• 2016 SEMA: Toyota’s Efforts to Make Minivans Cool With the Extreme Sienna [News]


    Minivans have the unfortunate stigma of being the ultimate automotive compromise. They necessitate that you give up any last attempt to look cool in favor of a spacious cabin and room to carry a family of five plus all their stuff. Toyota has used this year’s SEMA to do a number of things, including make a Prius capable of pulling 0.99 G on the skid pad. Now, they are attempting to make a minivan that is… wait for it… actually kinda cool, with the Sienna Extreme.

    Toyota have brought in Real Time Automotive’s hot rod builder Rick Leos in hopes to support the self-proclaimed title of “swagger wagon.” So what exactly has been done to this run-of-the-mill Sienna to achieve this boisterous title?

    On the exterior, it is a combination of body kits, dual exhaust, performance wheels, front and back aero kits, TRD brakes, oodles of carbon fiber, and chin-scrapingly low suspension. On the inside, the focus has gone towards luxury improvements, including a home theater system, reclining seats with custom upholstery, a refrigerator, Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth speakers.


    Nothing much has been done to the powertrain, but that is fine, since this Sienna Extreme is fitted with the Sienna’s new 3.5L V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. So, was Toyota successful in making the ultimate “swagger wagon?” That is for you to decide. It certainly looks like a heavily modified minivan, but we’re not sure if that is really a good thing. Whether or not you like it, it certainly makes a bold statement, which is something that most minivans certainly don’t do.

    Toyota aren’t the only ones trying to change the minivans image in the US. Chrysler would like to think that their all-new Pacifica minivan has also got a bit more to offer. To find out which is best, we took both to the test track to see which we would rather own. To find out which won, be sure to watch the full video below:

    Of course, stay tuned to TFLcar.com and TFLtruck.com for all SEMA related news and information!

    Michael Curtis
    Michael Curtis
    Michael has always had a passion for things with four wheels and an engine. His parents often joked that his first word was "Porsche." He currently spends his time as a Communications student at CU Boulder and writes for TFL as an intern trying to learn the ways of the automotive journalist. In his spare time, he attends all the local Cars and Coffee events he can possibly make time for.

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    8 thoughts on “2016 SEMA: Toyota’s Efforts to Make Minivans Cool With the Extreme Sienna [News]

    1. I don’t see how this vehicle would be useful for anyone. They have slammed it on its guts presumably because they think it looks cool that way but this will also make it undriveable. What do you do when you get to a speed hump? How do you get it on and off driveways? The first decent sized pothole you come across would destroy those wheels. Completely useless. I don’t know what Toyota were thinking here, this thing is madder than the racing Prius.

    2. Interesting but again the same SEMA car styling themes of blacked out windows (shrunken if possible), huge wheels and rubber band tires (why don’t they just go TWEEL and be done with it?). Is the intent for these to live only on race tracks?

      1. I disagree completely a lifted one lol no the lowered one just as stupid although I like the front bumper the rest is discusting oh color is nice interior lol this was not well thought out

        1. You don’t think a minivan with a 4″ lift, full skid plates, wheel spacers, off-road front and rear bumpers, and an aggresive 35″ all terrain tire like the ko2 wouldn’t be cool? I mean, cool for a minivan obviously…

          Both options would look ‘weird’, but I think a lifted weird would look better than a lowered weird.

          1. Smart guy lol my wife has a awd 09 Chevy uplander and everywhere my buddy goes with his bronco we go with no issues at all no need for big tires or lift kit never scrapes on anything so that’s my answer but to each our own

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