510, Ford Windstar $18,375 – $30,415, Honda Odyssey $23,000 – $25,800, Nissan Quest $22,159 – $26,299, Oldsmobile Silhouette $24,410 – $31,000, Plymouth Voyager $18,005 – $22,875, Pontiac Montana $21,075 – $23,875, Volkswagen EuroVan $ Unknown.

Good News:
Easy to step in and out of, another solid Toyota, Roomy, carlike – easy to manuver.

Bad News: 
Ride could be a little stiffer.

Standard Equipment:
3.0 liter engine with 4-speed auto trans, rack & pinion steering, front disc and rear drum anti-lock brakes, dual air bags, cloth 7-passenger seating, power windows, mirrors, door locks, stereo with cassette, cruise control and tilt wheel.

Gas Stats:
18 City and 24 Highway MPG.

MSRP $24,358 and the LE I tested topped out at $27,489.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com and you can see unedited versions of these reviews at www.autolove.com.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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