Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2019

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The Toyota Sienna was introduced in 1998 and has been completely redesigned for 2011. This minivan has been a perennial favorite, and since its introduction, the Sienna has had better crash test scores than most any other minivan available.

The car also has a very good reputation for quality and dependability. This minivan continues to be a strong seller with attractive styling, a smooth, quiet ride and upscale interior appointments that put it at the top of the minivan class.

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Toyota Sienna Highlights

The car is all-new for the 2011 model year and it comes in five different trim levels with the SE carrying eight passengers and the others carrying seven.

The Toyota Sienna includes many add-ons for each of the trim levels such as a backup camera, upgraded audio, power-sliding side doors, and a power lift-gate.

Leather upholstery, a sunroof, and La-Z-Boy comfort via rear lounge seats with pop-up foot rests are also available. Owners can complete the luxury interior by adding a rear-seat DVD system, dual sunroofs, JBL audio, and a power-driven folding third-row seat.

Toyota is also offering the new Sienna SE, which is their sporty take on the popular car. This model has been fitted with lower skirting, styling tweaks like a larger and lower front grille, and a sport-tuned suspension.

The sporty handling has never been the focus for minivans but the Sienna provides a crisp, controlled driving experience with maximum comfort for its passengers.

The Honda Odyssey runs pretty close to the Sienna in terms of quality and features, but the new Sienna will take the cake this year, or until the Odyssey undergoes a revamp.

In addition to all the other features of the Toyota Sienna, its ability to accommodate large amounts of cargo is what makes this car all-around great. Even with the third back seat in an upright position, the cargo area can accommodate 39.1 cubic feet of grocery bags and sports equipment.

Road Performance

The optional V-6 engine gives a powerful yet smooth acceleration. The standard four-cylinder engine gives adequate power and improves things by providing better fuel economy.

Overall, the ride is very comfortable and the interior keeps road noise to a very low minimum. The car also offers all-wheel drive, which is unusual in minivans, and adaptive cruise control as other performance options.

The V6 gives the Toyota Sienna a quick acceleration as compared to other minivans, and the braking is effective with the car coming to a full stop in 127 feet from 60 mph, according to tests performed by Edmunds.com.

The power steering was a bit soft and somewhat disconnected. The car also performed surprisingly well in slalom tests.

Most minivan drivers will probably not drive in this fashion, but from a safety perspective, it is comforting that the van can handle such maneuvers.

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Toyota Sienna Safety Features

The government has improved their crash testing methods for 2011 with more stringent requirements. The 2011 Sienna was given four stars out of five based on the new criteria with three stars for frontal crash protection, and five stars for side crash protection.

In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests the Toyota Sienna was given a “Good” rating for front, side and roof impact tests, which is the highest rating available.

The Toyota Sienna comes complete with a long list of safety features, which is part of what helps it garner its high position on the list of cars with the lowest car insurance rates. Some of the features are:

  • Four-wheel ABS
  • Front, rear and a third row head airbags
  • Dual front side-mounted airbags
  • Emergency braking assist
  • Daytime running lights
  • Stability and traction control
  • Driver and passenger whiplash protection systems
  • and much more

How much is car insurance for a Toyota Sienna?

While there are many factors that come into play when calculating the cost to insure a specific car, a Toyota Sienna is a smart choice for just about anyone based on its long list of safety characteristics and the quality of its build.

Factors such as the driver’s age, driving record, miles driven each year and the state and city they live in it will also play a part in determining the overall insurance costs.

The national average car insurance rates for the year 2011 are $1,440 per year. The Toyota Sienna stacks up well against other cars, as it was ranked #2 on the list of the top 20 vehicles with the lowest insurance rates. The list is part of a study commissioned by Insure.com.

The Toyota Sienna has a national average insurance cost of only $1,101. The #3 entry on the list is Toyota’s Sienna LE model, which is slightly higher at $1,108.

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