2012 Toyota Sienna

2012 Toyota Sienna van is versatile, affordable

The American-made 2012 Toyota Sienna van, coming off a complete redesign in 2011, adds a standard power passenger seat and auto on / off headlights to the XLE grade this new model year.

The third-generation 2012 model, developed at the Toyota Technical Center outside Detroit in Ann Arbor, Mich., is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Indiana. Prices start at $25,060 and exceed $40,000 for well-equipped models.

The Toyota Sienna (pictured) offers an engine choice of between 4 and 6 cylinders and is the only van in its segment to offer an all-wheel drive option.

Toyota says the Sienna aims to provide "comfort, versatility, style and fuel efficiency."

The 2012 Sienna offers a choice between a 3.5-liter V6 or 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine. Both engines on the family van offer the latest in efficient, lightweight technology, including Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, roller rocker arms and an Acoustically Controlled Induction System that changes the intake tract length to optimize torque.

The 3.5-liter V6 generates 266 horsepower with mileage ratings of 18 mpg city / 24 mpg highway. It gets 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway on all-wheel-drive models. It also has a 3,500-pound towing capacity.

The 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine produces responsive power (187 horsepower at 5800 rpm) and delivers fuel-efficiency ratings of 19 mpg city and 24 mpg on the highway. Both engines are matched with the Sienna’s electronically controlled 6-speed transmission with sequential shift. That provides a smooth gear-shift feeling, quiet performance and a lightweight size.

The shape of the new Toyota Sienna is functional. A coefficient of drag of .306 is low for the class and a major factor in providing a quiet interior and miserly fuel economy.

The 2012 Toyota Sienna comes in Sienna base, LE, SE, XLE and Limited models. All-wheel drive is available with the V6 on LE, XLE and Limited vans. Others are front-wheel drive.

The base and LE list of standard equipment includes cruise, Daytime Running Lights with manual on / off feature, tri-zone air conditioning, 6- or 8-way-adjustable driver’s captain’s chair, power windows with auto up / down and jam protection, AM / FM / CD player with four speakers, XM compatibility, auxiliary input jack, power door locks, remote keyless entry and three 12-volt outlets.

The LE V6 upgrade adds as standard dual power-sliding doors and power rear door, an 8-way power driver seat with power lumbar support, electrochromatic rearview mirror with Homelink, multi-information display with backup camera, rear window sunshades, AM / FM / mp3 CD player, integrated Sirius XM satellite radio capability with 90 day trial subscription, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, and hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth, and steering wheel audio controls. Those features can be added to the 4-cylinder model as an option package.

The XLE builds on the LE, adding leather-trimmed seats, tilt / slide moonroof, an anti-theft system with engine immobilizer and heated front seats. Optional XLE equipment includes a 10-speaker JBL premium sound system with voice-activated DVD Navigation and Panorama rear camera with integrated back-up guides, XM NavTraffic capability with 90-day trial subscription, a backseat Dual View Entertainment system, rear sonar, Smart Key and an auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod connectivity.

The Limited is the luxury model. Standard equipment includes second-row Lounge Seating and a power 60 / 40 Split & Stow third-row seat, front and rear parking sonar, Smart Key that also operates on both sliding doors, Safety Connect and North America’s first independently powered, slide-opening dual moonroofs. Options include what is available on the XLE plus rain-sensing wipers and a Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

The Sienna SE's smoked taillights make a distinctive statement. The SE sits lower on a sport-tuned suspension, for sharp handling, and it comes with exclusive instrumentation and unique interior colors and trim.

The available rear-seat Dual View Entertainment Center uses two displays side-by-side to create a seamless 16.4-inch widescreen image from a single source. The system can split the screen into two individual screens, each with input from separate sources. Used as a single screen, it can be easily seen from the third row, and it can be operated from any seat via remote control. Used as two screens, the system can accommodate the preferences of two separate passengers who might want to play a video game or watch a second DVD simultaneously via auxiliary inputs.

Seven airbags are standard equipment. Active headrests are used in both front seats to help reduce the possibility of whiplash in a collision.

In case of airbag deployment or a severe rear-end collision, Automatic Collision Notification is designed to automatically call a response center. If a response agent cannot communicate with the occupants, the agent can contact the nearest emergency-services provider to dispatch assistance.

You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected] or (248) 747-1550. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Toyota

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