Toyota's first minivan to be sold in the United States was somewhat out of step with what other automakers were offering at the time. The Toyota Van, brought out in 1984 in response to the Dodge Caravan, was a large with a unique wedge shape that suggested a modern art interpretation of the classic VW Van. The van's available options were even more puzzling - a low-range four-wheel drive system complete with skid plates was available for those interested in taking their van on an excursion into the wild. However, the normally rear-wheel drive vehicle did have some other intriguing features that put it ahead of other vans from the same era, such as cornering lights, front and rear air conditioning and perhaps most famously, an ice machine built into the floor.
The van which followed, the 1991 Toyota Previa, toned down the off-the-wall styling a tad - but just a tad. The penetrating front end was retained, although it was significantly rounded and snubbed, setting it apart from the more conventional appearance of most of its competition. The Previa's engine was found underneath the front seats, which helped with weight distribution but made servicing more complicated than in a standard setup. The small 4-cylinder eventually found itself incapable of producing adequate power to remain an attractive option to American buyers, even after Toyota chose to add a supercharger to the vehicle's already unique drivetrain. It was clear by the end of the 1990's that a more modern solution was required to keep up with the leaders in the minivan field.
The Toyota Sienna came about after a careful analysis of the market indicated that perhaps a more conventional van based on the same platform as the successful Camry sedan was called for. The first Toyota Sienna rolled off the assembly line in 1998 and immediately found a chorus of eager buyers finally presented with a Toyota van that boasted excellent fuel economy and good power from a V-6 engine. The Sienna set the ball in motion for the car company, and eventually saw them reach the apex of the minivan market where they would fight it out with the Honda Odyssey for supremacy.
The Toyota Sienna has become a staple of the used van market. Families are attracted to the legendary reliability which has become associated with almost every Toyota, and the vehicle's passenger capacity, interior quality and great reputation on the secondary market have driven thousands of buyers onto used Toyota lots. This article examines the most appealing used Toyota Sienna minivan models available.
2004 - 2007 Toyota Sienna
The second generation of the Toyota Sienna does far more than build upon the outgoing model's success in the minivan market. It manages to incorporate lessons learned from the accolades and failures experienced by other car companies and their van products, making the Sienna somewhat of an amalgam of what it takes to put together a successful people mover. This careful observation of the buying patterns of consumers means that those who choose to get behind the wheel of a 2004 - 2007 Toyota Sienna are in for a treat.
To begin with, the new Sienna is more powerful than before, and while it isn't exactly sporty the Sienna is far better suited to carrying large loads of passengers or other cargo than it was in the past. From 2004 - 2006 the Sienna's only engine option was a 3.3-liter, 220 horsepower V-6 that also generated 242 lb-ft of torque. Speed demons had best keep their eyes peeled for a 2007 model which uses a 3.5-liter engine with dual variable-valve timing to punch out 266 horsepower. Each edition of the Sienna is fitted with a 5-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is also available for those who may require extra traction in a winter climate.
The Toyota Sienna can be equipped with as much or as little luxury features as desired, but even the base van is nicely equipped with power windows and door locks, as well as keyless entry, air conditioning and a nice stereo system. Higher end options include adaptive cruise and HID headlights. The Sienna's interior is much larger than any previous Toyota van, offering a vastly improved amount of passenger space but more importantly helping to increase hauling capacity with folding second and third row seats, making the Sienna a versatile vehicle which can handle large-sized building supplies as well as up to eight passengers.
The 2004 - 2007 Toyota Sienna is a solid used vehicle which stands up well to its competition in a very tight segment.