The Swaggerwagon (Top Ten Tuesday)
Back when I reviewed the Honda Odyssey I knew I would also be reviewing a Toyota Sienna. And that time came very recently. I want to state at the outset of this post that I will not be comparing the vehicles. I think it is only fair to give you my Sienna review independent of my Odyssey review; after all, when I reviewed the Odyssey I didn’t compare the Sienna to it. I do know that many of you are very interested in what we finally landed on purchasing and I have every intention of sharing that with you in the near future. For now. Here are some features of the Toyota Sienna that really caught my eye as a grocery shopping mama.
1. Sweet Media Campaign!
My husband says I am easily swayed by packaging, media campaigns and commercials alike. Perhaps he is right. When I announced that I was trying to choose a minivan Kelly, our Whole Foods Writer, sent me this:
[youtube ql-N3F1FhW4 nolink]
Have you ever seen such a clever campaign? I am sorry, but without even reviewing the vehicle, I was in love. I mean, who doesn’t want to be THOSE parents?
2. Wide Screen/Double Screen Video
The Sienna, or at least the 2011 version we drove, included a DVD system that also allows you to split the screen so that one person can watch video and the other can play a video game or watch the movie in wide-screen. My children aren’t into video game systems (unless you count my iPhone) so we didn’t use this part of the feature but we did watch many a Veggie Tales video during our intimate week with this vehicle.
3. Lots of Room
This mini-van does have lots of room. The front captains chairs are also on a sliding system so you can easily move them forward and back to accommodate getting in and out of the vehicle easily. It also provides lots of leg room and a less likely chance that my seat is going to be kicking by a meddlesome toddler (not that that ever happens).
4. Cup Holders, How I Love Thee
If I can’t count 4 cup holders without craning my neck a vehicle doesn’t get far in my book. I know, that is like the cheesiest thing considering I should be more concerned with how the car runs but, hey, I am being real here. The Sienna clearly passed my cup holder test!
As noted above my inclination is towards cup holders not the engine and drive train but I could clearly see that there was a difference in the Sienna. The steering wheel was so easy to maneuver and turn. The turn radius was amazing. It was easy to whip the van in and out of tight grocery store parking lots and to get wherever I needed to go. This is honestly the first minivan I have driven that drove more like a car than a van.
6. Review Backing Camera
This model had the rear backing camera and I still find that to be a nice feature. I fear backing out of my driveway and running into one of the many kids that like to tour the neighborhood in their bikes. And then there are all those
crazies people going in and out of the grocery parking lot.
I will say that navigation is not something I have ever had in a car but have seriously considered after driving mini-vans that come with them. I do have to admit that for some reason this minivan’s navigation system perplexed me. I think it has something to do with the way the navigation was tied in with the DVD system that kept throwing me for a loop. And causing unnecessary yelling from the peanut gallery. Yes, there was a manual BUT when you are riding with two toddlers you don’t necessarily have time for a manual. I just thought it could be a little more intuitive, but it was very helpful.
8. Eighth Seat
No, I didn’t not plan for the 8th seat to be number 8, just happened. But before reviewing this vehicle I didn’t know there was an 8th seat option with the Sienna, now I know that there is. And what is really nice about the 8th seat is that there is a compartment for it on the side of the trunk so that it can fasten into the back without taking up cargo space if you are not using it. I LOVED that!
9. Grocery Storage
You can CLEARLY fit a month’s worth of groceries and more into the trunk. That, my friends, is a must. :)
10. What do you think?
What about those of you that own a Toyota Sienna, what are your favorite features?
What I really had planned on doing is taking a picture of our family with the Sienna BEFORE our review and then again at the end but this time looking MUCH cooler. Yea, despite the fact that this mini-van can put the Swagger into your life, the truth is it still doesn’t eliminate the crazy that goes along with this phase! So for now, you will just have to imagine how cool we looked riding in our Swaggerwagon.