2011 Toyota Sienna

2011 Toyota Sienna

Episode 2925 , Episode 2942
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When Toyota replaced the oddball Previa with the front-drive Sienna for 1998, it staked a firmer foothold in the minivan market. The redesigned 2004 Sienna added all-wheel-drive as an option, making it a true alternative to popular SUVs. Now, for 2011, the Sienna is all-new again, and it’s crossover utilities that dominate the family scene. So, let’s see if the new Sienna can stand its ground.

The 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan starts off by standing its ground on size. Its 119.3-inch wheelbase is the same as its predecessor. But it is a few fractions of an inch wider and shorter overall, much of which can be attributed to its all-new styling, penned entirely at Toyota’s Calty studio in Newport Beach, California. And, Calty has given Sienna a fairly aggressive version of the corporate notched hood, above a sharply tapered trapezoidal grille. Narrow, dramatically swept-back headlights are set high in a pair of bulging front fenders.

From there, the Sienna’s greenhouse follows the slight curvature of character lines drawn high on its flanks. Unmistakable Venza-like taillights wrap around under the D-pillars.

Styling cues vary by trim. The sporty-looking SE’s mesh grille, deep splitter, rocker panels, and smoked taillights set it apart from the rest of the clean but much more pedestrian Sienna lineup. A selection of standard alloy wheels range from 17 to 19 inches in diameter.

But while a dose of exterior excitement is fine, the focal point of every minivan is the interior. To that end, the 2011 Sienna fills slightly bigger shoes than last year, with two inches added to interior length. It’s also wider inside, and the now flowing dash has a less pronounced, more integrated center stack to make it feel even roomier.

The front seat passengers are treated to a funky asymmetrical trim swoosh separating two glove boxes, and the driver will find a more upscale instrument cluster with standard ECO driving indicator in the multifunction liquid crystal screen. A full complement of airbags includes one for the driver’s knee.

Standards include tri-zone climate, CD stereo with aux input, up to a dozen cup holders, and dual sliding doors with power windows. Ascend the trim levels, and amenities like wood trim, voice command navigation, and a novel sliding center console are available.

Unlike Chrysler’s minivans, the Sienna’s second row seats don’t fold into the floor. They’re heavy, but are removable. Seven-passenger models have twin captain’s chairs. In Limited trim they recline. The eight-seater features a split bench with a stowable center section. The captain’s chairs have 23 inches of fore/aft travel and seat cushions that tip up, allowing easy access to the third row. There, the 60/40 split bench is placed two inches further back than before for adult-size legroom.

The optional rear entertainment system has a 16.4-inch screen that can display two inputs—like a movie and a game—at the same time. Unlike Chrysler vans, however, satellite TV is not available.

Cargo volume behind the upright third seat is good at 39.1 cubic feet. Drop the third row and cargo volume goes to 87.1 cubic feet. With the second row removed, cargo volume grows to 150 cubic feet, or more than all rivals.

Sienna continues as the only minivan available with all-wheel-drive. For 2011, it returns as an option on V6-powered LE, XLE, and Limited models.

Base power comes from the Sienna's first four cylinder. The 2.7-liter, shared with Highlander and Venza, rates 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The carryover 3.5-liter V6 rates 266 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. A new six-speed transmission with sequential shift handles gear changes for both motors. With the V6, Sienna can tow 3,500 pounds.

Suspension hardware is traditional minivan, strut front and a beam axle rear. But careful retuning, stability control, and new electric power steering provide Sienna an unusually tactile driving experience, especially the SE, which gets treated to an even sportier setup. All-disc ABS brakes are standard.

While the four-cylinder does strain a little under heavy loads, its Government Fuel Economy ratings of 19 city/26 highway are the best in its class. The front drive V6 rates 18 city/24 highway, dropping to 16 city/22 highway with all-wheel-drive. All Siennas run on regular gas.

When it goes on sale later this spring, Sienna prices will start slightly lower than last year at $25,010. The V6 starts at $26,250, and can climb to an eye-popping $40,520 for an all-wheel drive Limited.

That said, the 2011 Toyota Sienna has something for every minivan taste— a more economical four-cylinder, class-exclusive all-wheel drive, and the nicely sporty SE model. So, not only can this highly versatile vehicle stand its ground, it's likely to make a few more suburbanites think twice about buying a big CUV.


