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
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.


As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles