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2014 Toyota's AWD Sienna family van makes a great utility vehicle

In addition to hauling a hockey team, the all-wheel-drive 2014 Toyota Sienna van can also haul vacation home toys and the occasional project list for home improvement.

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For model year 2014 Toyota’s Siena van will remain the only all-wheel drive family van in the US market. The optional AWD system makes the Sienna a very capable family vehicle for those who need all-weather transportation, and who might tow watercraft and snow machines. The Sienna is configurable to seven or eight passenger seating, which makes it one of the largest passenger vehicles with AWD in the market in terms of seating.

In addition to being one of the only 8 passenger AWD vehicles in the US, the Sienna is also one of the most fuel efficient 8 passenger vehicles in the market. The Sienna with AWD is rated at 19 MPG combined. That is about 10% better than the Chevy Suburban with the most fuel efficient engine and AWD. The Sienna also uses regular unleaded fuel.

The engine in the Sienna is the Toyota 3.5 liter V6. In the Sienna it is rated at 266 horsepower. This is coupled to a 6 speed automatic transmission. This combination gives the Sienna a tow rating of 3,500 pounds. That would be more than enough to tow a medium sized boat and trailer to and from a marina or to tow a pair of snowmobiles in a tandem trailer to ski country. The AWD system would be ideal for pulling a trailer out of water up a slimy boat ramp or to pull the vehicle and its trailer to a ski lodge in a snowstorm.

Storage capacity in the Sienna is variable. Like all family vans the Sienna can drop and store its rear seats making the vehicle a five passenger. The second row middle seat can also be removed and stored in the left side of the rear storage area. That gives the two middle row passengers more room and a tray table with cup holders is revealed when the van is thus configured. When both the second and third row of seats are stowed the internal storage area is about 8 feet long by four feet wide. That satisfies the handyman’s need to bring home plywood and wallboard from the store for occasional projects. It also allows the Sienna to be a great vacation home vehicle for those that haul a lot of stuff up and back twice per year.

Like all family vans the Sienna can be loaded up with rear seat entertainment. In addition, all the expected safety features such as lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and a Pre-collision system are available depending upon trim.

The 2014 Sienna and the all-new 2014 Toyota Highlander are both eight passenger vehicles that offer a great alternative to traditional brute ‘utes and contractor trucks for families that need to move boats, snow machines, and occasionally building materials.

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