Last week, the staff of Automobile Magazine gathered up our current crop of test cars and spent an afternoon driving them on a back-road route from Ann Arbor to Kalamazoo. We switched cars every 25 miles or so, giving everyone a chance to drive several cars in one day. The Toyota Sienna was my ride for the first stint - one of my co-workers saw me climb in and mentioned that it looked like I'd drawn the short straw, seeing as the rest of the group were driving cars like the Audi S4, the Mercedes E350 cabriolet, and the Acura TL SH-AWD.
I have to say, however, that it didn't really feel like I'd been shortchanged. On winding Huron River Drive, the Sienna handled quite well for a vehicle with a high center of gravity. Body roll wasn't excessive, the suspension absorbed pavement irregularities, and the engine had adequate power to keep up with the rest of the group.
In the cabin, the driving position is nice and high, the gearshift lever on the instrument panel means there's more room in the center console for storage, and the rear seats are very passenger friendly, with a reclining option that includes a stowable footrest. One unfortunate detail was the textured plastic on the dash, which both looked and felt downmarket for a vehicle in this price range.