I knew there would be plenty of room in the 2017 Toyota Sienna LTD Premium AWD when I agreed to take a short road trip with five family members, including four between the age of six and 16.
Before we left the house that evening, I asked the children to agree on a DVD to watch on the dual view Blu-Ray Disc rear seat entertainment system. Easy. With that done, seating was first-come first-served. Without fail, the last two expressed disappointment as they made their way to the third row. I smiled and wondered if they really thought the second-row captain’s chairs would still be open.
With everyone seated, it was time to insert the movie and pass out four wireless headphones and the remote control. All was perfect until they told us there was nothing on the 16.4 inch wide screen. It has the capability of displaying one wide-angle image or two smaller images from separate sources. We just needed one! Four sets of eager eyes glared at us. This was not the quality time I was expecting.
The minivan’s instruction manual surely had a solution, but this was not the moment to study it. We hit icons that seemed relevant on the seven-inch touch screen. No luck. Then the oldest child calmly made her way from the third row to the front and scanned the stacked entertainment center from top to bottom. In a matter of two seconds, using the light from the nearest cell phone, she found the DVD player at the bottom under the heated seat icons.
As it turned out, we – the tech savvy adults in the front seats – had wrongly agreed that the DVD player would be inserted in the CD player located at the top near the dash. With that being resolved, it was smooth sailing in the shoreline blue pearl-colored Sienna, which through all five trim levels, boasts a new 3.5-liter direct injection V6 engine and direct shift 8-speed automatic transmission.
In comparison to 2016, the horsepower increases from 266 to 296 while torque improves from 245 to 263, improving fuel economy and best-in-class horsepower and torque.
This top of line trim Premium also features the Star Safety System, easy to use fuel gauges and climate controls, lots of cargo area storage and various seating formulations with the one-motion stow third row. Don’t let the family friendly stylish tech-savvy minivan fool you. The basics are still within reach. During those times when you are riding solo, just slide open the dual moonroof— no teen direction needed— park by the lake on a clear blue day and zone out. Quality time.
The 2017 Sienna Limited Premium MSRP: $47,310; Combined City/Highway MPG: 20.
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