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Cars Worth Noting: 2004 Toyota Sienna

2004 Toyota Sienna

I’ve been a fan of Chrysler’s minivans ever since they were introduced in October of 1983. Over the years, I stuck to my guns that they were the best in the business, even when Honda introduced its nearperfect Odyssey in 1999. At the time, I conceded that Honda had a sportier and more fun-to-drive package, yet I still liked the Caravan for utility. But after spending time behind the wheel of the all-new 2004 Toyota Sienna, I have to admit that Toyota is now King of the Hill.

The primary purpose of a minivan is to move people and “stuff,” as comfortably, economically and practically as possible. That said, the new Toyota delivers in every respect. It offers eight passenger seating with plenty of head-, leg- and hiproom in every position. If you need a cubbyhole to stash something, the van is filled with them. If you need more room for cargo, the middle row seats pop right out and the back row folds into the floor so slick and quick you can look the other way while doing it.

This is top-of-the-line utility.

Of course I’ve learned not to be amazed by the smoothness and power of Toyota’s engines because they all deliver on the promise. But I was flabbergasted at the mileage I got from this VVT-i-equipped 3.3L V-6/5-speed automatic combination. In spite of the van’s considerable size, I managed well over 20 mpg in mixed city/highway driving.

Chrysler should go back to the drawing board; this is the minivan to buy.

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Sat. July 4th, 2020

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