Complaints: I found nothing to complain about in this one.
Praise: The Sienna XLE is developed, designed and built for families. It makes no apologies for that. It is what it is -- one of the best minivans available in North America, if not the absolute best.
Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent in all three categories in the context of a minivan's overall mission, which is to get families and their stuff from one point to another with minimum hassle and maximum comfort and safety. This is a genuine road-tripper.
Head-turning quotient: It's a minivan. A good-looking minivan, but a minivan nonetheless. People look at minivans and don't see them. It is an act of automatic visual dismissal, which is why minivans are for families, not egos.
Body style/layout: Front engine, available in front-wheel or automatic all-wheel drive. Dual power sliding doors and power back door on the tested XLE.
Trim levels: The 2004 Sienna is available as a base CE, popularly equipped LE, upscale XLE and super-upscale XLE Limited.
Engine/transmission: The 3.3-liter, 230-horsepower V-6 is linked to a five-speed automatic transmission. The transmission lever is a dashboard-mounted, gated shifter.
Fuel capacity and type: The Sienna XLE holds 20 gallons of gasoline. Premium unleaded is required.
Safety: Multi-stage front air bags, optional front-side and curtain air bags, standard four-wheel antilock brake system with brake assist and electronic brake distribution, child-safety-seat anchors.
Price: Base price is $28,260. Dealer's invoice on base model is $25,150. Price as tested is $28,260, including a $510 destination charge. Price can go $10,000 higher depending on equipment chosen.
Purse-strings note: Control lust for options. Compare with 2004 Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town & Country minivan.