Yes, the 2019 Toyota Sienna AWD minivan IS better than many crossovers. By virtue of utility alone, no crossover is this price bracket can match this van’s numbers. For hauling people and cargo, even through challenging traction situations, the 2019 Toyota Sienna AWD minivan is hard to beat.
Here are the virtues of the rolling breadbox design:
- Easier on your back: Load-in height is well below most people’s hips. It is exceedingly easy to put items inside. It doesn’t require a climb to enter, unlike some tall crossovers. Baby seats and wheelchairs are easier to work with its configuration over crossovers.
- Utilitarian design throughout: Despite having a proper all-wheel drive (AWD) system, the cargo area is completely flat behind the second row seats, when the third row is folded.
- Comfy internals: While many crossovers only have space for small people in their third row, every seat in the Sienna can be fairly spacious. If you slide the second row seats forward a bit, the third row can hold adults.
- Daily driving ease: It’s easier to drive, park and see out of than many crossovers. The large greenhouse mixed with command seating position gives up little to all bu the tallest crossovers.
- Sliding door heaven: As stigmatizing as minivans are for some, they have a invaluable bonus, sliding doors. This makes it much easier to load in tight spaces. Access to the third row is much easier than a crossover. Access to the roof is very easy if you open the sliding doors too.
Negatives? Sure, there are some:
- It’s not very frugal: Its 3.5L V6 DOHC 24-Valve with Dual VVT-i makes 296 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and it produces 263 lb-ft of torque at 4700 rpm. It’s hooked up to an eight-speed automatic. That power means 18 mpg city, 24 mph highway and 20 mpg combined for the AWD version. It’s slightly better with the front-drive version.
- It’s not very fun: Granted, that’s a matter of opinion, but you will have a rough time having fun while driving. I did have a tad bit of fun making one slide sideways on snow, but I have issues.
- The interior, while well laid out, is drab and dated.
- It’s kind of pricy: Sure, it’s a tad less expensive than the equivalent Toyota Highlander (non hybrid) – but even its base price of just under $32,000 is kind of steep. Our 2019 Toyota Sienna AWD minivan tester in SE trim comes in around $45,000 – fully equipped.
- It ain’t cool: There is no person on this planet that can make owning a minivan look cool. It’s a rolling rectangle, and one that’s a slightly dated design. Despite its incredible utility, comfort and easy driving demeanor, it’s not cool. One of my favorite family members, who’s a rockin’ artistic hippy that shreds on guitar owns one. He’s cool – just not cool when driving the van.
In this video, you will see Nathan graphically lay out why the 2019 Toyota Sienna AWD minivan is better than many crossovers.