When I young lad ( long ago ) a Swiss Army Knife was every kid’s ”gotta’ have”.

A pocket knife with something like 19 functions.   3  or 4 blades…some that doubled as screwdrivers, can and bottle openers, files, corkscrews….yeah….as if an 8-year-old needed a corkscrew……


The deluxe ones probably even had flashlights.


And I guess that today’s equivalent would be some kind of cross between a Transformer and a phone with 95+ apps.


Or a minivan.


While all vehicles just keep getting better and adding more functions, there’s still nothing on the road that seems to be able to do more….carry / coddle / entertain more….than today’s minivan.


And Toyota’s Sienna can do more than many, as it remains the only minivan available with all-wheel drive


Standard on all models is Toyota’s new 296 HP V-6.   The 3.5 may sound familiar, but the innards are all new…generating the best of both worlds.   More power and better economy.


The 8-speed auto is new, too….designed for crisper shifts and, again, improved economy.    You’ll find you’re rarely in the wrong gear…or without adequate “go”…..and if you’ve got toys to tow, the Sienna will tote 3,500 pounds.


Also standard are 19” alloys, tri-zone air, stability and traction controls, braking assistance, tire pressure monitoring and 2-year unlimited mileage roadside assistance and two-year maintenance for up to 25,000 miles.


From there, load it up as you see fit.   Pricing will run from $30,000 – $50,000….and you’ll have your choice of almost everything available on wheels today….plus room for seven.


And on top-of-the line LTD models, you’ll have just about all the luxury and convenience available these days.


Soft perforated heated leather seating, a heated leather steering wheel, dual moonroofs, dual power sliding doors, a power liftgate, second-row lounge seating…complete with foot rests and more space than most limos, and a dual-view screen for the second row…allowing either one big wide-angle view, or two separate images from two separate sources….all on the same screen.


Back to those reclining second row “lounge” captain’s chairs…..they even come with a sliding center console….so your refreshments can always be close at-hand.


And for those way back in the third row, Toyota’s “Easy Speak” makes it easy to communicate….via a microphone that connects to the third-row speakers.


What did Toyota leave out?   Not much.    Nor will you have to either, when packing for that road trip.    You’ll have 39 cu ft available…even behind the third row….and up to 150 cu ft with both the second and third rows folded….giving you what’ll seem like almost as much space as you’d find in today’s  studio apartment.


Load it up and go.   Mileage is rated at 19 city and 27 highway.  We managed low to mid-twenties in our usual commute.

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