We sure hope Toyota is cooking something special up for its next-generation minivan, because it's certainly been a long wait. While most cars and minivans go six years between generations, the 2020 Toyota Sienna represents year nine since it was completely redesigned. Sure, there was a significant overhaul a few years ago and constant updating (including some for this year), but the competition has been completely redone, and it makes a difference. The Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica are more refined, more advanced technologically and have better safety ratings. Even the Kia Sedona, which is no spring chicken itself, is fresher in certain respects. Now, despite being long in the tooth, the 2020 Sienna still provides plenty of distinctive elements that keep it relevant. Its second-row seat slides further than most, providing exceptional comfort for adults and teenagers. Its unique all-wheel drive option. Its SE trim level that is arguably the most engaging minivan to drive. In other words, don't write it off completely, but make sure to shop around. What's new with Sienna for 2020? The SE and SE Premium trim levels can now be equipped with the Nightshade Edition package ($700), pictured above. Following an industry trend, it replaces all the exterior bright work with black trim. It's undeniably the coolest-looking Sienna. What's Sienna's interior and in-car technology like? The Sienna is a wide van from the outside, and it features a wide, expansive dash on the inside. There are a lot of hard plastics all around, but many of those get replaced with wood and soft touch materials as you climb the trim ladder. It looks old for the most part, because the Sienna really is an old van. None of the fancy swoops and shapes from newer Toyota interiors have made it into the Sienna, and that makes it feel dated. This is only amplified by the modern Pacifica, Odyssey and even Kia Sedona interiors that we prefer over this one. Utility for all of your passengers is about average for the segment. You get 10 cupholders with the seven-seat van and 12 with the eight-seater. Then five USB ports are made available, with at least one in every row. Some of the functionality suffers from the messy design of the center stack, such as the heated seat scroll wheels being tucked down away from view while a gaggle of buttons that all look the same sit out in the open. Toyota's infotainment system is a mess of a dinosaur-like interface. Thankfully Apple CarPlay is standard, but Android Auto isn't, and all the other system's functions are problematic. The user interface's skin, design and menus all feel like they're more than a few steps behind the competition. Everything works, it just discourages actual use by generally being slow, unresponsive and displeasing to operate. If technology and infotainment are important parts of your buying decision, know that the Toyota is at the back of the pack in this respect. How big is the Sienna? The Sienna is …
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