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Local News / Automotive

Tuesday, 18 May, 2010 2:09 AM

2011 Toyota Sienna minivan comes with a lot of new features

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Four Toyota Sienna minivans are on display inside a Burton Manor meeting room in Livonia, Mich.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

LIVONIA, Mich. -- The 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan was featured at the SAE Detroit Section meeting last Tuesday inside the Burton Manor Convention Center in Livonia. The all-new Sienna is assembled in Princeton, Indiana. It comes with either a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 266 hp or a 2.7-liter inline-4 engine producing 187 hp. The wheelbase is 119.3 inches, with a length of 200.2 inches. The 2011 Sienna was engineered at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. The third-generation minivan arrived in dealer showrooms this February.

"For styling, a cool looking exterior and roomy interior are key focus points," said Kazuo Mori, chief engineer of the Product Development Office at the Toyota Technical Center. "A new packing design was important to create a new look and new features. We minimized the gap between the tire and the body by increasing the front tread 55 millimeter."

The Sienna is offered in five trim levels: the Sienna grade, LE, XLE, Limited and SE. The new SE trim level comes with clear tail lamps, 19-inch wheels, firmer suspension and revised steering tuning. All-wheel drives comes with the V6 engine on the LE, XLE and Limited trims. Also for the first time, Toyota offers a 4-cylinder engine. The Electric Power Steering system replaces the previous hydraulic power steering system.

Toyota says the Sienna will get 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for the 4-cyclinder engine models. The V6 models will get 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive models will get 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The short overhang was shortened

"We worked to create a comfortable and convenient space for the occupants and their car goer," said Mike Sweers, vice president of engineering design of the Interior Design Division at the Toyota Technical Center. "In fact, we made the interior cool, very cool. A new feature for the new Sienna is the adoption of the under floor aerodynamic parts. Rain-sensing wipers are now available as an option for true high tech convenience. A rear spoiler, which comes standard on all grades, hides the rear wiper. When shifted into reverse, the rear view outside mirrors tilt down to improve driver view. This provides added assurance to the driver as they back up."

New features on the 2011 Sienna include an optional sliding second row with recliner style chairs and a keyless Smart Key System with push-button start. The rear seat entertainment option now uses a 16.4-inch LCD screen, which can be operated in one or two view modes. It also comes with separate wireless headphones so passengers don't have to get tangled with cords.

The back-up camera now comes with a 180-degree panoramic view. Other new options are an automatic high beam dimmer, Safety Connect and a more advance stability control system. Now standard on all models is a driver's knee airbag.

"The new Sienna with a V6 has best-in-class acceleration," said Abbas Saadat, vice president of vehicle performance development at the Toyota Technical Center. "The fuel economy is at the top of it's class. During average high-speed driving, torque is no longer set to the rear wheel, enhancing fuel efficiency. The front and rear break sizes are significantly increased.

The Sienna becomes the first minivan to come with a factory-installed auto-access seat for disabled passengers. With one touch of a button, the seat will lift up, rotate and lower to less than 19 inches from the ground.

Toyota engineers are looking to repair the automaker's image

Many of Toyota's most popular models were included in a recent recall due to sticky brake pedals. Speakers at this meeting agree that the new Sienna minivan will help to improve the company's reputation.

"We are doubling our effort to reinforce our commitment to safety and quality for our customers," Saadat added. "This focus has placed greater emphasis on the Toyota Technical Center's effort and thousands of engineers who are working hard to repair our image, help our customer better understand our commitment to safety and quality."

For more information on the SAE Detroit Section, visit www.sae-detroit.org.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

2010 SAE Detroit Section Chairman Susan Collet welcomes everyone to the meeting.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A representative from Toyota

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Kazuo Mori is the Chief Engineer of the Product Development Office at the Toyota Technical Center of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc.

 

Graphic credit: Toyota

New features on the 2011 Toyota Sienna

 

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