There is really only ever one reason to get behind the wheel of a minivan: because you absolutely need to. That hasn’t stopped legions of automakers, however, from working on various schemes to convince potential buyers that these utilitarian vehicles have something to offer besides their immense practicality.
The 2013 Toyota Sienna SE is a minivan in exactly this vein, a people mover that attempts to go above and beyond its roomy interior and reasonable fuel mileage to satisfy drivers seeking a bit more excitement on their way to hockey practice with a full load of youngsters. One would assume that the slalom takes place after everyone has been dropped off, because the chaos caused by flying sticks and confused children would no doubt distract from the task of avoiding pylons or turning in lap times at the local road course.
Really, the Toyota Sienna SE dresses up the looks of the stalwart minivan to make you feel not so bad about piloting an automobile that is so rigorously task-specific and anti-fun. That’s not such a bad thing, as long as the numbers on the window sticker add up and you’re not just paying for an image that is entirely manufactured in the form of a glossy brochure and a televised ad campaign. There aren’t many vans left out there now that crossovers have decimated their ranks, so the remaining faithful – Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, and Kia – are doing their best to stand out as much as possible.