  • Engine: 2.7-Liter Four Cylinder
  • Horsepower: 187
  • Torque: 186 Lb Feet
  • EPA: 19 MPG City/ 26 MPG Highway
2023 GMC Canyon 1

2023 GMC Canyon

Canyon Goes Bigger

Episode 4303
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Most people know the GMC Canyon as the Chevrolet Colorado’s professional grade cousin. And while that sounds like just marketing speak, with an all-new design of GM’s midsize truck platform comes more genuine brand separation. So, let’s see what the third-gen GMC Canyon delivers in real time!

Small trucks are once again a big deal, and part of the reason is that they are no longer small. There’s not much about this 2023 GMC Canyon that resembles the ¼-ton Sonomas, S-10s, Rangers, and Datsun trucks that were wildly popular in the 1980s.

Of course, then, people were willing to sacrifice certain “big-truck” things for an easier to use and more economical pickup experience. Well, we don’t seem to be big on compromise for much of anything these days, and the current midsize crop of trucks deliver more than ever. So fittingly, the 2023 Canyon will be available as a Crew Cab only with a 5-foot bed. No more extended cab or long bed options. Wheelbase is about 3-inches longer than before, with the front wheels pushed more towards the front. It definitely looks tougher, and they’ve even eliminated the much-hated front air dam that protruded well below the front bumper.

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The Canyon also comes exclusively with the high-output version of GM’s 2.7-liter turbocharged I-4, with a stout 310-horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. At times it feels even more powerful than those numbers would indicate, with its diesel-like torque delivery enabling a best-in-class max tow rating of 7,700-lbs. No choice of transmission either, strictly 8-speed automatic, but you can still decide whether you want rear or 4-wheel-drive.

At minimum, ground clearance is 9.6-inches, which is more than an inch taller than last year, and almost 2-inches over Chevy’s base Colorado. And since it’s all about the off-road packages these days, our AT4 tester comes with 4-wheel drive, off-road suspension, locking rear diff, 2-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

And that’s just where things get started, as at the top of the heap, there’s a new AT4X with 10.7-inches of ground clearance, enhanced front and rear e-locking differentials, 33-inch mud terrain tires, Multimatic dampers, and an additional Baja Drive Mode. We’ll have more on the AT4X real soon.

But for all Canyons, including this AT4, GMC went tech-heavy, as all get 11-inch infotainment screens and a fully digital driver display in either 8 or 11-inches. Plus, an available head up display comes with most trims, and there are even optional underbody cameras.

Unique AT4 features include a Jet Black and Timber interior motif with stitched logos on the leather front seats. Those seats are definitely comfortable, and it feels maybe a tad roomier than before, but still well shy of the sprawling space in a full-size truck. It’s even more noticeable in the rear, though there are more practical storage options back here.

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The AT4 gets a sliding rear window, along with a tailgate storage system to complement the integrated ruler, and bed side-mounted 120-volt power outlet. The Canyon already delivered one of the best rides in the midsize class, and the taller suspension seems to only improve on that; it’s not quite crossover plush, but certainly great for a body on frame truck.

Though the higher ground clearance and off-road emphasis kept it from being a track star. Indeed, healthy amounts of understeer and body roll greeted us in our handling course. It was a little hesitant off the line in speed runs, but once rolling, power poured on steadily. 0-60 in only 7.5-seconds, and through the ¼-mile in 15.6-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the AT4 are 17-City, 21-Highway, and 19-Combined; we averaged an acceptable 18.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Pricing starts with a 2-wheel-drive Elevation at $38,395. That puts it at midlevel Chevrolet Colorado, with is consistent with the mission of the new Canyon. All other trims come with 4-wheel drive, this AT4 starting at $45,395, and the AT4X now eclipsing Denali as the highest offering at $56,995.

So, as small trucks have grown, so has the price of entry. But if that doesn’t scare you off, there is no denying the 2023 GMC Canyon is yes bigger, but also bolder and badder than before. Does that necessarily make it better? We say positively yes!


  • Engine: 2.7L Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 310
  • 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 121 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 18.2 mpg (Regular)
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto
  • Torque: 430 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 91 mph
  • EPA: 17 City / 21 Highway / 19 Combined