Sunday 24 August 2008

Sienna gets restyled

Production of the upcoming Sienna MPV is in full swing. This prototype was spied in Death Valley, CA outside a restaurant. The popular large MPV was facelifted back in 2004 before the new model came out in 2006.

The prototype appears to utilise most of the current Sienna's bodywork, so we initially thought it was facelift of the current Sienna. But there are some very rough sections which seems to point to this as a mule for the next-generation Sienna. Judging from the construction and packaging of this prototype, it would appear that Toyota product planners are content to stay with a package similar to the current Sienna, with all of its traditional minivan cues.

While many other automakers are bailing from the minivan product segment with line-blurring crossovers, it looks as if Toyota will stand toe-to-toe with Honda and Chrysler to slug it out for the attention of "soccer mums" everywhere. Given the minimal changes visible to overall shape of this mule, we sense that Toyota may be sticking with the current Sienna's platform, albeit with significant updates, in order to save costs. With a 3030.2mm wheelbase, the 2010 Sienna provides a class-leading 4,219 litres of cargo capacity, and it's unlikely Toyota will want to move away from that distinction.

No engine specifications have been released for the upcoming Toyota Sienna. The current model comes standard with a 266bhp, 3.5 litre V6 and front or all-wheel drive in seven and eight passenger configurations.

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