Toyota Sienna score in Consumer Reports plunges, no longer top-rated

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Crossover, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Toyota

2011 Toyota Sienna – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s generally accepted that every new iteration of any vehicle is somehow better than its predecessor. And that’s true of the 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan, which is festooned with more goodies (like a 16.4-inch widescreen monitor for rear-seat passengers) and a sportier flair (complete with a sporty SE trim) than the previous generation Sienna. The only question that remains, then, is this: Do those improvements automatically equal a better vehicle?

According to Consumer Reports, the answer is no. And surprisingly, it’s not even close, with the new Sienna’s overall test score of 80 paling in comparison to the 2010’s overall score of 94. The main culprits cited by CR for the plummeting score are poor fit and finish and excessive interior noise – bad enough that CR claims it’s not possible to have a proper conversation between front and rear passengers.

So, if not the Toyota Sienna – which held the honor for three straight years – what is CR’s top-rated minivan? The six-year-old Honda Odyssey. For what it’s worth, there’s a new Odyssey coming out next year, but as we’ve seen from the Sienna, a new model doesn’t necessarily equal one that tests better at the influential magazine. It’s also worth noting that the new Sienna’s overall score is roughly on par with that of the Kia Sedona, which has been available in its current configuration since 2006.

Consumer Reports also tested other people movers, such as the micro-minivan Mazda5 and the large box-on-wheels crossover Ford Flex. Both vehicles got rather positive reviews, and testers found that they may be looked at as realistic replacements for the tried-and-true minivan paradigm of the Toyota Sienna. Check out the official press release after the break.

Gallery: 2011 Toyota Sienna

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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Toyota Sienna score in Consumer Reports plunges, no longer top-rated originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Aug 2010 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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