2017 Toyota Sienna Limited review: You can teach an old minivan new tricks

While those points seem pretty compelling to me, they obviously fall on deaf ears to the millions of you who have made crossovers and SUVs the best-selling family vehicles in the United States, moving ahead of even the traditional sedan.

But, in all fairness, the minivan is anything but dead. It remains a worthwhile profit center for Toyota and several otter companies, particularly Chrysler, which invented the vehicle, and Honda.

Toyota Sienna entertainment screen

Toyota Sienna entertainment screen

Whatever your preferences, let’s take a closer look at the 2017 Toyota Sienna Limited, the most luxurious and comprehensively equipped of Toyota’s minivan fleet.

Although the Sienna I drove was outfitted for seven passengers, a second-row bench can be ordered to allow seating for eight.

Among the things you will notice on entering the roomy cabin is its opulent interior —- premium leather-covered front- and second-row bucket seats, upscale appointments, front and rear sunroofs.

A little more time with the Limited minivan will reveal a navigation system; 10-speaker sound system; power sliding rear doors; tri-zone climate control, a power trunk lid; power folding third-row seat; Bluetooth hands-free phone system; keyless lock and ignition; Entune suite of apps; power rear vent windows; Driver Easy Speak, which routes the driver’s voice through the rear speakers; and a rear-seat entertainment center with a16.4-inch wide screen that can be split into two separate screens or used as a single display that can be viewed from the third row.

Toyota Sienna cargo space

Toyota Sienna cargo space

The 2017 Toyota Sienna’s cargo capacity can be maximized by folding the third-row seat into the cargo well behind it, and moving the second- row seats forward to touch the rear of the front seats, or by removing them completely.

This provides cargo space that ranges from 39.1 cubic feet behind the third-row seats to 150 cubic feet when the third-row seat is folded into the floor and the second-row seats are removed.

The Sienna’s drivability results from a suspension that features MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam with coil springs at the rear. An electric motor-assisted rack-and pinion setup controls the steering. Disc brakes, vented in front,
provide the stopping power.

I found the 2017 Toyota Sienna to be a comfortable highway cruiser and easy to maneuver on winding two-lane roads.

The Sienna does not have all of the latest safety features, but it has most of the important ones and has been awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s best rating of “Good” in all areas but the small-overlap frontal crash test. In that area it received the second-best award of “Acceptable.”

Included on the Sienna Limited are a full complement of airbags and side curtains, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assist, smart-stop technology, Blind-spot monitor, rear-view camera, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear sensors to assist parking.