TRACKING TOYOTA

It’s hard to believe that the American minivan craze started almost 20 years ago — although the first- and second-generation minivans seemed to be more hype than value, at least from an engineering viewpoint. Then the popular family hauler turned into something truly miraculous just as the public moved on to sport utility vehicles. The 2002 Toyota Sienna ($24,415 plus freight and options) is the Japanese automaker’s sixth attempt at a minivan, and this time they got it very right. In terms of crash standards, the Sienna rates Five Stars. In terms of ride and comfort, it’s near flawless and the 210 horsepower V-6 shifts smoothly while getting up to freeway speeds quickly. It’s a great vehicle in a very stagnant segment of the market. For more information, log on to www.insideautomotive.com.